Industry Experts Collaborate on Guide to Address Mistakes Made by Job-Seekers

Every year thousands more graduates flood the jobs market trying to break into the events industry—the wrong way – and a new guide titled ‘Become an Event Planner‘ hopes to tackle this problem. Employers agree that job-seekers need to do far more preparation before approaching them for work experience opportunities or entry-level positions. In an industry that favours experience over education, employers are often underwhelmed by applicants’ efforts to seek out even the most basic experience, before asking employers for help. Inundating potential employers with email requests for work experience are likely to go unanswered.

Other common complaints include: Candidates relying on an event management qualification to sell themselves to an employer; underestimating the importance of experience over education; a lack of on-site experience in support roles; an inability to demonstrate the skills, personal qualities, and attitude that employers are looking for; failing to understanding the role that personal relationships play in the hiring process; not finding creative ways to stand out when approaching employers; resumes that fail to communicate drive and initiative; insufficient preparation for interviews; and an unstructured approach when presenting skills and experience in an interview.

In response, 19 senior event professionals have collaborated on the frank no-nonsense guide that aims to give job-seekers a greater insight into what employers are looking for. Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals, a new book by Matthew James, offers advice and practical steps to follow from event professionals with experience working for some of the industry’s leading players, both in Europe and the USA, including:

Jack Morton Worldwide, George P. Johnson, Imagination, iris Worldwide, Apple, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Linklaters, ACCESS Destination Services, International Travel Group, The Dorchester, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, FremantleMedia, Rhubarb, Chad Hudson Events, The British Red Cross, Rouge Events, The Channel Company (formerly UBM Tech Channel), and ESP Recruitment—the leading recruitment agency for the events industry.

With fierce competition for work experience and entry-level positions, employers have increasingly higher expectations from job-seekers. To truly stand out, candidates need to go the extra mile to demonstrate commitment and drive. Suitable for complete beginners or those who’ve already taken an event course but are struggling to find work, the book is filled with insider tips to give job-seekers the best chance of getting hired.

For more information see


Matthew James is an award-winning event planner, author, and owner of Left Field Productions. With 20 years’ experience in corporate, charity, brand experience, and special events, Matt has produced events for celebrities, including Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stella McCartney, and Kevin Spacey, and a range of brands, charities, and corporate clients, including Canon, Barbie, Montblanc, Chopard, Credit Suisse, Selfridges, and The Red Cross. Prior to starting his own business, Matt began his
event-planning career working on fundraising events for AIDS charity London Lighthouse, before joining the corporate events team at the investment bank Credit Suisse.

The winner of 30 industry awards, Matt is often invited to judge awards and competitions, such as The Eventice; lecture at university event management degree courses; and speak at industry events, including ILEA conferences and trade shows such as International Confex.

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