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Who should I be watching in Events?

Last updated May 25th, 2016

You may have heard it said that the events industry is all about people and relationships. It’s completely true and don’t let that intimidate you. We spoke to seasoned events veteran, Alex Webb, to get her take on it and how being people-focused opens up massive opportunities for your career progression.

“Grand Prix cars racing around Manchester’s city centre for a day – I made it happen”

Back in 2006, Alex was the Event Director for the Sky TV Festival in Manchester. She started her career in event management in 2000, so in 6 years she’d worked her way up to Event Director for a huge festival involving 36 separate events to promote 31 Sky channels over 3 days. Directing a team of 20 people Alex planned and implemented events to give audiences a chance to stop watching and instead live the TV channels they love.
For National Geographic, Alex masterminded a series of pods around the city with completely different environments, like living pop up museums giving visitors the chance to walk straight into a nature documentary. For Sky Sports Alex and her team worked with the local council to create a safe racing track for A1 Grand Prix cars, including changing the direction of a one way street for the day! If anyone is going to be the rebel who ignores the usual rules, it will definitely be an event manager …

“If you can prove you’re a safe pair of hands, you’ll keep getting offers of work”

Alex started her career in event management in corporate employee engagement events with a love of lists and organising. She has always loved working with people, anticipating what they’ll need and being able to help even before they’ve asked for it. She established her talent early on: as a super organised, safe pair of hands who can be trusted to deliver on the brief. The thing to remember about the events industry is that once your work is known you’ll be talked about.
People to watch include ANYONE doing a good job, no matter where they are in their career. Do a good job and you’ll be recommended and sought out by people who’ve seen you in action. Alex’s top tip is to think about who you can do your best work with. For example, Alex is super organised and is actually a ninja when it comes to getting stuff done. She works really well with a more creative type to bounce ideas around with. The result is the best possible creative ideas, delivered in a way that works in the real world, to time and to budget. Teamwork like this leads to connections that will support you throughout your whole career.

Keep your eye on the Event Managers – blink and you’ll miss them

The other thing about people watching in the events industry is that event managers never stay still for long! Alex says she learned so much from running events from how to secure the best ad coverage, how to pull a brand together for a one off event to how to manage a team of people to get the best out of them.
As Alex’s life has changed (she is now a parent) she’s taken the skills learned through event management and is shaping her work to suit her lifestyle. Now working on creating intensive one week programmes for graduates wanting to move from student to business, she’s using her experience to accelerate others and make the most of their careers. Her ethos is to get graduates in any industry off to a flying start and making an impact from day one in the job. It just goes to show: what you can do with event management experience is as varied as the people on this planet.
Alex’s final piece of advice for anyone working in events (or anywhere else for that matter!):

“Treat everyone around you as equals – you never know when you may need to call on their help.”

 

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