My journey into the events industry wasn’t as straightforward as others may have been. I made the transition into events whilst working in publishing which meant that although I wasn’t starting from scratch having had plenty of work experiences across other industries, I still had to google my way through getting into events. The industry revolves around experts and trends, so there’s never enough learning that can be done to make sure you stay relevant as an events manager, but when you’re looking to starting out all you need is information. At least, that’s what I needed.
So similarly to my recent publishing post, I wanted to share my top resources for anyone looking to starting their career in events. These are my go-to resources to stay up-to-date and join the conversation, but by no means a comprehensive list (the events industry is huge). Since event profs take side hustles to the next level, I thought I’d also share some of the wonderful professionals who have shared their skills and empowered us all for a while.
Networks & Communities
Events First Steps – founded by Caitlin, Elena & Priya (you should follow them on social media) this is an amazing organisation aimed at anyone looking to move their first steps in the industry. Alongside their own events, they often support and advertise other industry initiatives and more recently shared their advice virtually (check out their recent IGTV full of great tips here).
Black in Events – aimed at Black events profs, this newly founded network offers support with weekly chats and resources. It was founded by the brilliant Ashanti Bentil-Dhue and Keneisha Williams. You can sign up to their mailing list here.
Eventsprofslive – last but not least, this wonderful network that I joined just before lockdown and has hands down transformed what otherwise would be a rather scary time into an achievable challenge. Run by the amazing Michelle Rees and Kate Bullard, Eventsprofslive offers their members access and information to great venues, suppliers and trends, as well as a warm community of corporate events managers always willing to help each other.
Virtual Events & Chat to Join (FREE)
EventPlannersTalk – this is organised and run by Irina Graf (who’s one of the most inspiring people in the industry and runs The Mice Blog) and it’s been an institution. It’s usually on Twitter but Irina drives the conversation through her other channels as well, so do make sure follow her across all of them. Attend the chat live if you can, but also make sure you look at #eventprofstalk for past conversations and event topics discussed. You won’t regret it!
The Agenda – free to attend, this monthly roundtable draws from the expertise of different event profs to discuss relevant and important topics. It’s usually live streamed with the possibility of asking questions and interacting with other event profs attending. Well worth sign posting the next date in your calendar. The latest one can be watched here (it was amazing, go watch it!).
EventWell Chat – this is a weekly chat on twitter where event profs can share tips and trick to help keeping well, whilst (let’s admit it) working crazy hours and trying to look perfectly put together at all times (the struggle is real). EventWell is a great organisation who offers support and champions wellbeing in the events industry. It’s led by Helen Moon and has many events/initiatives you should make sure to check out.
Inspiring Event Profs to Follow
It goes without saying, but all the people working, volunteering and driving the above initiatives are inspiring beyond belief. I wanted to add some shout outs to people who I have found particularly inspirational on a personal level. Their personal brand as event profs has been immensely helpful to finding my own path in the industry and keeping me going in this strange time.
Sabrina Meyers – queen of social media and one of the nicest people I’ve interacted with in the industry. She is a total power house when it comes to creating content that matters, which is a really difficult thing to find these days, with platforms filled with posts that are only meant to attract numbers. I love engaging with her thoughts and she’s always genuine in her approach to the industry. You can watch her #EventsprofsTogetheratHome here and make sure to follow her across all her platforms (IG link here).
Juliet Tripp – founder of Event Goal Getters, Juliet is unstoppable. I’ve seen her going from strength to strength and following her social media journey has been interesting and empowering. Perhaps what I admire most about Juliet is the way she’s intentional in her growth. You’ll find many enthusiastic people on social media, but few will have the drive and depth of commitment that she has to constantly improving herself as a professional. If you’re interested in events, goal setting or personal development, you have to follow Juliet.
Holly Moore – founder and CEO of Make Events is been such an inspiration during lockdown. She has managed to stay real and honest, whilst facing a huge challenge pivoting her business and keeping her team inspired. I would really encourage you to follow her and her business as they truly represent the grit, creativity and talent that’s so important to become successful in events.
Robert Kenward – CEO of YOU search & select. I don’t know Robert personally, but I have been inspired by his generosity at a time in which the industry has been struggling. He’s offered free advice and support, and used his recruitment expertise to help event profs with 1 to 1 consultations. He’s been honest about his own challenges due to the pandemic and I think it speaks volume that he chose to invest his time helping people at such a tricky time for everyone.
Event Courses & Training
Event Academy – I completed an evening diploma with the Event Academy a while ago now, but I have had the best experience. I was in full time work at the time, so it was challenging to keep all the projects and study going, but not impossible. The course and lecturer created an amazing programme full of industry experts, practical projects and exciting opportunities to volunteer and experience the thrill of being an event prof. I absolutely loved it and I’m still in touch the team. The skills and knowledge I gained were so key to my successful transition into events. Plus, they’ve been doing online courses for a while so they’re well equipped to support you through these strange times as well. You can join one of their open evenings (now virtual) here.
Rachael Kenny – there’s nothing I respect more than a woman that empowers and champions other women. Rachael is one of the most supportive and real people I have met. She runs an amazing website and her blog is filled with useful information as well as very interesting interviews with events industry professionals. If you’re looking to understand more about the industry and the different roles within it, you should check this out.
Finally, if you have not yet watched my YouTube video where I’m sharing my journey in events, you can take a look here.
I will be updating this list as the resources and people who I connect with in the world of events grow, but for now, I hope this helpful and interesting to anyone looking to explore the events industry for the first time.
If you have anyone who inspires you or a resource that you couldn’t do without, please do let me know either by leaving a comment below or via social media. I’d love to make this list grow!