Five Things Managers Can Do to Help Their Teams


Holly Moore, Make Events

Holly
 has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series


Managing wellness in your team is essential to ensure your team are happy and are working to the best of their ability. Event professionals work in stressful environments a lot of the time and the day runs away from us before we’ve even had a chance to get to the bottom of our to-do list.

Here are a few ways that I try to encourage the Make Events team to take care of themselves day to day.


1. FITNESS

Although I’m a gym bunny now, I didn’t get into fitness until I was 30. I wish I’d discovered it much earlier because now I understand the benefits. I love to go to the gym before work, it sets me up for the day and it means I can deal with whatever curve ball the day brings as I know my workout is out of the way.

People that work out have more energy both mentally and physically. It takes willpower and discipline to work out which are great traits in any work force, so this should be encouraged.

To inspire the team to work out we have given them a gym membership as part of their employee benefits programme. If your business can’t stretch to this why not start a running club or bring a fitness coach to your office and have a class there.



2. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

Right now 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress in the UK. We spend so much time at work so it’s no surprise that it affects our health. The first thing you can do as a manager is to make it clear that mental and physical wellness are respected and treated the same way in your organisation.

It is important for companies to understand that mental illnesses are common in every office. At Make Events, we have strategies in place that support when people aren’t feeling quite on par and work on what would be best for them in that moment. Whether it’s taking some time out of the office to clear their mind, working from home or working in our meeting room for some alone time; there needs to be a dialogue where your employee can feel comfortable without fear. Providing mentoring or on-the- job
coaching also helps to develop this relationship.

If a colleague chooses to go onto medication, as an employer you must be aware of the initial side effects such as forgetfulness or lack of attention span; try to work around these. Ask the question, how can I support you to be your best during this time?

NHS support can take a long time to come to fruition, if you offer private health care, make sure the team are aware that they can use this to speed up the process. Be smart – many people with mental health issues are often perfectionists and creative…sounds like the perfect Event Professional to me – keep hold of them!


3. GET MOVING

Moving from your desk and not staring at a computer screen all day can really clear your head. I encourage the team to take breaks often and you’ll find that it actually increases productivity. They like to take a walk to the local shops at lunch for fresh air or to get their steps up.  Why not put a treadmill in the office?  People can walk while taking calls. If you can afford, Apple watches are great for onsite as you can check for messages without looking at your phone (a pet hate of mine on site) they can also then measure their steps each day. Why don’t you set up a competition for the most steps that month?


4. SNACKS IN THE OFFICE

As an events agency, suppliers are always arriving with treats! When it’s Hotel Chocolat, its game over! We also get offered a lot of delicious food and drinks when attending events or FAM trips, so taking a back seat on healthy eating can sometimes be far too easy. To combat this, we have instant porridge pots in stock for breakfast; a Nutribullet and protein powder; as well as tea and coffee, herbal and green teas as well as non-dairy milks. We also have healthy baking competitions!

We bought the team 3-litre refillable water bottles and have a water cooler in the office where the team are encouraged to have as many ice-cold glasses to refresh and revitalise their mind.



5. POSITIVITY

I have always been a big believer in work hard be nice. The biggest overall thing I have tried to do is grow a positive culture.  Everyone that comes to work here says it is like a little family.  Our policy is transparency; we give real time feedback and don’t store up
negative feedback for a one to one. Positive feedback from clients is instantly shared. No one ever feels like there’s an upstairs downstairs policy; the team are included in decisions.  Information is always shared with them.

One team member commented “there are no coasters here which makes for such a good working environment” This kind of environment allows people to be themselves and feel comfortable and included in the work place which can minimize stress and anxiety.

We spend most of our week in work, and as an events agency, it is never a normal 9-5. Promoting wellness in the office and being effective in your management will open a dialogue, and this is fundamental.

The Power of Meditation


Alex Beiner, TBA Plc

Alex has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series


As event professionals, we have the enviable task of taking concepts and bringing them to life in the real world. We create things you can see and touch; things you experience through the body, not just passively experience on TV or online.

As a mindfulness meditation teacher and an event professional, I’ve always thought this creates an interesting intersection with mindfulness. Mindfulness is hugely effective in not just relieving stress in the moment, but changing how we react to future stressors. The reason it links so closely with the kind of work we do is that we become mindful by coming into the body; we use non-judgemental awareness to come into the present moment, which is experienced through the senses.

But in the fast-paced world of events, with deadlines and fires to put out all the time, how can you help your team be more mindful, and by extension, less stressed and more effective?

 

1. Understand what stress is

To support your team, you need to know a bit about the science of stress. Your body has an autonomic nervous system responsible for involuntary activities like heart rate and respiration. It includes two interrelated ‘strands’: the PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) and the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System). The SNS is responsible for your ‘fight or flight’ response. When activated, your body secretes hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, diverts blood to the limbs, dilates the pupils and increases the heart rate.

We have evolved this response to survive, and it served our ancestors well when they encountered a hungry tiger in the jungle. However, the SNS isn’t picky. It will activate just as readily to a difficult client, or a supplier sending the wrong piece of kit. We call this initial stressor the ‘first dart’. The second dart comes when we replay the first dart in our heads, thereby releasing the same chemicals all over again and creating a cycle of reaction and stress. This cycle builds on itself until the body can’t handle any more and we burn out

 

2. Create opportunities to break the stress cycle

If you don’t give your team a way to release their stress hormones, they will build until they get sick, disengaged or too stressed to think effectively..

Mindfulness meditation breaks the stress cycle by creating distance between the stressor and our reaction to it – moving from autopilot into conscious decision. Have a professional teach your team some simple mindfulness techniques they can use on-site and in the office. The PNS can be activated in as little as 3 minutes, and there’s always an opportunity to come into the body and focus on the breath no matter how busy we are. As Zen philosopher Alan Watts said – “If you can’t meditate in a boiler room, you can’t meditate.” Teaching your team practical mindfulness skills allows them to take personal responsibility for their own well-being.

 

3. Create a mindful culture

This is perhaps the most important element of all. The culture of your agency or company needs to be one that recognises and promotes well-being. If people are working in an environment that encourages reflection, introspection and vulnerability, people won’t feel they need to mull over their stressors without any support. Nothing is quite as effective in relieving stress as a combination of mindful awareness and sharing your concerns and ideas in a free and open environment. Human beings thrive in communities – so make your workplace a supportive community that gives people the time to connect with themselves and one another.

 

In summary, helping your team feel more focused and relaxed is about much more than giving them some downtime. It’s achieved through understanding the biology of stress and relaxation, giving them opportunities to break the stress cycle, and most importantly, creating a culture built around well-being. These cultures are more productive, more creative and enjoy higher staff retention – and it’s as simple as giving your team space to breathe.

