Career Progression within the Events Management Industry

While the events industry faces some uncertain times ahead, many of our industry members are at a standstill and have the time to assess and reflect on what career progression looks like to them. Career progression within the events management industry doesn’t always follow the typical ‘career path’, so finding the next step that is right for you can be difficult, no matter if you’re just starting out or have been living and breathing the industry for some years now. 

This week we have broken it down into some easy steps to help you assess and reflect on what career progression means to you and what you can do to help yourself get to that next level as an Event Prof. We also reached out to RCR, Specialist Event Recruiters,  for some extra events industry advice and asked for some top tips on what you can do to be ready for when our industry picks up again. 

1. Identify your goals and create a plan 

Goal setting is essential when assessing your career progression, you can’t expect to make progress when you don’t know where you’re going. Take the time to consider what you want to achieve and identify what success means to you, this will make that goal setting a whole lot easier. 

As with any goal setting, establishing a timeline to achieve your goals is crucial. Take the time to think about where you see yourself in the next 3 to 5 years. The events industry has so many avenues you can take, are you in the sector that you are passionate about? What position are you hoping to achieve? Is the company that you currently work for going to be able to help you achieve your goal? Look at what experience and skills you need to gain to help yourself get to where you really want to be. 

Be specific about your goals, make sure they’ve got an objective and you can identify key results that you want to achieve (we love OKR’s at Sleek!). Look at how you can track your progress along the way and keep yourself motivated and accountable to ensure you achieve your goals.

2. Review your appraisals and ask for feedback 

Feedback and appraisals are a great way to measure your progress and assess if you’re on track to reaching your goals. Look back at your appraisals to see what feedback you received, do you feel like you have improved on this? If not, have discussions and ask for advice on how you can improve. 

Remember feedback doesn’t always have to come from your superiors, often your colleagues can offer a different perspective and point of view. Did you work on a previous event together? Ask your peers for your strengths and weaknesses based on the project you completed. 

Likewise, if you lead a team, ask for feedback on your management style and if there are further areas that you can develop and improve on. 

The more sources you can receive feedback from, the more direction and learning opportunities you will be aware of.  

Working in the events industry requires a wide range of skills and knowledge across many areas, so remember there will always be an area of improvement.

3. Find a mentor 

Having someone to help guide you and turn to for advice throughout your career, no matter if you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for your entire career, a mentor is a valuable tool to have. Even though you may not be looking to take that big career move right this moment, a mentor can be someone to help you set or review your goals, establish a reasonable timeline and give you advice and the tools to help you get you where you want to go. It gives you the opportunity to learn from someone who is a bit further ahead in their career, has been through what you’re experiencing and can identify opportunities you may not be aware of. 

4. Keep on top of industry research and news 

 

There are always new things to learn in the events industry, whether it is new technology, a new venue or the latest theme and styling trend. It is important that you maintain a good knowledge of the industry and current affairs. 

RCRs’ top tips on keeping up with industry news: 

  • Follow LinkedIn and social media accounts of agencies that work in the sector you’re interested in. Agencies constantly release new blog content and case studies, these can be a great way of maintaining your industry knowledge. 
  • Event Profs within corporations often have their own blogs and social media with industry content. Think about who you want to work for and try finding their leaders on socials!

Now more than ever, the events industry has come together to help educate each other with upskilling webinars available every week, as well as open industry discussions about what best practices and we can do to help each other moving forward. Use this time to upskill and get involved and stay up to date with the discussions. 

5. Networking 

 

It seems to be a word we constantly hear and should be doing, but what does it really mean and how can we use it to help career progression? Networking goes further than just showing up at industry events, meeting a few new people and saying hello to some familiar faces. 

Instead, look to see how you can really get involved in the events industry and community. Aim to attend the events and meetups that are relevant to you and allow you the opportunity to get to know other people. This will help you to build real, lasting relationships that will be valuable throughout your whole career. Industry events are also great opportunities to gain insight into trends and possibly hear about career growth opportunities in a more organic setting. 

RCR suggests joining industry groups that have meet-ups. For example, there are events freelancing groups that catch up weekly to support each other. They catch-up for a weekly coffee (virtually at the moment) and talk all things industry news! Get involved and make connections!

 

The best advice for career progression in the events management industry RCR gives is to be proactive in your job! They say the most successful Event Profs are the ones who take initiative, are constantly motivated and involved workers. Don’t be afraid to ask to be involved in a project, or get experience in a field that interests you. Event profs wear so many hats and the broader your knowledge the better. 

Now is a great time to review your career goals, look ahead to see what career progression means to you and what you can do to get there. Remember if you set a goal it’s not set in stone and you can update it at any time.

RCRs’ final advice for anyone on furlough is to stay motivated and keep networking. Get involved with as many LinkedIn and industry discussions as possible, you never know when the next opportunity may appear. The events industry will be coming back with a bang, so make sure you’re ready to come back with it! 

Did you read our previous blog on Thought Leadership Events, click here to read now.