I’ve always heard (and found true) the statement that says, “I ended up in the event industry by accident“. First, I always thought “accident” was little bit negative. Although, I agree with the fact that little boys and girls are more into the being a ‘fireman’, ‘doctor’ or ‘Hollywood star’ mindset when it comes to choosing a future career.
But today’s job landscape is changing, and the event industry provides amazing roles: strong roles and positions that really start to shift into a structured business leading to careers.
This year, students attending the Australian Business Events Expo will be treated to a complimentary student session with Lena Malouf, Jenene Wardrop and Caroline Hong to talk about life after college and advice on how to achieve their career goals.
These courses are amazing compared to what was on offer say, 20 years ago. For example, NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney) offers a part time event management course with a focus on technical production. Some colleges also help place students in jobs…probably at a high cost (to the paying student or their parents funding their studies). The courses on offer are endless, but what happens afterwards? You study, you pass your course and then you start looking for a job. Easy?
Having run the student volunteer program (when I was the Event Manager for ABEE), I often found myself thinking, will all these people find jobs? Are there enough jobs out there? Not everyone is a BIG personality or as flamboyant as David Grant, Lena Malouf, Mark Taylor or as creative as Peter Fulton and Mark Magennis from Decorative Events.
Do the educators of today actually give their students advice on what ‘event’ jobs are out there?
When meeting students, I love asking them what their dream ‘event’ job is. Most want to run events that have a wow factor. Think fireworks, glitter, a singing celebrity, amazing table decorations etc. My response usually is a quiet, wow that’s great, but did you know that about 85% or more of your time would be office based? Long client meetings where budgets are key topics, site inspections, more client meetings and endless emails and lets not forget that there will be some sort of ‘event technology’ involved to help manage your event (think etouches).
The fact is that not everyone will manage a big event. Not everyone will work for a 5 star hotel, a unique venue, convention centre, bureau, catering, AV company or with a PCO/Meetings Manager. But there are some AMAZING jobs out there that most people are not aware of.
My favourite role right now is Registration Manager. I’d never met a Registration Manager until I started working at etouches. So I set about asking my client, Danielle Grothen, Registration Manager, from George P. Johnson what she does.
1. What does a Registration Manager do?
Manage attendee registrations for various events and conferences. This includes distribution of event invitations, developing various eDMS and online registration sites, booking flights & accommodation, managing onsite attendee registrations, logistics and transfers.
It is basically anything and everything to do with an attendee registering for an event (pre-event and/or onsite).
2. How many event registrations do you manage day to day?
I’m in a position where I have the chance to manage registrations for various events around Australia including large exhibitions and national conferences, to smaller intimate product launches and dinners. These events can range from 25 – 6000 attendees and I can be working on up to 10 events at a time.
3. How did you get your job?
I’ve worked in the event industry for 7yrs and most of that time was spent working on incentive events which was certainly enjoyable. However, I started to become interested in online technology and decided I wanted a slight change, so I went in search for a role that would be different, exciting, challenging, rewarding and something that was a little technical…this is what I found – Registration Manager.
4. What did you study?
I completed a Diploma of Event Management and was lucky enough to secure a lot of work experience along the way. I also expanded my knowledge further in the areas of Marketing & PR (which I feel goes hand-in-hand with Event Management).
5. What do you love about your job?
I love the coordination and logistics of event registrations. I enjoy the technical side of things – like creating eDMs & registration sites for attendees to register their attendance (I’m a little nerdy like that). Technology is always changing and it’s amazing to see the possibilities first hand. Although, the most enjoyable part is that it’s challenging and exciting.
So tell us what’s your ‘event’ dream job?
Written by: Sonya Goncalves