Senior Leaders to Gather at Inaugural Business of Events Forum

Leaders in the business events sector will come together to discuss future market opportunities and challenges at a conference, supported by the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and VisitBritain.

The Business of Events, held on the 3 November 2017 in London, will engage, inform and inspire senior leaders from across the industry. They will hear from government and industry representatives about future plans to support the sector, and learn more about VisitBritain’s strategy to attract more international business events. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to discuss ways in which future market challenges can be overcome, and opportunities for growth maximised.

Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the BVEP said: “Through an industry engagement group. the Business Visits and Events Partnership is delighted to support this important gathering of industry leaders and those who can influence policies that will enhance the success of the business events sector. There has never been a more important time than now for the industry to demonstrate it can showcase Britain’s trading opportunities through attracting world-class conferences and exhibitions”.

VisitBritain Director Robin Johnson said: “We welcome this opportunity to engage with leaders of the UK’s business events sector and key stakeholders on how we can position Britain as the most desirable business events destination, and maintain our international competitiveness. “This sector plays a crucial role in the UK economy and we are continually working to grow the industry’s value to Britain.”

In addition to the conference, a parliamentary reception and dinner will take place on 2 November, attended by industry leaders, senior members of parliament and government officials. The conference will be held at QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster. VisitScotland, London & Partners, ibtm events and Cvent are also supporting the event.

Find Others in the ILEA Community at IMEX

ILEA UK Members, Giant iTab, will be on full display at IMEX Frankfurt this week. The team will be in good company as well with fellow ILEA members and board members once again filling up the educational and thought leadership programme throughout the international exhibition.

You’ll be able to find ILEA, both UK and international, at IMEX through Giant iTab’s awesome wayfinding service. The exhibition’s Event App will be displayed on Giant iTabs throughout the halls of the show and at the new, purpose built, Information Zone at the entrance to Hall 9, underlining just why the company continue to trail blaze globally in the meetings and live events industry.

So, if you’re lost, or just want to know more about event tech and how it can help us secure more engagement and interaction at events; look out for the folk at Giant iTab.

In the meantime, check out the IMEX educational programme and play your own game of ‘spot the ILEA member’ …

A Head Space™ to Host First Event at Rosewood Hotel

A Head Space™ invite us all to take time out of the day-to-day whirlwind to share ideas and network with like minded sales folk. The first forum is being held on Friday 17th of Feb, 8.30am-11am, at Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn.

As we know, the art and science of great selling doesn’t just come from training or books. It comes from innovative, like-minded people sharing ideas on how best to approach a customer or prospect. A Head Space™ was created to give people the opportunity to learn and share with sales people from different walks of life in a relaxed atmosphere with no other agenda.

A Head Space™ is free to attend and is designed with you in mind. It is your time out of the office to develop your sales technique by learning, discussing and sharing with senior sales folk from different industries and walks of life. However – it isn’t a place for selling – it’s simply a place for meeting like minded people and building networks.

All you need to bring with you is plenty of business cards and an open mind. Places are limited so register to attend now and avoid disappointment.

ILEA UK to Help Fuel International Confex 2017

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with International Confex to create a series of educational sessions that form part of the exhibition’s comprehensive seminar programme.

Our speakers will cover topics ranging from event technology trends, entrepreneurship, social media and content curation and include speakers from across the live experience industry. Emma Brunjes, creator of the Alice Underground immersive theatre production, as well as the Sherlock exhibitions will be one of the key sessions in the marketing theatre. In addition, Jason Allan Scott, presenter of the internationally acclaimed ‘The GuestList Podcast’ will be presenting in the keynote theatre on ’in-trepreneurship’.

Within the Associations Theatre, TFI Group and The Personal Finance Society will present the meetings and events industry launch of the ‘Festival of Finance’. This Q&A session will feature an interview with The Personal Finance Society on its approach to national meetings and events, and how this led to the creation of the first Festival of Finance, set to take place 7th – 8th November 2017.

Meanwhile, Gavin Williams of Quander, will be sharing his views on the future of event technology as he talks about tech bin-dipping. Elena Clowes, Operations Manager of ILEA UK will be joining Jason Allan Scott again in the #EventTech Theatre for a session presenting 20 social media hacks for event professionals.

ILEA UK will also be exhibiting at the event alongside YaHire and Giant iTab to bring the seminars back onto the exhibition floor through Facebook Live.

Don’t forget to register for your place HERE. We look forward to seeing you there!

Business Visits and Events Central to UK Tourism Industrial Strategy

Business visits and events are set to play a crucial role within the UK tourism industry’s submission for a sector deal as part of the Government’s emerging post-Brexit Industrial Strategy.

In an extensive document agreed by the Tourism Industry Council, increasing Britain’s global market share in business visits and events is cited as one of the key activities in boosting productivity by extending the tourism season year-round.

Proposals are also included for the building of a national programme of events to showcase Britain’s business and cultural excellence and expertise. Direct action and support would be strategically planned with the Business Department (BEIS), Foreign Office (FCO), Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Department of International Trade (DIT).

The tourism submission acknowledges that Britain currently lags behind its competition and that a full review of Government financial support and new, longer term planning operating cross departmentally is critical to future resilience and success. Additionally there is acknowledgement that business visits and events support other key sectors and boost Britain’s image overseas.

The submission also suggests that a best practice programme could help to make Britain the most attractive destination globally within 10 years. Business visits have successfully increased the season in competitor markets and boosted overall productivity. Furthermore the submission urges the Government to facilitate cooperation and coordination between UK Visas and Immigration, DIT, Border Force, DMOs and airports to meet the demands of major events and conventions.

Amongst other areas dealt with in the submission is a 10 year tourism and hospitality skills, campaign, the creation of tourism zones and a significant improvement of connectivity to make it easier to travel to destinations and explore more of the UK.

Chairman of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, Michael Hirst OBE, said:

“The process of putting forward a sector deal for tourism has put business visits and events right at the heart of the Government’s industrial strategy. This is a major step forward in recognising the importance of our industry as a major contributor to productivity, trade and economic benefit. We are not a “nice-to-have” sector but a “must-have” provider of competitive advantage to Britain plc”.

Representatives from the business visits and events sector were very much involved in the consultation process. Michael Hirst, Chairman and Simon Hughes, Vice Chair of the BVEP both participated in the Working Groups that contributed to the final proposals, which were co-ordinated on behalf of the Tourism Industry by VisitBritain.

The next stage will see the proposals considered by the Business Department with a response as to whether UK Tourism receives a Sector Deal in November.

For more information about the process and the full submission, click HERE.

