We are all settled into a autumnal weather, our new students are settling into university life and returning students are getting into the swing of lectures and seminars once again. Whilst the outdoor events season has almost come to a close, for business events October and a November are two of the busiest months of the year. Followed by the festive or ‘silly’ season, when maximum capacities are pushed to the limit and venues are working around the clock to service conferences and meetings in the day and festive events in the evening.
This time of year is an ideal opportunity to secure work experience with venues, for those interested in business events and venue management. Whilst the experience will be predominately operational at this time of year, it’s a great opportunity to learn new skills (and get paid) gaining valuable hands on experience. Understandably many venues will not be able to offer event planning experience at this time of year, even the skills of the experienced event managers are ‘tested’ to the limit at this challenging time of year. However, by working operationally at this time of year, may well offer opportunities in the much quieter new year, whereby event coordinators, and event managers have much more time to spend a few hours, going through the planning stages of some of the events which take place at those venues. With the operational experience gained you fast become an asset to the venue, with a fuller appreciation and holistic awareness of the ‘end to end’ process.
Whilst the business events sector remains quiet for the first part of January, the weddings sector ‘hits the ground running’ dealing with enquiries from all those festive marriage proposals! Again, this is a great time to shadow wedding coordinators on initial meetings, show-rounds and also being involved in weddings fairs and open days which often take place early spring time. If students are able to work operationally at venues at their busiest time, the venues are much more likely to allow you to learn more about event planning by shadowing and working alongside the events teams.
This kind of experience, even if only a few hours per week, is an invaluable insight into enquiry handling, customer service, sales experience, diary management, formulating proposals, communication, time management….the list is endless. This could easily turn into a longer internship, a year long placement and perhaps even a full time job upon graduation!
A varied and comprehensive CV is a must for any competent event manager and we would challenge all of our students to gain as much work experience as possibly to provide the best opportunity to secure placements and final jobs in the future.