Women working in the Corporate Events Industry typically have one of the most demanding and potentially rewarding careers and I hope to illustrate this point in my following article. I was very surprised to learn recently from my mother, who runs a small recruitment agency, that a vast majority of the graduates she meets these days (which tend to be female) see the Corporate Events Industry as the ideal workplace for them. The general view of the events industry is that it is quite glamorous and mostly about parties, so I can well understand why starry-eyed graduates, fresh from the cosseted world of academia, would see working in events as the ideal vocation. But it is not just recent graduates that see the events industry as mostly non-stop parties. Often when meeting people for the first time and talking about the work I do, they seem to have the same perception of the events industry as being about nothing but wall-to-wall fun. Definitely there can be a lot of fun however, in my experience the events industry can be downright intensive labour, even if very rewarding. Also, another point to make is that the events industry tends to be mostly female. I am not sure why that is and it is the possible topic for another article!
Some of the most challenging events that I have been involved with, have definitely proved to yield the biggest “feel good factor” that I have ever experienced in my working life. For example, I was directly involved with the management of an event for 900 employees at their corporate headquarters. As part of the management team on this event, I attended the original sales meeting where we pitched our tailor-made event to the company. The sales meetings alone, before we were awarded with the contract, were quite a challenge but definitely enjoyable as my colleague and I could see the client begin to trust us and confirm that we would be the chosen company to facilitate their team building event. I was involved in overseeing every aspect of this event, from the original design of the event, to selecting the best facilitators for the event deciding on the team building activities, to driving kit to the venue on the day at some outrageous hour and lastly being on hand during the actual event to “troubleshoot”. There was a great deal of work involved, let me tell you. I still have a filing cabinet drawer full of correspondence regarding this particular event. But the end result was utterly marvellous and our team, along with our key client contacts involved in managing the event with us, were practically in tears of joy at the highly successful grand finale of the event. What a job well done and tremendous sense of accomplishment. So that is just one example of the sheer work and great rewards that can be found in the events industry. There are many more examples that I can think of, most of them tend to be on a somewhat smaller scale but the above example will give you some idea of what can be expected in the events industry.
Most events begin with the initial enquiry from the client with a set of criteria. It is up to us as the team building professionals to interpret the client’s criteria for their team building event and often what the client starts out with thinking they need is far from what the actually do require. It definitely takes a lot of questions and answers to find the “perfect fit” for a client. It is possible that this is one of the reasons why the industry tends to be mostly female as generally speaking, women tend to be better listeners and more empathetic with the clients. There are of course, many successful men in the industry but from my experience it is definitely dominated by women. (By the way, a few of my male colleagues are going to have words with me after they read this article!) I would also like to point out that women’s innate ability to “multi task” is a definite plus and requirement for success in the industry. Well I had better sign off and leave you in peace. Before I do, I would like you to consider the super hot Polo advert of the two dancers set to rap music, you know the one, If you notice, it is definitely the girl that makes that ad what it is, even though it does obviously need the guy. So there you have it, just like the events industry: Tough. Beautiful.