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 www.becomeaneventplanner.org

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.

Present Communications Acquire Alpha Media Events

Present Communications Ltd are quickly becoming the ‘go-to’ technical supplier in the UK for quality webcasting services. Their highly skilled engineers work with trade partners around the UK, Europe and the world to provide live streaming video production for end clients in a number of exciting sectors.

As a part of their expansion in this sector, they have announced their acquisition of Alpha Media Events Ltd. Managing Director of Alpha Media Events Ltd, Dan Dexter, will join Present Communications Ltd as Director of Webcasting.

Dan brings with him a decade of experience in live events and webcasting including 360 and has a particular interest in public sector events and accessible webcasting.

Kieron Garlic, Managing Director of Present Communications said of the acquisition: ‘We’re really looking forward to working with Dan and his team in exploring and merging our various technologies to bring clients a better experience’

‘Present Communications Ltd aims to be the most respected and trusted technical support business for live events, providing a superior service to its trade customers. We look forward to Dan continuing to exceed client expectations for years to come.’

All-Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry Reconfirmed

The continuation of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry (APPG) following the summer recess has been formally confirmed by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The core members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry (APPG) remain the same, following the group’s AGM earlier this year.

Those holding formal positions on the Group are confirmed as:

· Chair James Heappey MP (Conservative)
· Vice Chair Christian Matheson MP (Labour)
· Vice Chair Viscount Waverley (Crossbench)
· Officer Chris Davies MP (Conservative)
· Officer Nigel Huddleston MP (Conservative)

Welcoming the continuation of the APPG, James Heappey MP said:

“I’m determined that the APPG will continue to keep the concerns of the events industry high on the Parliamentary agenda at this important time for the sector. I know this coming Parliamentary year will be a busy one for all of us and I’m delighted that so many of my colleagues have stepped up to the plate and shown their enthusiasm in keeping the group going. But we have no limit on our numbers so if you want your local MP to join our group and support your work, drop them a line and encourage them to sign. I look forward to hearing from as many people as possible about the opportunities for keeping Britain’s event businesses as competitive as possible – both now and into the future”.

The formal purpose of the cross-party APPG is:

· To represent the UK events industry in Parliament;
· To highlight the value of the industry;
· To engage with politicians and industry representatives; and
· To ensure that the UK benefits from the success of large internationally prominent events.

Communications and marketing agency Davies Tanner will continue to be the official registered Secretariat and Special Advisors to the APPG. A new programme of meetings for the forthcoming Parliamentary year will be confirmed shortly.

Five Things Managers Can Do to Help Their Teams


Holly Moore, Make Events

Holly
 has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series


Managing wellness in your team is essential to ensure your team are happy and are working to the best of their ability. Event professionals work in stressful environments a lot of the time and the day runs away from us before we’ve even had a chance to get to the bottom of our to-do list.

Here are a few ways that I try to encourage the Make Events team to take care of themselves day to day.


1. FITNESS

Although I’m a gym bunny now, I didn’t get into fitness until I was 30. I wish I’d discovered it much earlier because now I understand the benefits. I love to go to the gym before work, it sets me up for the day and it means I can deal with whatever curve ball the day brings as I know my workout is out of the way.

People that work out have more energy both mentally and physically. It takes willpower and discipline to work out which are great traits in any work force, so this should be encouraged.

To inspire the team to work out we have given them a gym membership as part of their employee benefits programme. If your business can’t stretch to this why not start a running club or bring a fitness coach to your office and have a class there.



2. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

Right now 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress in the UK. We spend so much time at work so it’s no surprise that it affects our health. The first thing you can do as a manager is to make it clear that mental and physical wellness are respected and treated the same way in your organisation.

It is important for companies to understand that mental illnesses are common in every office. At Make Events, we have strategies in place that support when people aren’t feeling quite on par and work on what would be best for them in that moment. Whether it’s taking some time out of the office to clear their mind, working from home or working in our meeting room for some alone time; there needs to be a dialogue where your employee can feel comfortable without fear. Providing mentoring or on-the- job
coaching also helps to develop this relationship.

If a colleague chooses to go onto medication, as an employer you must be aware of the initial side effects such as forgetfulness or lack of attention span; try to work around these. Ask the question, how can I support you to be your best during this time?

NHS support can take a long time to come to fruition, if you offer private health care, make sure the team are aware that they can use this to speed up the process. Be smart – many people with mental health issues are often perfectionists and creative…sounds like the perfect Event Professional to me – keep hold of them!


3. GET MOVING

Moving from your desk and not staring at a computer screen all day can really clear your head. I encourage the team to take breaks often and you’ll find that it actually increases productivity. They like to take a walk to the local shops at lunch for fresh air or to get their steps up.  Why not put a treadmill in the office?  People can walk while taking calls. If you can afford, Apple watches are great for onsite as you can check for messages without looking at your phone (a pet hate of mine on site) they can also then measure their steps each day. Why don’t you set up a competition for the most steps that month?


4. SNACKS IN THE OFFICE

As an events agency, suppliers are always arriving with treats! When it’s Hotel Chocolat, its game over! We also get offered a lot of delicious food and drinks when attending events or FAM trips, so taking a back seat on healthy eating can sometimes be far too easy. To combat this, we have instant porridge pots in stock for breakfast; a Nutribullet and protein powder; as well as tea and coffee, herbal and green teas as well as non-dairy milks. We also have healthy baking competitions!

We bought the team 3-litre refillable water bottles and have a water cooler in the office where the team are encouraged to have as many ice-cold glasses to refresh and revitalise their mind.



5. POSITIVITY

I have always been a big believer in work hard be nice. The biggest overall thing I have tried to do is grow a positive culture.  Everyone that comes to work here says it is like a little family.  Our policy is transparency; we give real time feedback and don’t store up
negative feedback for a one to one. Positive feedback from clients is instantly shared. No one ever feels like there’s an upstairs downstairs policy; the team are included in decisions.  Information is always shared with them.

One team member commented “there are no coasters here which makes for such a good working environment” This kind of environment allows people to be themselves and feel comfortable and included in the work place which can minimize stress and anxiety.

We spend most of our week in work, and as an events agency, it is never a normal 9-5. Promoting wellness in the office and being effective in your management will open a dialogue, and this is fundamental.

