Events Jobs: Why work for an events agency?
Whether you’re in the travel industry or any other business, chances are events feature in your work year. That could mean a conference, team-building trip, charity dinner, or just a big party. I work with several events management clients here at Progressive Travel Recruitment, sourcing candidates for events jobs. Events jobs often require a mix of PR, marketing and great organisation skills, as well as technical experts in various fields. The creative ideas that events management agencies use to grab attention can be brilliantly clever.
Agency events with a difference
One of my events management clients puts on large-scale pharmaceutical events. At a recent sales training session, mini burgers were served that were actually made of chocolate in order to challenge people’s senses. The aim was to create challenger mindsets among sales staff. At another event, the entrance tunnel – through which everyone had to walk – was full of sensory and audio touch points; little science experiments designed to stimulate you. This put everyone in a switched-on mood, right from the start of the event.
Although a great event should be more than a PR stunt, some companies make a name for themselves with headline-grabbing marketing events. Take clothing brand Diesel, whose marketing team set up a stall in New York which sold real Diesel products but with deliberately mis-spelled ‘Deisel’ labels. Shoppers were surprised at the good quality, but believed the clothes to be fakes. Those who bought items now have limited-edition real Diesel clothing. It was fun, surprising, and challenged perception about quality and branding, and kept the brand feeling modern and on-point. Social media was used to spill the beans and show videos of the pop-up shop.
Another company brought in an events company to improve its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) profile, and team-build at the same time. The aim was for 600 staff to help 4 chosen charities. A complicated jigsaw puzzle created a challenge for the staff, who also had to donate items for the chosen charities. The event was a 2-hour slot during the annual conference, as well as time spent in the weeks beforehand gathering donations for the charity. It all combined teamwork, challenge, and charitable benefit, as well as incentives for those involved.
Events jobs and travel
Events management and travel are intrinsically linked in some ways. A lot of business travel involves corporate events, and in leisure travel we work with destination wedding companies, and some hen and stag event organisers, both local and international. A lot of big travel management companies we work with have events divisions too.
There’s often an international element to working with an events agency. Most have to plan and execute events overseas. We mostly recruit for events jobs for events agencies in the UK, but they often require experience of planning events abroad. As a company though we regularly recruit globally and have considerable experience of it, plus an international workforce.
There is a close link to travel with hospitality, too. People who have managed events in a hotel or function venue can more easily move into an events agency. Of course, the marketing, creative, and finance roles are interchangeable with travel, and venue sourcing could also be similar to those experienced in finding new travel products. Consultants who have worked their way up to the groups and events departments in their travel businesses could eventually move over to full event management.
As for events jobs, I’ve had some really interesting ones, including project managers, event managers, set designers (which involved fascinating and very creative CVs), technology for lighting and sound engineers, production managers, venue sourcing, accounts and finance, marketing, account managers, business development managers, exhibition designers, creatives, and even in-house travel consultants to plan and quote for large groups’ travel arrangements for overseas events.
There are many good reasons to work for an events agency. Variety is the spice of life – and a good agency will provide that. There will be everything from product launches to exhibitions, or even carnivals, depending on the client. Often you get to travel with large overseas events. The other benefit is, unlike working for a venue, you would only work the odd weekend when an event is on, and often this gets handled by an onsite team. I sometimes chat to candidates who work for a venue and they are very overworked, as so many events happen at weekends, and they also work during the week.
Event agencies are a growing sector, as marketing becomes ever-more creative, and social-media reach means creating interesting events from pop-up restaurant nights to flash-mob dances. A lot of people are visual and events can be anything from a great marketing tool to a straightforward celebration. There is so much to gain from bringing people together in a workforce. Large events are brilliant for networking. Once, when I worked as a travel account manager in a travel company, I was involved in organising a charity dinner and ended up getting several people on my table to book holidays with me!