Eventa: Could you tell us a bit about what you do in your current role at Eventa?
Keith: I’m in charge of all the marketing we do, whether that be online or offline. From the website that you find at the top of Google right down to the event plan you get for the party you’ve booked with us. I’m in charge of all the stuff you see on the website, plus the fun stuff with social media too. Everything!
Eventa: How did you break into the events industry? Did you go to University, did you get relevant work experience, etc.?
Keith: I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in marketing. At that point I didn’t know I was going to work in event marketing though. I got a lot of experience in small marketing agencies on how to grow a brand, which was my area of expertise. I then went to University and did two degrees back to back followed by working for small to medium-sized organisations, finally ending at up Eventa!
Eventa: What advice would you give someone wanting to break into the events industry?
Keith: I’d say putting yourself in a small or medium-sized company is a good option, as any good work you do gets noticed far better than it does in a large organisation. I’d also say to do your research, watch constantly what other companies are doing perhaps in other industries and bring ideas that you like and adapt them to your own situation. If they work and have a commercial purpose then you’ll get noticed for that and that’s how you develop your role.
Eventa: Would you say it’s a competitive industry?
Keith: Yes, definitely! From a marketing point of view the events industry is one of the most competitive. People think that you just stand about drinking Champagne and schmoozing clients but that’s not the case. There’s a lot of hard graft that goes into it throughout the year. Sure at Christmas time you get invited to a lot of corporate parties and you can do your Champagne drinking then but it is a very tough industry to work in.
Eventa: Can you describe your average day at Eventa?
Keith: It varies depending on the time of year but we are constantly checking the website to make sure the enquiries are coming through and that’s working OK, supporting the sales team to ensure the customers receive relevant information for the parties they are attending, interacting with people on social media is a big thing, plus having a bit of a laugh with our colleagues!
Eventa: Do you ever take your work home with you, either literally or psychologically?
Keith: Psychologically yes. You can never really switch off from a marketing role; whether I’m walking past a billboard or watching an ad on TV you are always seeing new ideas of how you can promote your brand. Literally, I have taken it home a lot in the past but I’ve now got two young kids and trying to type on your iPad when they are running about doesn’t really fit very well!
Eventa: What would you say are the three most important personal qualities to have in your role?
Keith: Honesty is one of the best ones; never over-promise and under-deliver in marketing. Always present what you expect the results of a campaign to be for a ‘worse-case scenario’. That way you get the praise you deserve if it does pay off. You’ve got to be concise when you do any kind of campaign: what worked, what didn’t, and how you can fix it. Quickness too, you have to be reactive. If you want to do something as an industry-first in terms of Christmas parties you’ve got to be aware that somebody else is probably thinking the same thing.
Eventa: How far ahead do you plan your career? Do you have a ‘five-year plan’ or do you work more on a day-to-day basis?
Keith: Everyone says they’ve got these plans. I said when I was 20 that I wanted to be a marketing director by the time I was 30, which is a big goal. Those kinds of goals are fine but I don’t think it’s worth making a long-term plan in marketing as there are so many changes – culturally, economically, politically – that can affect your original plan. It’s better to work out what you want to achieve in a year and break it down into months, weeks and days. That’s a lot more effective.
Eventa: Finally, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Keith: I play a lot of basketball, I like to go to the gym and keep fit but I am the father of two kids so I do invest a lot of time with them. I run about throwing balloons at them and play hide and seek a lot!