How to Avoid Burnout at the Beginning of Your Career

Priya Narain, Boulevard Events
Priya has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series


Before I start I think it is very important to distinguish the difference between stress and burnout. If you Google it there are a plethora of explanations, but quite simply:

Burnout is a cycle of negative emotions, paralysis and withdrawal… Stress, on the other hand, involves too many pressures that demand too much from you either physically or psychologically. It is therefore clear that burnout can be the result of excessive stress. Starting out in a new job or even a new career can be quite stressful, so what can you do to avoid that leading to burnout? I do not claim to be an expert in this field, but here are my thoughts:

1) IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO… IS IT REALLY A JOB?
Firstly, you will have to ask yourself if you actually love what you do. Admittedly there are long hours in events and it is not as glamorous as you may first think, however, that feeling of seeing an event (or brief) all the way through from inception to execution is somewhat gratifying. So ask yourself, why are you in the events industry, what do you want to get out of it etc. If you don’t love what you do, and this goes for any industry, then your job becomes a chore and you will soon learn to hate it and suffer burn out much more quickly. If you are not a fan of Monday mornings and the thought of going into work fills you with dread then you should speak to someone. Perhaps your skills are not being utilised to the best of your abilities, or perhaps you would benefit from additional training or learning the ropes in a different department. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions as your employer will also want to see the best of you as you will be more productive.


2) AVOID LONG HOURS AND GET SOME SLEEP

At the beginning of your career, there is a high chance you are more likely to put in longer hours. This may be to impress your new boss or colleagues, or perhaps you are trying to prove to yourself that you can do the job at hand. Either way, if you are consistently putting in over 80 hours week this is likely to lead to burnout and other possible health issues.

If you are feeling overloaded at work then in the first instance you should speak to your line manager to explain the difficulties and how it is affecting you. If your performance is being questioned then perhaps you have been given unreasonable targets and this needs to be addressed. You also need to be to let go of your work load and projects and see if anything can be delegated to other members of your team; utilising the strengths of your team can also mean that the project is being delivered to the highest possible specs. Although we are an industry that is used to saying yes, either to our colleagues or clients, in essence, you need to know when to say no and stop working
(and don’t fall into the habit at answering emails at ridiculous o’clock otherwise people will think this is the norm and will continue to expect this from you moving forward.)

Following on from this you need to understand and embrace the importance of sleep. Sleep is essential to the maintenance of not just your physical but also psychological health as good sleeping habits allow your body to rest and recover. Continued poor sleep can affect the brain’s function and lead to problems such as forgetfulness, irritability or lack of concentration, as well as having a negative impact on your energy levels, mood, performance and enjoyment of life which are of course not good traits to have in the events world (or in any world really).

Evidence shows that naps can also help to prevent burnout. By taking a power nap you can refresh and reset yourself and get that needed burst of alertness to tackle the rest of the day. We know this isn’t always possible especially if you are out on client site, however, don’t feel guilty if you need to take a moment to rest up (as long as you let someone know where you are!).

If you know that you will be working late on an event book a taxi for when you are finished so that you get home sooner (and safer), or book into a nearby hotel so that you can lay your head down sooner. Also, speak to your manager to see if you can come in late the next day too.


3) LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

Work alone does not define who you are and you need to know when to switch off. The interests and hobbies you have also play their part in building your character so don’t let these fade away; ensure you make time for them. Finding time in itself can be quite stressful especially if you have deadlines looming but this is where your impeccable organisational skills (we’ve all written this on our CVs!!) come in to play. Organise your day, prioritise your workload, delegate tasks to other members of your team, free up some you time. Get out there and have some fun with a capital F!

This could mean going to the gym, catching up and socialising with friends and family, full on raving, basically anything that allows you to switch off and not think about work for a while. You may not realise it at the time but these hobbies and interests are developing your mindset and skills and are contributing to making you a happier you – learning a new hobby can boost your self- confidence and help you stay well. It also means that when you are back at work sat at your desk you will feel more refreshed and accomplished and ready to tackle the task ahead.


4) MAINTAIN YOUR GENERAL WELL-BEING

Okay, so I realise this sounds so cliché and has been discussed at great lengths during #Eventwell17 week, but it is all for good reason. A healthy self equals a healthy mind and all that jazz – eat well, exercise regularly, create a work life balance etc. Without sounding like a party pooper a lot can be said for reducing your alcohol intake and avoiding tobacco and recreational drugs.

Exercising releases endorphins – your ‘feel good’ hormones that can improve your mood. This doesn’t have to be a hard-core workout at the gym, but it can quite simply be going for a walk or dancing on a night out. If you can find an activity that you enjoy stick with it

Learning a relaxation technique, such as breathing exercises, yoga or meditation, can also help you relax and reduce stress levels. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them they become easier to manage.

General well-being paves the way for you to feel more comfortable and confident with yourself; when you feel confident you feel like you can take on anything and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is a fantastic feeling. You are better able to build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with people whether this is on a personal level or a professional one. You can contribute effectively to your workload and tasks and be more productive – no employer in their right mind will want to extinguish this.

Most importantly it can also help you to identify, confront and cope with the stresses you face so you can hopefully nip it in the bud before it leads to burnout.


5) CONCLUSION

It’s all very easy to say that you should love your job in order for you to avoid burnout however first and foremost you should love yourself (I realise this sounds so cliché but it is so true!). This is not selfish, it is not narcissistic; it is fully appreciating who you are and placing value on what you do.

Do not be afraid to open up and speak to people should you start feeling overwhelmed at work, whether this is your manager, colleague or family and friends. An issue cannot be addressed if it is unknown. Look after yourself and take time out just for you to relax and unwind. Your general well-being is of great importance, not only because this reflects in the work that you produce, but it can help you identify the signs when things go wrong to avoid burnout.

If things are not improving at work or you’re just not happy with what you are doing don’t be afraid to jump ship. If your current role is not working out for you, it’s not too late to try something new. It’s never too late – take it from someone who knows.

How to Avoid Burnout at the Beginning of Your Career

Priya Narain, Boulevard Events
Priya has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series


Before I start I think it is very important to distinguish the difference between stress and burnout. If you Google it there are a plethora of explanations, but quite simply:

Burnout is a cycle of negative emotions, paralysis and withdrawal… Stress, on the other hand, involves too many pressures that demand too much from you either physically or psychologically. It is therefore clear that burnout can be the result of excessive stress. Starting out in a new job or even a new career can be quite stressful, so what can you do to avoid that leading to burnout? I do not claim to be an expert in this field, but here are my thoughts:

1) IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO… IS IT REALLY A JOB?
Firstly, you will have to ask yourself if you actually love what you do. Admittedly there are long hours in events and it is not as glamorous as you may first think, however, that feeling of seeing an event (or brief) all the way through from inception to execution is somewhat gratifying. So ask yourself, why are you in the events industry, what do you want to get out of it etc. If you don’t love what you do, and this goes for any industry, then your job becomes a chore and you will soon learn to hate it and suffer burn out much more quickly. If you are not a fan of Monday mornings and the thought of going into work fills you with dread then you should speak to someone. Perhaps your skills are not being utilised to the best of your abilities, or perhaps you would benefit from additional training or learning the ropes in a different department. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions as your employer will also want to see the best of you as you will be more productive.


