Thinking of working in events? Read this.
Already working in events? Read this.
Fancy being nosey? Read this.
Heck, just give it a read will you.
1. NEVER assume. Like ever. Yeah okay you might have sent an email with all the information about the event, organised a briefing meeting and even had a half hour telephone conversation on what the arrival time is and how many Danish pastries have been ordered. But never assume they took any of this information in. Duh, that would just be silly…
2. Always book walky talkys. You know those headset walky talky things that make you look like an FBI agent? They are always a good idea. They make any event seem like a Royal Visit. Also fun to give your team walky talky names for the airways, like Big Berta, Tricky Dicky… you get the idea. Mega lolz.
3. Love your clipboard. Clipboards make even the most junior events assistant look like a pro. You hold that clipboard with pride. You are the Master of Information and the Holder of Vouchers!
4. Choose your shoes wisely. So yeah I know those pale blue courts look lush with that black dress, but once you’ve been running around all day your feet will thank you for the brogues. Go for the flats. Unless you’re a pro and serious trooper like my Mother, flats all the way.
5. Get yourself an event handbag. Nobody wants to be lugging a giant bag around with them at an event. And equally, holding the essentials like a mobile phone and your chapstick in your hand isn’t ideal either. Invest in an across-the-body, small purse. Solves all problems, voila.
6. There is such thing as event hangover. I don’t care what anyone says, but it consists of vegetating behind your desk with seriously dry lips, asking ‘what is life?’ The only thing that helps me get over this state is a whopping great big cappuccino with extra chocolate sprinkles and my cherry Carmex.
7. Working in an Events Team is similar to working as a pack horse. Yes, I will lug that giant banner/box/trolley/elephant up 7 flights of stairs. No problem.
8. Always over deliver. If someone asks for a small scale event, bring them ice cream and fan fares and acrobatic dancers. Heck, what’s an event without ice cream anyways?
9. Don’t spend your life being a grouch. This counts for any job but it’s something I live by. If I reacted to all the irritable things that happen to me on a daily basis, I would barely get any work done. In the famous words of Disney, ‘LET IT GOOOOO’
10. Don’t use the phrase “historically, it’s always been done like this..” as a way to prevent change. Somebody at work preached this to me, and I was like HELL TO THE YES. You’re right, change is good. Rip up the rule book and do things differently.
11. There is no ‘I’ in Events. This really gets me. Like an Event may be the responsibility of one sole person, but usually there will be a whole team of seriously awesome people who make that thing happen. Go Team!
12. Don’t stop smiling. Because yes, you might be sweaty and you’ve had to set up 10 marquees and 4 banners and everybody keeps asking you what’s going on and where they have to be, and your special guest is late and their speech is too long. But guess what? You get to do this whilst other people sit behind a desk staring at a computer screen for 8 hours straight. High fives all round! Variety is the spice of life in events, so stop frowning and start grinning, you wally.
13. Be nice to everyone. Okay so this is another life lesson too, but I’ve been told this on two occasions: once when I worked in theatre and another when I did some work experience at the Museum of London. Be nice to everyone, whether that be the rest of your team, the delivery driver, your lighting technician, or the cleaner, because my gosh you never know when you might need them. So smile sweetly and charm the pants off them. Events don’t happen without these people.
14. Colour code the shit out of everything. It’s practical AND pretty. WIN.
15. Wear trousers. There are days when you have to put up banners or run up and down stairs or crawl around on the floor – (trust me, this happens A LOT). Yeah, never wear skirts/dresses on those days. Wear trousers. Nobody wants to see your bottom. Well, they might, but that’s besides the point. Apparently bottom flashing isn’t professional. So avoid at all costs.
16. Check lists and to-do-lists are your friends. They will get you through life. Don’t try and store all that gumf up in your noggin’, get it down on paper and tick it off as you go.
17. Sleep loss is inevitable when working in events. I often wake up at random times of the night thinking I need to book a van/send an email/charge 14 ipads. It’s annoying, but it reminds me that I care about my job, and that’s pretty ace right? Not many people can say that.
18. Evaluate everything. Yes okay, you may have just pulled off a blinder of an event but there is always SOMETHING you can improve on. Don’t let things get stale. Jazz it up. Breakfast event with boring presentations? Add some Morris Dancers to the mix. Go wild.
19. Learn to drive the van. This is something I’m yet to do, mainly because I can’t reach the pedals (for real, I’m not even joking). But the main thing here is just ‘learn’. There is so much random stuff I’ve learnt how to do just because I work in Events. For example, I can do hospital corners with table cloths (cheers Debs). What a skill.
20. Always have a photo wall in your office. This is for the times you are sitting behind your desk, close to thumping your head on your keyboard because there are 200 goody bags to stuff, your models are reluctant to send over their bust sizes and the first prize trophy has just been smashed. That photo wall is there to remind you of all the good times. This is why we do it.