Almost more than for any other industry, event management is all about relationships. It’s about developing and leveraging those relationships, communicating and delivering what clients want.
To optimise relationships in an increasingly competitive Australian market, businesses need to ensure that all client communication and contact, from big events to everyday meetings, is positive. According to Jenny Jenkins, General Manager for Business at Think Education, businesses need to make the most of every opportunity to do this.
‘Every client meeting is an opportunity for an organisation to reinforce their brand, value and expertise,’ says Jenkins.
Companies are starting to realise the importance of this kind of positive interaction and are developing full-time events coordinator roles to help ensure that every point of contact is memorable for the right reasons.
‘The job market in events is expanding as businesses grow to meet the increasingly competitive nature of global markets. The focus on building client relationships and networking in business means that labour and time must be dedicated to entertaining and facilitating relationship-building exercises. This is particularly relevant in corporate settings, such as finance and technology services, where we are seeing an increase in demand for events coordinators. It is a business that thrives on creativity and flair as well as sound business principles like risk management,’ says Jenkins.
‘Any event that involves a company and its clients will benefit from a high quality, experienced and trained professional who can successfully execute the event on time and within budget. Events coordinators alleviate the stress and workload for busy company principals, allowing them to concentrate on the business of the day and priority outcomes, rather than the mechanics of event organisation,’ says Jenkins.
The development of these sorts of roles represents an exciting opportunity for both new graduates and those wishing to take on a new career direction.
Twenty-one year old Jessica Marshall recently completed a Bachelor of Business majoring in events management at APM College of Business and Management, graduating in December after just two years of study. Thanks to part-time and volunteer work she gained while studying, Marshall walked straight into a full-time role with Engineers Australia in January.
‘Within Engineers Australia I am personally responsible for Australian Engineering Week, a number of high school programs and educational forums, industry luncheons and the Engineering Excellence Awards, our biggest event of the year.’
‘In a single day I can go from inputting registration data and people’s dietary requirements to booking venues and catering, to creating budgets and attending sponsorship meetings. As the lead time to an event gets shorter you will find that the days can become longer and busier, but I like that there is always something different to work on.’
Ms Marshall believes that the business and events skills and training she developed at APM has placed her in good stead to thrive in her first full-time role.
‘The course was very hands-on and industry-focused and really helped me prepare for the role. All of the lecturers heavily encouraged students to get involved with different events and volunteer to get as much experience as we could. I did this a few times and I caught the events bug. During my time volunteering I was involved in over 15 different events, including Sydney Fashion Weekend, Sydney’s Blackmores marathon and racing events at Mount Panorama,’ says Marshall.
‘It was through this volunteering that I got to see how events really run, what is required and expected, and I got a sense of what I would be up against once I joined the workplace. I made some great contacts and friends, most of whom I am still in contact with. Now that I’m in the workforce, I can also see how relevant all of the assessment tasks were to the work I am doing.’
For Marshall, the study really paid off. ‘I love my job! I was lucky because by the time I finished my degree at APM I was ready to hit the ground running. My job has allowed me to test myself, and ultimately prove to myself that all that time spent studying was well worth it.’
Events and marketing are currently the most popular courses for study at APM.
‘We have seen a decided increase in the number of working professionals returning to study events management, keen to switch careers or secure a role in events with their current employer,’ says Jenny Jenkins from Think Education.
‘Events management has always been a popular career path but securing a great role can be highly competitive. The online course allows those working full-time to formalise their professional experiences without having to commit to full-time study,’ says Jenkins.
Interested in studying events management, marketing or PR? Browse media and communications degrees, diplomas and short courses here.