2) AVOID LONG HOURS AND GET SOME SLEEP

At the beginning of your career, there is a high chance you are more likely to put in longer hours. This may be to impress your new boss or colleagues, or perhaps you are trying to prove to yourself that you can do the job at hand. Either way, if you are consistently putting in over 80 hours week this is likely to lead to burnout and other possible health issues.

If you are feeling overloaded at work then in the first instance you should speak to your line manager to explain the difficulties and how it is affecting you. If your performance is being questioned then perhaps you have been given unreasonable targets and this needs to be addressed. You also need to be to let go of your work load and projects and see if anything can be delegated to other members of your team; utilising the strengths of your team can also mean that the project is being delivered to the highest possible specs. Although we are an industry that is used to saying yes, either to our colleagues or clients, in essence, you need to know when to say no and stop working
(and don’t fall into the habit at answering emails at ridiculous o’clock otherwise people will think this is the norm and will continue to expect this from you moving forward.)

Following on from this you need to understand and embrace the importance of sleep. Sleep is essential to the maintenance of not just your physical but also psychological health as good sleeping habits allow your body to rest and recover. Continued poor sleep can affect the brain’s function and lead to problems such as forgetfulness, irritability or lack of concentration, as well as having a negative impact on your energy levels, mood, performance and enjoyment of life which are of course not good traits to have in the events world (or in any world really).

Evidence shows that naps can also help to prevent burnout. By taking a power nap you can refresh and reset yourself and get that needed burst of alertness to tackle the rest of the day. We know this isn’t always possible especially if you are out on client site, however, don’t feel guilty if you need to take a moment to rest up (as long as you let someone know where you are!).

If you know that you will be working late on an event book a taxi for when you are finished so that you get home sooner (and safer), or book into a nearby hotel so that you can lay your head down sooner. Also, speak to your manager to see if you can come in late the next day too.


3) LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

Work alone does not define who you are and you need to know when to switch off. The interests and hobbies you have also play their part in building your character so don’t let these fade away; ensure you make time for them. Finding time in itself can be quite stressful especially if you have deadlines looming but this is where your impeccable organisational skills (we’ve all written this on our CVs!!) come in to play. Organise your day, prioritise your workload, delegate tasks to other members of your team, free up some you time. Get out there and have some fun with a capital F!

This could mean going to the gym, catching up and socialising with friends and family, full on raving, basically anything that allows you to switch off and not think about work for a while. You may not realise it at the time but these hobbies and interests are developing your mindset and skills and are contributing to making you a happier you – learning a new hobby can boost your self- confidence and help you stay well. It also means that when you are back at work sat at your desk you will feel more refreshed and accomplished and ready to tackle the task ahead.


4) MAINTAIN YOUR GENERAL WELL-BEING

Okay, so I realise this sounds so cliché and has been discussed at great lengths during #Eventwell17 week, but it is all for good reason. A healthy self equals a healthy mind and all that jazz – eat well, exercise regularly, create a work life balance etc. Without sounding like a party pooper a lot can be said for reducing your alcohol intake and avoiding tobacco and recreational drugs.

Exercising releases endorphins – your ‘feel good’ hormones that can improve your mood. This doesn’t have to be a hard-core workout at the gym, but it can quite simply be going for a walk or dancing on a night out. If you can find an activity that you enjoy stick with it

Learning a relaxation technique, such as breathing exercises, yoga or meditation, can also help you relax and reduce stress levels. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them they become easier to manage.

General well-being paves the way for you to feel more comfortable and confident with yourself; when you feel confident you feel like you can take on anything and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is a fantastic feeling. You are better able to build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with people whether this is on a personal level or a professional one. You can contribute effectively to your workload and tasks and be more productive – no employer in their right mind will want to extinguish this.

Most importantly it can also help you to identify, confront and cope with the stresses you face so you can hopefully nip it in the bud before it leads to burnout.


5) CONCLUSION

It’s all very easy to say that you should love your job in order for you to avoid burnout however first and foremost you should love yourself (I realise this sounds so cliché but it is so true!). This is not selfish, it is not narcissistic; it is fully appreciating who you are and placing value on what you do.

Do not be afraid to open up and speak to people should you start feeling overwhelmed at work, whether this is your manager, colleague or family and friends. An issue cannot be addressed if it is unknown. Look after yourself and take time out just for you to relax and unwind. Your general well-being is of great importance, not only because this reflects in the work that you produce, but it can help you identify the signs when things go wrong to avoid burnout.

If things are not improving at work or you’re just not happy with what you are doing don’t be afraid to jump ship. If your current role is not working out for you, it’s not too late to try something new. It’s never too late – take it from someone who knows.

Giant iTab Launch Enterprise Lab Product

ILEA UK Members Giant iTab have launched a new ‘Enterprise Lab’ version of its award-winning hardware, aimed specifically for app, software and digital marketing developers. The product is already being used by a number of event tech companies, as well as training, testing and design departments in businesses across industries from automotive to tourism.

The giant smart phone is perfect for new product and design demonstrations within companies building software at BETA stage. The large format recreates the app and enables developers the chance to get a closer – and a larger – view of apps, website, on line and mobile marketing as they are in development. Giant iTabs are already being used by many businesses, not just to reduce the amount of ‘small screen huddling’, but to demonstrate touch screen and gestures on a giant screen, that replicates exactly the user experience of the smaller screen.

“Increasingly, out Giant iTabs are being used for training, testing and presentations. Both for conventional video, PowerPoint etc., but also for on-line marketing, design and app demonstrations,” commented Mark Jones, founder & CEO, Giant iTab. “This is happening in retail outlets, within internal meetings, sales presentations, and amongst large businesses and as a presentation aid within research and development labs.”

The software installed on the Enterprise Lab Giant iTabs is more sophisticated, and tailored to the needs of developers. The hardware itself is available in a larger size, so can be used from small intimate internal huddles, too larger company conferences.

The Giant iTab Enterprise Lab devices are available now from Giant iTab both to buy and rent, for more information visit www.giantitab.com.

ILEA UK Needs You!

It’s that time of year again, our ‘call for nominations’ process is officially open for the ILEA UK Board 2017/18, and we want to hear from you!

After a fantastic year for ILEA, there really is no better time to join the team of driven, passionate individuals who work together making a significant contribution to the professionalism of our industry.

 
If you want to raise your profile and feel part of the wider creative events industry, we urge you to get involved. The year ahead could not look more exciting, and we need great people on board to help support us in delivering the best ILEA UK programme yet.

