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Event planning in local communities

Last updated December 12th, 2014

We do love to get out and about here at Event Academy. Our team are always involved in one event or another, so we really do live what we teach! We regularly witness how easy it is to get relevant event planning work experience if you put yourself out there as a volunteer. Not only is it a great thing for your CV and career aspirations, it is also incredibly rewarding.
Last weekend Marketing Manager Kirsten was running the Lewes Artists & Makers fair in aid of Western Road School. This is a locally organised event by mums at the school. That brings together a huge number of local artists and crafts people, giving them a forum to sell their work just before Christmas. The purpose of the event is to raise funds to support the arts and creativity at Western Road School in Lewes. The stallholders make money on their individual stall and pay a commission to the organisers, this then goes into the fundraising pot.
Talking about the event, Kirsten said “The event brings together a wide community of people: artists, teachers, parents and local residents who shop at the fair. Because we are fundraising and make no profit good will is really important, so we work hard to acknowledge everyone’s contribution. As a result, everyone involved feels like part of a community and they want to be involved year after year.”
The event is incredibly successful year on year and this year raised over £7000 for Western Road School. That money goes directly to support arts and creativity initiatives within the school, directly benefiting its pupils.
For anyone thinking about a career in event management who has no idea where to start, volunteering at a local event like this is a fantastic place to begin. The number of arts and crafts collectives and fairs is rising rapidly in the UK, along with other community led events like festivals or local celebrations. Take a look at Same Sky who run the Burning the Clocks events across the country.
They are always looking for volunteers, so get out there and find out what is happening in your local community. The obvious question then: why should you give up your time for free to volunteer at an event like this? What will I get out of it? Volunteering is a brilliant way to get a understanding of how event management works. No matter how small your role, whether you give 1-2 hours or several weekends, you will meet interesting contacts and start learning the organisational skills needed to start running your own events. You will also start to understand the mechanics of promoting events, funding events, venue logistics, ensuring artists / contributors have a reason to bring their work and attendees have a reason to visit and spend their money.
This is the reason we push our students to do as much volunteering as they can fit in their busy schedules! It is an invaluable part of their career path, especially to find out where their strengths and interests lie and really develop them.
The other great thing about volunteering is that there are so many things that need doing that you can choose to help with things that you most enjoy doing. Is it meeting new people and guiding them around a festival? Is it running the onsite cafe? Is it making sure the venue is set up properly? Is it creating artwork for the event flyers? The choice is yours: offer your help with doing what you enjoy.
If you are looking at your career options for when you leave school, or looking to completely change your career take a look at our Foundation course or online course and look at opportunities to get involved in local events as part of a positive career move.
If you already have a University qualification or some event management experience, take a look at our other courses to support you with developing your career.

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