Asking a bunch of people what they thought about working in the events industry, majority answered attending parties and staying out late with “fancy people”. This is not entirely wrong, because attending the parties is very important, however event management is so much more than just being at a party and networking. The planning of the party, (as I was about to learn) is not as easy as it seems. Today, I interviewed one of our corporate account managers, Matt Marsland, who has loads of experience in the events industry.
What made you want to study events management?
I was working in an events company, which unfortunately went bankrupt, so we all lost our jobs. I really enjoyed my job, and one of my friends told me to check out with different universities for event management degrees. I did it, I got in and here I am.
What is your current role at Eventa?
Speaking to corporate companies, from big enterprises to SMEs, planning their summer and winter events. The idea is obviously to form that professional relationship; ideally you’d want to have your own set of clients who trust you and with you you build good rapport with.
So what is it actually like to plan so many different events?
It’s like taking on different projects, where by each individual event has its own brief, meaning and expectation. It brings great satisfaction when you start transforming a client’s brief into feasible ideas and finally creating the event itself. It can be stressful and there is sometimes a lot of problem solving involved, however the experience of building up the relationship with a client and seeing the event take place is highly satisfying.
A lot of people want to study event management because they think the job is basically one big party. How would comment on this?
It really depends what type of job you want to get into. There are different departments of event management which you can be part of like sales, event coordinating, the marketing side and so on. When I was studying, I did meet quite a few young people who just came out of school and basically did not have a clue on what they were getting themselves into.
What are the most challenging/enjoyable parts about your job?
Every event is different and therefore can be sometimes challenging to meet the expectations of every client you deal with based upon what is feasible and to budget. The most enjoyable part is seeing the finished event itself and watching people enjoy what you have created.
Going back to your studies, what does an event management degree involve?
It is basically a business degree in an events context, just to make it more relevant; however most of the modules were the same as those from a business degree such as financial studies, entrepreneurship, small business development and others. We did a lot of practical modules which really helped and made it more interesting.
What would you say are the most needed/popular jobs in the events field in today’s market?
I would definitely have to say sales, I mean it’s one of those jobs in which candidates are constantly needed. There is also operations; I mean it really just depends on what field one trains in, because it branches off into sectors. You can get into festivals, conferencing, hotel hospitality, weddings etc.
In your opinion, does Leeds University prepare their students well for the outside world? Do they have internships available or work experience?
Yes, I mean there are a lot of modules about educating students about employment and different companies out there. We also had a lot of guest speakers who were already part of the industry and sort of came to share their experience with us and paint us a picture about what we can expect, or give us some advice. They offered a year of work experience or some sort of internship, however I already had the experience so I did not have to do it. But yes, they do give opportunities and help a lot with guidance and experience.
What would you say to someone who wants to study event management?
I would definitely say that the degree helps you, and people tend to take you more seriously just because you have a degree and that academic background do however think experience is more important.