Why should I join?

– opportunity to profile your leadership skills
– chance to make a contribution to the continued professionalism of the creative events industry

The board meet on a monthly basis and attend ILEA networking events as much as possible. We know how busy your working life can be and all roles can be adapted to suit your specific time constraints.

AVAILABLE POSITIONS
Term of Office – 1 Year
  • President Elect
  • VP Programmes
Term of Office – 2 Years

5 x Director at Large:

  • Marketing
  • Programmes
  • Membership
  • Education

Committee Members

  • Various

Click HERE for more info.

 
Where do I apply?!

If you are interested in serving or if you know someone who would be – download a nomination/application form HERE and submit it to ILEA UK. Please feel free to contact Elena Clowes at operationsmanager@ileauk.org with any queries.

Applications and candidate reference forms must be submitted to us no later than Wednesday 31st May 2017.

9 Health & Well-Being Tips #EventProfs Should Live By

In April, the ILEA UK event focused on health and well-being for #EventProfs – guest Kim Goetze shares her thoughts on what she learnt below…

Eating healthy, exercising and sleeping 8 hours a night is the best you can do for your body and your soul. Yes, we all know that. We have all heard that a million and one times. Another thing we have heard at least as many times: jobs in our industry are ranked the 5th most stressful in the world. We know! Do we need to talk about that again and have another event preaching it to us? NO.

So why was the last event from ILEA UK about health & well-being different and actually helpful?

No one preached. They told us a story, their story. Let me now tell you mine about what I learnt that night in order to remain a happy and healthy Event Professional.

Talk, talk, talk

It honestly doesn’t matter who you talk to, your mum, your partner, your therapist, your dog, your stuffed animal, your dinner. Just talk about what is bringing your down, or just express that you don’t feel happy for no reason all. Anyone who doesn’t want to listen to it and tells you to just cheer up is not your friend and you might have to rethink that friendship.

Eat in peace

Take your lunch break, it is yours and yours only! We all have days when we are on site and don’t even have the time to think about lunch – but when it is a normal office day there is always enough time! Go out and get lunch, sit somewhere else other than your desk, enjoy a bit of sunshine (or better chase it when it decides to show for once) or phone a friend. Take that time for yourself and cherish it.

Daily de-stress

We are the absolute best at making our lives unnecessarily stressful. De-stressing it is simply achieved by creating less stress for yourself. Sounds great, doesn’t it? If you know you will be late for a dinner or networking event if you finish off that email… instead of stressing either plan the route that will get you there quickest once you are done, or ask yourself can that email wait until tomorrow? Remember that life happens and things rarely run to plan.

STOP talking

Yes, yes, I know what I said three paragraphs before. I am not talking about as individuals, but as an industry. Constantly talking about and highlighting the stress we put ourselves through is driving people out of their jobs into mental breakdowns. Stop talking, start doing is the motto here. Watch out for #EventWell!

Move your bum

You might not want to change your body shape, or feel like losing weight/gaining muscle is not achievable at all. So why should you bother exercising? To feel better, to have “me time” and to help you switch off. The results from a workout aren’t just on the scales and in your muscle fat ratio. The best results can be seen in how great your self-worth is.. not how pumped your muscles are!

Work can wait

Yes, it can. We are tempted to take our work everywhere as we so easily can. Our office is never more than a fingerprint recognition on our phone away. As many perks come with this, many disadvantages haunt us too. Don’t think just because you can, you have to work everywhere. Maybe next time you are on the tube, walking down the street, talking to a friend (or on the loo) you leave work at work and focus again on what you are doing.

Sleepy bunny

Let me start this by saying I honestly don’t think everyone needs to sleep 8 hours a night! There are people who need more sleep than others and those should make sure they get it. But, what we should all agree on is a routine is necessary. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is what makes our body clock the happiest.

Take a break

A workaholic´s worst nightmare… I can hear you laughing at me through the screen. ‘There is so much to do!’ Yes, but it will still be there tomorrow. Taking a night or a day off is what keeps us sane. Those refueling days are the ones that keep us going, not the worked through nights and early mornings. Re-centering and refocusing can only happen when we completely pull away for some time. Maybe don’t go cold turkey with a whole week though, try the odd day or afternoon here and there to get used to it

Be encouraging

This is probably the point closest to my heart as we can only grow together. If you want to talk, there needs to be someone else listening and giving the right advice too. We need those people around us and we need to be those people equally. It is and will always be a give and take, not a take, take, take.

Thank you again to the great speakers Hannah Luffman, Mark Maher and Patrick Moore Jones for sharing their mental health journeys –  and to ILEA UK for starting this discussion. This issue is important to me because I love my job and I don’t want to be telling you the story about my burnout in 20 years’ time! If you want to know why I still believe it is okay to lie about your mental health you can find that out here

ILEA Members to get VIP Upgrade at International Confex 2017

In case you missed it, ILEA UK are working closely with International Confex next week (1st & 2nd March). We have a series of ‘Fuelled by ILEA’ sessions throughout the exhibition where you can see the best of ILEA UK speakers and content.

We will also have a stand supported by two of our fantastic members, Giant iTab and Yahire, who have worked together to create an ILEA space showcasing some of their latest products – and where visitors can view any ILEA sessions they might have missed.

It will be a productive two days for us and many of our members who attend and exhibit at the show, and so from 3pm on Thursday 2nd March we’ve got an area at the Main Bar exclusively for ILEA members to network and unwind*.

As a thank you to our membership for their input into International Confex this year, every ILEA member is also eligible for a VIP upgrade to the show, simply register with ‘VIP17‘ and make sure you tick the ILEA box!

We look forward to meeting you there… look out for our sessions (schedule can be found here), drop by our stand and most importantly, have a great show!

* Available to both UK based and international members visiting the show

Keeley Knight: My ISES Story

KKnight The following blog post is written by current University of Hertfordshire Student, Keeley Knight


My story with ISES started in July 2015 where I attended an event that my then employer, Viva Live Music, provided the entertainment for. This is where I met Terence, who is the Director of Education for the ISES UK team. We talked about that fact that I was working as a student in an events related job even though I didn’t study Events Management, and he suggested that ISES might be a fit for me. From there he invited me to my very first ISES UK event at Shaka Zulu – their AGM.

Having not gone to a networking event of this kind before, I was very nervous! I had been to many marketing based expos and conferences in the past and always found it quite difficult to approach people as a student. It just never seemed like the right environment at the time and as other students may relate, it can be a very intimidating setting!

Therefore in the build up to the event I decided I needed to market myself in the best way possible, and created some business cards and a website to share with people. I would recommend this to any student looking to make networking contacts, having a material product to share really helps people remember you in the long term.

