Graduate weapons for attacking the job hunt – events management & hospitality

By Hannah Roberts

Events. Who doesn’t love them? If you’re the type that enjoys planning, organising and socialising, a career in events management could be an appropriate path to pursue. This blog aims to act as a written helping hand, guiding you along the rocky road of applications to the finish line of career success. We’ll analyse the opportunities that lie ahead and the specific skills and characteristics you’ll need in order to win the fight for those prized positions!

Roles in events management generally revolve around the organisation and running of all manner of social, promotional and business events. Whatever the finer details, your project is your responsibility from the get go of initial planning to the final few moments of the event, ensuring the last guest crawls out of the venue. Day-to-day activities include the handling of clients and discussing their requirements including budgets and timescales, brainstorming original ideas, researching venues and suppliers, negotiating, publicising and eventually managing your own team.

The essentials
Ensuring you have the raw skills suited to this industry is your first step. People-skills are imperative. Strong communication, problem-solving abilities, determination and an overall positive approach to work are characteristics that compliment this sector. You’re the organised one of your friends, a natural multi-tasker, the one that comes up with a creative solution to any problem, the one that’s famed for planning all those memorable nights out. You’re a stickler for detail. The type not to be phased by deadlines, in fact quite the opposite; you thrive under pressure.

Your ability to demonstrate practical experience of event handling is imperative. The more you can show previous experience of planning and event handling the better. Whether that’s club promotion at university, volunteering at charity events or taking opportunities in your personal life to organise occasions for your friends and family. Focus and elaborate on them, tell employers of the obstacles you were challenged with, how you resolved them, what your highlights were. Show you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and stuck in where needed, from filling goody bags to organising seating. Events always require a hands-on deck approach.

The should-haves
In terms of your qualifications, a degree in events or hospitality is not an established prerequisite for entry into this industry. Sales, marketing and business management related subjects will naturally equip you with commercial awareness and an understanding of business, but there are other qualifications allowing you to get a foothold in this competitive industry. Illustrating how a strong degree in your chosen area of interest, coupled with your experience, has allowed you to enhance the above skillset is what employers will be looking for.

Types of interview questions
How would you have done London 2012 differently? How would you handle a demanding client? When have you had to solve a logistical problem? Think creatively.

Networking is a fundamental aspect to the event industry. After all, the success of an event always comes down to the turnout. Show the potential employer you’re no stranger to schmoozing. Whether it’s how you’ve managed to grow your Twitter followers or your involvement in different university societies. They’ll be looking for likeable candidates that know how to work a room and utilise their connections. Show them that’s you!

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+.