If you are starting out in the business events industry, or seeking a more senior role, you must start with what you know and build on it. For example, if you grew up doing live theatre, offer to enhance an event team with your knowledge of performance and integration to live experiences. Together, build your skill set.
Be humble. You bring a fresh perspective and when you have opportunities to contribute, use them and voice your opinion. But, remember in event design you cannot be married to any one idea, but must remain open to how all the ideas fit together to make the best whole. You must support and follow the project leader.
Be curious. There are many avenues to creativity and contributing to events, and many of our strongest supplier partners are our chosen favorites because they are creative. Remain curious. Follow pop culture and fashion. Study history. Learn about human nature. Listen to a variety of musical styles. Research other cultures. Delve into your client’s culture. Go to concerts, galleries and museums. Attend other events in disciplines outside your comfort zone. Explore wherever you are.
Master the basics. Learn how to budget. Understand contracts and clauses related to the work we do. Understand the importance of insurance for your business, and your supplier partners. Learn about risk management, our duty of care and event security. Master business language and practice presenting your ideas in a manner that gets buy-in. Understand the operations behind an event from the first load-in to the final strike. Don’t expect this happens all at once, continue to seek education and mentorship; join an industry association that matches your “lane,” and get involved!
Stay in your lane. When you have a job to do, focus on doing it well. As you grow your career, be open to sharing and you will find your contributions will go beyond a job title, so dig in and learn all as you find your own path. Do an assessment of your real, unique skill set. What are you best at and what do you still need to learn? What are you passionate about?
About the Author
CanSPEP member Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED is an event producer at BC Innovation Council and author of “Intentional Event Design, Our Professional Opportunity.” She is passionate about intentional event design and the integration of now ubiquitous technology to enhance the human experience at events and everyday.
Tahira is committed to the industry and has been recognized for a range of contributions. In 2016, she was named a MeetingsNet Changemaker, and nominated in Vancouver for Global Meetings Industry Day Influencer and MPI BC Chapter Mentor of the Year. In 2015 she was named one of the “Top 5 Women in Event Technology”, was inducted into the Meeting + Incentive Travel Hall of Fame in the Big Idea category, and most recently named one of Canada’s 20 most Fascinating Women in events by Canadian Special Event magazine.
Driven by a fascination with what we are learning about neuroscience and the power of the five senses to enhance memory, knowledge retention and improve connections, she is continually seeking appropriate ways to design the most relevant meeting and event environments. An instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), she teaches both special event planning and sustainable event management. She is a frequent industry publication contributor, including several sections in the 9th edition of the CIC Manual which provides the framework for the CMP studies. Tahira also loves cooking, time with her family, and anything with bubbles!