On the evening of the event I was instantly put at ease with the warmth and friendliness of the events professionals I met, everyone was genuinely interested in my studies and the achievements I had made so far. The general setting was relaxed and I was instantly energised, motivated and inspired by the people around me. I was slowly building my personal brand and the best thing was I was having fun doing it! I knew when I left the event I had to get more involved with ISES UK. I signed myself up as a member, and a couple of weeks later I saw that a Marketing Committee position had become available via Twitter, so I jumped at the chance. Within a month, my passion and enthusiasm meant that I was sat at my first committee meeting – I could hardly believe it!

ISES UK has helped me in so many ways, not only has the community helped me build my confidence but they’ve also enabled me to add industry experience to my CV. Not to mention sharing connections that allowed me to build a freelance career whilst still studying. BUT, the best (and most unexpected) part is that ISES is the reason I now have my placement secured for next academic year.

I met the CEO of Wildgoose, an events company specialising in team building location based challenges, in December at the ISES UK Christmas event. After experiencing their product on the night, it was safe to say I was very interested in their company and the work they do, and so after a little networking I gave him my business card (so far so usual), but I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

A month later I updated my LinkedIn status saying I was looking for a placement role, and I received a direct message from the CEO of Wildgoose sharing a potential marketing placement opportunity. Obviously I already knew of their work so I grabbed the chance, and from there I went through the interview process, but I am extremely delighted to report that I start working for them in June. Of course I would not have got the job without my experience and competence, but without ISES UK welcoming me into their community and connecting me with these organisations, I may not have ever been given an opportunity to work for a company as exciting as Wildgoose!

So thank you ISES UK. The past 8 months as part of the family have been a whirlwind of positive experiences, I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people, built a really strong CV that will help me even after I graduate and secured my placement. All whilst having the best time and making some incredible friendships. Students, I cannot recommend joining more, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me as a member!

UNI OF GREENWICH – LIVE FROM THE APOLLO

 

EventAwards

The following blog post is written by current Event Management student
Catherine Eagles, from the University of Greenwich.


A few weeks ago myself and a few other students were invited to attend the 2015 Event Awards as guest of ISES UK – the International Special Events Society – as soon as we arrived at the Eventim Apollo we were greeted at the door with the warmest welcome by the event staff, and as we waited to go upstairs to the designated ISES UK guest area we met many other event students from universities across the country. Our arrival networking party was the perfect ice breaker where we got to talk to some of the ISES team, some of the Event Awards organisers, recent graduates and of course the other student guests.

We then got taken to the balcony where we had front row seats to view the awards, with complimentary welcome drinks and popcorn. There was such a wide scope of events up for nomination, from the product launch of Edible Orbs, to Adidas campaigns, to a Hendricks Gin quest through the rain forest! It really broadened my horizons as to the various event companies out there, and the variety of memorable and innovative experiences they produce.

Displaying edible orb.jpg

Once the awards were over we were invited to go downstairs to the foyer area which had been transformed into the after party space, it was the perfect opportunity to network with all the industry professionals we had just witnessed being celebrated. At the beginning of the night I might have felt too under-prepared to have done this, but the ISES team had given us all a pep talk and some blank business cards which we were able to use to represent ourselves – and I honestly cannot recall a single person who was not happy to be approached by us to chat about their events. We also got to try the aforementioned Edible Orbs (zero calorie vapor, consumed through a straw, tasting of strawberry or cookie dough).. I still cannot get my head around how it actually works!

The night was the perfect opportunity to get dressed up, make new contacts, network and have a good dance. I have attended quite a few networking events but this one by far was my favourite. Elena at ISES UK made us feel so welcome and has offered us so many industry connections, I am so thankful to her and the rest of her team for that! I’m now hoping to use those connections to attain a graduate job next year. I would highly recommend the event to other events students if the opportunity arises in the future, and to definitely consider joining ISES UK for their networking events – it is a great way to be pro active about graduate life before you have even finished uni!

Surrey Students – Live From The Apollo

The following blog post is
written by Megan Strahle, a current
International Events Management Student
from the University of Surrey.

 


When my professor presented the opportunity for students in the International Events Management program to go to the Event Awards in London, three girls in my class and I jumped at the opportunity. All of us are international students and we didn’t want to pass up a once in a lifetime event while we were so close to London. I couldn’t wait to see how the UK put on a major event show and to see who won what.

We took the train to London and successfully rode the tube to the venue. When we arrived, security greeted us and directed us to the coat check. All of the student guests stood around chatting amongst ourselves before we got invited upstairs to a cocktail reception where we were greeted with champagne. Our hostess introduced herself and her team and welcomed all of us. We mingled and ate popcorn until it was time to watch the awards – I loved hearing where all of the other students were from and what they wanted to do with their degree.

The awards portion was nothing short of spectacular. I had previously worked in the events industry and decided to go back to school to broaden my horizons, and watching the awards discovering the creative efforts behind some amazing events further motivated to set my goals higher than they already are. The students cheered along with the event professionals when people won – and we all watched starry eyed as people received the awards they worked so hard to obtain. We were sitting in the balcony seats overlooking the entire event – and we had great seats before health and safety meant we had to move and lost our front row view(!) – but regardless it was an excellent show.

Displaying evemts.jpg

Afterwards we ventured downstairs to the bar to mingle with the guests. There was a DJ and a fun photo booth on the upper level, it was quite hilarious to see the shots the photographer set up! Unfortunately, I had a Cinderella moment where the clock struck a certain time and I had to catch the last train back before I got a chance to mingle with the guests. I wished I was able to stay longer and meet the amazing people in the events industry but I knew my chance to do so wasn’t over..

At the after party, our hostess had mentioned that students could join ISES too. After seeing the Event Awards and the amazing companies present, I jumped at the chance to be a part of something so spectacular. Each month there will be an opportunity for me to join a group of event professionals at an industry networking event and grow my contacts (where hopefully I won’t have to leave before the end!). It is a great way for students to immerse themselves in the events industry and take a running leap towards their future. I can’t wait until the next event!

Leeds Beckett Students – Live from the Apollo

unnamed

 

The following blog post is written by Alexandra Dayle Weatherstone and Lewis Manson, current Events Management students from Leeds Beckett University.

 


 

If Carlsberg did awards ceremonies…

There’s a sponsorship deal in there somewhere! A little over two weeks ago, our lecturer shared with us the chance to attend the 2015 Event Awards as student guests of ISES UK – and we both jumped at it.  So in typical student style, we took a five hour long MegaBus from Leeds to London to attend the event at the Eventim Apollo and frankly, we would do it all over again! As current Events Management students, we cannot stress enough how much fun we had, and how worthwhile attending the Event Awards was for us. This is how our evening went..

