Today’s guest post is by Emily Dwyer. Emily is currently living and working in Australia. It’s her hopes that she will be able to work full-time in the event planning field in Australia. Emily is documenting her journey into the event planning industry on her blog, The Eventure.
Hello Aspiring Event Planners
I am Emily Dwyer and am currently travelling and working in Australia. I am a qualified Event Manager from the UK with around 5 years experience under my belt in a range of sectors. My aim is to crack the event market here in Australia and see if they do it different than in the UK.
My love for events began while in college. Throughout school I never understood what I was good at doing. I was not into sports or the arts, nor was I good at languages or science. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard at school and did well but it didn’t come easy. I didn’t fit into a category. When I got into college I became involved with charities and organizing committees. Eventually I found something I was good at and excelled in; managing a team and being super organised. I decided to take an Event Managers course at the UK Centre for Events Management in Leeds. I soon found that this was going to be a huge passion of mine.
I wasn’t wrong.
The Event Planning Journey – the Education
The course was fantastic and the instructors were hands on. I made an effort to do as much voluntary work alongside my degree as possible. I felt that this was invaluable. I signed up to work as many local and national events as I could. I wanted to build relationships and develop my skills while learning and applying what I learned in class. As a result I have made some wonderful contacts in the industry who are always more than happy to help out.
Expect to work your butt off as well as working long unsociable hours. This is the nature of the event planning industry and if you love the job you won’t mind the working hours. I started off doing menial tasks and then worked my way to managing stages, artists and teams of people. If you prove your commitment you are more likely to get tasks with greater responsibilities the next time. Everyone on an event site works together – true teamwork.
A great team environment.
The Event Planning Journey – the Networking
As soon as I graduated from college the hunt was on to secure that dream event job. Well that didn’t happen but then again I am still young. I did manage to secure an internship with a highly regarded charity in the UK. I worked with them for 9 months on a major marathon event (which was successful). I gained this internship through all my previous volunteer work. While it was hard work and long hours what I learned throughout the internship will be with me through my career.
Unfortunately the economic downturn had hit its worst phase when I graduated. I struggled to find a full time events position within the UK, hence my decision to hit the road and try new pastures. Travelling is a great way to learn more about the meetings and events industry in action around the world. Not to mention developing a different set of skills and fresh outlook. I would also recommend starting a blog as it helps you network, meet like minded people and stand out to potential employers. A blog allows people to get a feel for your personality rather than just see what is on a piece of paper.
My advice for any aspiring event planning professionals is to not wait because of the state of the economy. Get out there, work hard and pursue your dreams and the right position will find its way to you. You will have incredible adventures, meet some wonderful people and enjoy a career that, while stressful at times, can be rewarding. There’s no better feeling than when you see an event come together and the happiness that it creates for people.
Go for it!