Event management is one of London’s most exciting industries and it’s easy to see why. The city has everything needed to make an event a success. There are numerous transport links, which make it easy to reach London from pretty much anywhere in the world and easy to get around once you’ve arrived. The city itself is a key hub of both commerce and culture and hence offers a wealth of business facilities and tourist attractions. In particular, there are event venues to suit all tastes, budgets and requirements. The ExCel centre offers massive scale and state-of-the-art infrastructure, high-end hotels offer a variety of complete event packages and numerous quirky and eclectic studio spaces offer intimate and intriguing venues for smaller groups. In addition to this, many of London’s most interesting buildings open to events some of the time, for example the Natural History Museum hosts events after it has closed to the public for the day.
London also has a wealth of talented people who work to make these events a success and more are entering the event management profession all the time. The size and diversity of the industry is mirrored in the number and range of positions on offer. Some are based at a specific location; others involve working in a variety of different venues. Some are entry-level positions; others are more senior and involve managing staff. Some are full-time, permanent positions; others are seasonal, short-term or part-time positions. In other words, whatever your personal circumstances and preferred style of work, if you’re good at thinking on your feet and prepared to go the extra mile in everything you do to ensure that the end result is an unbeatable experience for event attendees, then even management could be a hugely rewarding career for you.
The good news is that there are plenty of event management positions in London. The challenge, therefore, is to get your foot in the door and get that vital first opportunity to show what you can do. With this in mind, it helps to understand event management from a recruiter’s perspective. Fundamentally all recruiters in any industry need answers to three key questions:
Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Will you fit into the team?
Your CV needs to be able to convince a recruiter that the answers to the first two questions are yes in order to proceed to the interview stage, which looks at the third question. Since recruiters are usually working under a lot of time pressure, with the result that CVs tend to be skim-read at high speed, it’s vital to grab their attention early to stand a chance of making it to the next stage. In practical terms there are two ways of doing this. One is to have stand-out experience and the other is to have stand-out training, in particular to be able to state that you have attended one of the CPD-accredited, event management courses in London. This gives a recruiter a clear benchmark of your level of competence and also shows commitment both to the profession and to the process of continuous development and lifelong learning. If at all possible, it is best to attend a classroom-based, tutor-led course as this offers both an optimum learning environment and the opportunity to start developing a network of professional contacts (and maybe even meet some new friends).