Landing in good ol’ London Town, we hit the tracks for the esteemed Apollo. Before arriving we ate in a beautiful restaurant just round the corner, Lala’s. FYI highly recommended – we had great service and fantastic food (and maybe a sneaky Bellini or two).  Then we changed into our glad rags for the evening, leaving us feeling fabulous, despite changing in the restaurant toilets (don’t judge – remember the five hour coach journey? And who said the events industry was always glamorous?!). We arrived at the Eventim Apollo to be met by the shimmering lights and a host of top event industry players, all dressed to the nines in wonderful tuxedoes and stunning dresses – the best kind of night!

As student guests of ISES, we were welcomed with a champagne reception where we had the privilege of meeting fellow Event Management students from other universities and our lovely hosts. After a short time, we were taken to our balcony seating to watch the ceremony – from here we could observe the entire audience of industry professionals eagerly waiting to discover if they would receive awards for their work. Then it began, and the gorgeous Steve Jones presented to the best of the best in event creativity.

Witnessing the awards brought to light just how impressive, creative and world altering our wonderful industry can be, especially with the likes of ‘Shell Morro Da Mineira’ from J. Walter Thompson, who managed to bag the most awards of the evening including the Grand Prix Award.

After the awards ceremony we moved down to join the rest of the guests. The foyer turned disco was the ultimate place to network with the finest in the industry. Forget single and ready to mingle, we are unemployed and ready to mingle! Introducing ourselves and swapping business cards with those willing to talk to us (which thankfully all were), we both networked and danced the rest of the evening away. Fingers crossed, we met our future colleagues!

With extremely sore feet from the dancing but still buzzing from the energy in the room, it was time for us to hit the tracks. We headed back to the bus station and back home to Leeds after an extremely rewarding and wonderful evening.

The atmosphere was positively overwhelming and the collective energy from a room full of amazing talent has further inspired us to become one of them. So much so, that we have since become student members of ISES UK. There is no doubt in our minds that the knowledge that ISES offers will allow us to become top players in the industry one day too, maybe even with an Event Award to our names.

Apollo… You’ve were amazing, Thank you!

Laura McNamara – My Event Degree


Capture

The following blog post is written by a previous member of the ISES student community – Laura McNamara. 
In 2014 Laura graduated with a 2:1 in Event Management from Bournemouth University.


 

The four years I spent at Bournemouth were some of the best ever, and I  would go back in a heartbeat and do it all over again if I had the chance! It  was tough, I won’t deny that, and the jump from college to university  essays and what is expected of you is something you will have to get used  to, but all in all you’ll get there.

In my final year I was lucky enough to be one of four students from my  Event Management course to become a nominated ISES UK student  member. This meant I was able to benefit from all of the opportunities that  the association has to offer it’s corporate members, such as attending  industry events and networking with top names in the sector.

Since graduating in 2014, I have been working as a freelance event and marketing manager. At present I work for Projected Image Ltd – specialists in the supply of audio visual equipment for the events and conferencing industry – as well as a boutique events agency in London. At Projected Image Ltd I head up the marketing department, it’s a small business and didn’t have anyone working in marketing prior to my arrival.. so a word of advice for job hunters: don’t dismiss the smaller businesses straight away, you never know what opportunities may be open to you!

As with all degrees there is the good and the not so good, and in particular I think that Event Management is a degree which comes under a lot of fire…which I experienced first-hand!

Good..

  • Placement year: if your university offers it, whether it be compulsory or optional, take it. I can’t express how much I learnt not only about the industry, but about what I wanted for the future as well. In your placement year you get to work hands on in the industry – maybe in a job you’ll decide not to go back to, maybe in one you’ll adore and don’t want to leave – either way the experience you gain is invaluable.
  • Course content: OK, there will be a few modules that you will sit through in your first/second year and wonder why you’re there. When I first started I definitely had the “why do I need to do this I’ll just hire an accountant” frame of mind. But, no matter how much you hate it, aspects like financial planning are stupidly important. And you soon realise that it doesn’t matter how creative you are, your event will be useless if you can’t budget for the creative beforehand!
  • Flexibility: Bournemouth gives students returning from placement year the opportunity to structure the course around what THEY want to learn and not what the university think they should be learning.  This means you are able return from placement year having learnt what it is you love, and narrow your studies to match.
  • Post uni life: Yes, you may struggle to find that perfect job once you’ve graduated, but don’t forget that your CV will reflect your interest and experience in the industry, and the fact that you have completed a three/four years at university. Never leave university thinking you’ve ‘wasted’ four years of your life.. you will have matured and learnt more about yourself than you could have ever imagined, and you will know your limits (at least some of them… maybe not how many Jagers you can do in a row though).

Not so good..

  • Event Management degree haters: You’ll have sooo many people say “Oh, so you’re studying to be a party planner then?” … NO! just NO! Never underestimate the value of your degree. For four years I fought long and hard against these people, including the founder of the Global Conference Network! My tweets were used by event magazine, and written in relation to an article they were contradicting but none the less, fight for your degree!
  • Where to start when you graduate – Yes you could go straight into the industry, and yes you could start waiting tables at events on minimum wage and work your way up. I have a problem with this though.. working on events and learning the background planning that goes on behind the scenes in the years / months in advance are two very different ideals.
  • Event degrees are too broadly written: The events industry is vast, so in order to go in depth with specific aspects of the industry and where you can work there would need to be degrees on exhibition management, or conference management, or wedding planning courses. Just be prepared to learn about aspects of the industry you do not want to work in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how was having an ISES membership beneficial to me as a student?

I don’t know where to start here. As far as I am concerned, there are no downsides to having an ISES membership, you get to network as a student with industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds with years of experience … where’s the issue there? I made numerous contacts through my networking, I met some VERY interesting people and was able to discuss where I saw myself after uni. I also was able to get into conversations about my dissertation subject and how this was progressing with those who know the industry like the back of their hands and could possible offer advice.

I have (or am about to) sign myself back up to an ISES membership for the next year. As a graduate I have lots to learn and there is so much room for my personal and professional progression within the industry. I can’t see a better way of enhancing this than to network with those already in the industry and who could be prospective clients for both myself as a freelancer or Projected Image Ltd as suppliers, as well as meeting possible future employers.

ISES hold a mixture of events, and although you will get to meet familiar faces, never underestimate the contacts these individuals may have. I found everyone to have a very ‘open-door’ welcoming mentality at the events, and even as a student, there was a lot of interest in what the future holds for me as well as the work I was already participating in.

I can’t wait to see where my ISES membership will take me next!

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