As part of our #EventprofsAtoZ series we have lined up a number of guest bloggers to post on their area of expertise.
No one should have ever finished learning. Whether you have years of industry experience, are learning the ropes at University or have just taken your first events jobs, there is still always plenty to learn. How do you up-skill?
Next up, we hear from Elly Martin, soon-to-be third year Event Management student at University of Central Lancashire as she talks about her journey into the sector so far.
I’ve always been exposed to training and education, from the age of 18 I was indulged in Wetherspoons’ comprehensive training package, from a hands-on training programme, they continued to incorporate regular e-learning to keep staff up to date with regulations and product knowledge, Wetherspoon’s clear investment for employees’ CPD has set a president for all future employment opportunities.
After leaving full time education, I started work at an events and training organisation, providing specialist training for Lancashire’s care sector, this is where my passion for event management flourished and my skills were developed within the professional sector. Employees’ CPD was at the forefront of the organisation, as a training provider we had a range of regular training opportunities on offer to all staff, as well as being encouraged to take up ILM and other appropriate training schemes.
With my job at risk of redundancy, I took the steps to apply to study a degree in event management at my local university, UCLan. Studying an event management degree has not only taught me the fundamentals of event planning, it has made me evaluate the reasons why the event is being organised, what motivations the visitors attending the event and the consequences every action has on the environment and community. I now notice the small touches that go into event planning, looking through different lenses, such as the customer’s, predicting their experiences ensuring each element is enjoyable and to the highest standard.
Of course, with most degrees, students require practical experience, this is where I could apply my theory learnt at university to the event industry, my tutors were great at sending out summer internships and volunteer work, but I wanted to find opportunities for myself, I wanted to build a relationship with local event organisations and have a true interest in their business. I took to twitter to connect with North West event businesses, this is where I came across Insite, Southport based software solutions organisation to the live events industry, something I knew little about but keen to find out more, this is now my second year that I have worked with Michele and the team at Insite, delivering customer facing event management at events such as Cannes Lions on behalf of Google and YouTube, Liverpool Food Festival and E3 Business Expo to name just a few.
It is with thanks to my previous work experiences and training, my outgoing personality and my hard working nature, that I have been fortunate enough to secure international event experience, I have worked with the likes of TM Forum Live in Nice, a telecommunications exhibition and conference, EMA Events in Berlin, a prop-tech conference for the real estate industry and GSA in Dublin, a launch event to dignitaries and investors for their latest student accommodation, these have all given me on the job training, as I learnt at first-hand from the experts, whilst also offering my fresh innovative ideas for development to their events
As much as I enjoy working with others, I wanted to do something where I could work for myself, show off my creativity and finesse for upcycling, which lead me to start my own business ‘A Touch of Grace’, specialising in reclaimed vintage props for hire. This type of adventure has made me realise that my degree in management is not enough to run a business and it has pushed me take part in start-ups and business management courses to ensure I have the best chance of succeeding after graduating.