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7 online interviews with event managers to check out

By Yvette McKenzie | 20 February 2019


The events industry in Australia is one that provides plenty of exciting career opportunities for those with a talent and interest in event management. In fact, Most (41%) marketers believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing. This reflects a 32% increase since 2017.

There are 31,400 professionals predicted to be employed in Australia by 2022 in the events management industry, and knowledgeable event managers with three or more years of experience could be earning around $83,000 annually, full-time. As well as this, 62% of senior marketers plan on investing more in live events in the future; both in budget and with the number of events, according to The Bizzabo Blog.

This means that event management is a great career to get into, and many people find themselves gaining accredited qualifications in events as their career demands it. There are many different types of event planners and event managers; some work on corporate events, some specialise in personalised events (such as parties and weddings), some focus on festivals and the music industry, and so much more.

Interviews with Event Managers

  1. Claire Derrick: charity balls and galas.
  2. Andrew at Blueprint: high-end catering.
  3. Charlotte Oliver: event management company CEO.
  4. Steven Duggan: celebrity parties and events.
  5. Krista Strahan: wedding planner.
  6. Alexis Roumeliotis: Muse in-house events manager.
  7. Caroline Howard: corporate events.
If you’re planning a career in events, or if you already work in the industry; here are seven interviews with event managers to check out.

1. Claire Derrick: charity balls and galas.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Director of Education Claire Derrick is a highly qualified events, marketing and training practitioner. In this online interview for Event Academy she advises potential event managers to become “immersed in the event industry” from the start of their careers.

“Potential employers are looking for new recruits who are really interested in the industry and have lots of experience of either attending events, organising them or volunteering at them. It is also essential that you have a level of knowledge of how to logistically put an event together – there is no point in applying for jobs that you are not able to do.”

Her tips for the industry are: have attention to detail; a sense of humour; you must like working with people; have stamina; and be able to take constructive criticism.

2. Andrew at Blueprint: high-end catering.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Andrew is an event planner with a specialty in food and beverage, who has over 10 years in the London event management scene. In this online interview with Event Planning Blueprint he speaks about his experience moving from catering into banquets.

“I gained hands-on experience starting in banquets at a four-star hotel, and throughout the years, planning events was always in the mix of my duties. Planning is what you do before the event, including organising all the details. Managing happens at the time when you run the actual event. I enjoy gaining field experience in all facets of the industry, for example: catering, planning, decor, production, lighting, sound, and audio-visual.”

His tips for the industry are: being able to multi-task and adapt; constant organisation; people skills are very important; you have to know how to handle different situations; and always treat your suppliers with respect.

3. Charlotte Oliver: event management company CEO.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Charlotte Oliver has a BA in fashion and business from the University of Kent, and says she has learned most of what she knows about business events through practical experience, and by watching others. In this interview for Guff Business, she talks about the dos and don’ts of events.

“These are some dos and don’ts for the event industry in particular. Do be prepared to work when everyone else is having fun. Try to be present in the moment and not to take things for granted. You can still enjoy the buzz of an event if you are there for work. Don’t underestimate the importance of small details. Clients and guests at an event will always notice if something is out of place.”

Her tips for the industry are: be a ‘glass half full’ character; take risks; don’t worry too much about what tomorrow could bring; believe in the importance of attention to detail; and lead by example; no job should be too big or small.

4. Steven Duggan: celebrity parties and events.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Celebrity event planner Steven Duggan has embarked on a lot of interesting projects in his career. He operates his own events company, organising events for big name celebrities. In this interview with Total Jobs he advises potential event managers to make people’s dreams become a reality.

“There are many skills which you need to have to be a successful event planner because the job role itself is so diverse and you need to be in control of any situation. You should first and foremost be confident and a people person. You are constantly in contact with other people, negotiating with suppliers or meeting with a famous client so you have to be able to meet them all and be professional at all times.”

His tips for the industry are: you need to be organised; be able to have a million things on your mind;  know exactly where everything is going and when; be able to keep calm; if you can’t deal well with stress you’re in the wrong game!

5. Krista Strahan: wedding planner.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Krista Strahan, is a Washington DC based wedding planner, who funded her own planning company. Here she speaks in an interview with Broomstick Wed Blog about what drew her to events, and why she thinks it’s an amazing industry.

“I am very organised and I love how all the small details of weddings come together in the end. It also doesn’t hurt that I benefit from having high-functioning OCD! For me, each client is a splendid representation of their unique background, passions and life journey. Every wedding is inherently diverse - because every couple is different. The wedding day is a time to showcase that individuality.”

Her tips for the industry are: be organised and patient; remember that you have one chance to make your day memorable; always take the utmost care; use your professional perspective to advise your clients; and pull together a seamless timeline.

6. Alexis Roumeliotis: Muse in-house events manager.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Millennial Alexis Roumeliotis works for one of the world’s most lauded career profiler companies and is charged with putting on events ranging from small and bespoke, to large and complex. Here, she talks about her daily work load in an interview with the Muse blog.  

“You have to know your strengths and learn the best way to showcase them when applying for jobs you want. [You have to] be creative and try to separate yourself from the rest of the applicants. Send examples of actual work you’ve done (pictures, PowerPoints, news articles) that you might’ve been featured in or worked on as a part of a past role. These things will put you ahead of others.”

Her tips for the industry are: discuss goals with stakeholders and have clear success metrics; walk clients through the plan and schedule; make sure you chatt with clients who attended; think about how to partner up for future events; plan what the takeaway or message to guests should be.

7. Caroline Howard: corporate events.

7 online interviews with event managers to check out

Caroline Howard has planned 4,000 attendee corporate events, and writes about the experience in her blog. In this interview for CVent she takes us through a week in her life as a busy corporate event planner, and the highs and lows of the industry.

“Producing events is a huge part of my job; these events include trade shows, customer and hotel success groups, client training sessions, and seminars. I work to ensure that everything supposed to be at an event is there. This takes serious organisation and communication with multiple different types of people. Some days I am attending a walkthrough of a local venue, others times I find myself discussing catering options with potential vendors.”

Her tips for the industry are: work with a budget; manage invoices and have an eye for mistakes; make sure you have a contract in place; there is always room for negotiating; print everything out and take documentation with you just in case.

Learn more about Event Management

Upskilled offers a range of courses in event management to give you the skills you need to succeed in the industry, in a self-paced, online format. This means you can study as you work, or gain the skills you need in your own time.

The 81293M Bachelor of Business (Event Management) is an online and campus-based course, that covers the full scope of managing events, business marketing, and business practice principles. The SIT50316 Diploma of Event Management is 100% online, and sets students on the path to a dream job by getting the accredited skills needed to work in event management.
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