Adapting to the Evolving Terrain of Careers in the Event Industry
The events industry, like many others, has undergone significant shifts in recent years.
The impacts of the global pandemic have accelerated changes and highlighted both challenges and opportunities. In this article, we'll explore the evolving dynamics of the event industry job market, including challenges, skill requirements, and emerging trends. We'll also gain insights from DNA Head of Events & Experiential Recruitment, Gemma Knight, who discusses the essential skills and qualities for job seekers and offers advice for both candidates and clients in this changing landscape.
Challenges in the Event Industry
The event industry has long grappled with issues related to salary discrepancies compared to other industries. A marketing manager in a technology company often earns significantly more than an event marketing manager. This pay gap has been a persistent challenge in the industry, resulting in a need for more equitable compensation. The push for fair compensation has gained momentum, with businesses and agencies pioneering efforts to level the playing field.
Additionally, the cost of living, especially in major cities like London, has added to the challenge. The demand for higher salaries, especially in an expensive urban environment, is pushing the industry to reassess and adjust compensation packages.
Another significant challenge in the industry is the need for flexibility in working arrangements. While some agencies are returning to more office-based work, candidates are increasingly seeking flexibility, having proven their ability to work remotely during the pandemic. This need for choice and work-life balance has become a top priority for job seekers.
The entry-level job market has also faced difficulties as some individuals shifted to other careers during the pandemic. This shift has led to a shortage of entry-level candidates, making it more challenging to fill these positions.
Candidates' Changing Priorities
As the industry continues to evolve, candidates are looking for employers who align with their values. Factors such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, diversity and inclusion (DNI), and working culture have become essential considerations for job seekers. They want to work for agencies that prioritise trust, flexibility, a caring and supportive environment, and a culture that resonates with their own values.
Additionally, there is a growing trend among candidates to seek purpose-led projects. Many are interested in working on initiatives related to CSR, sustainability, or charity-based activities, where they can make a meaningful impact and give back to society.
Skills and Qualities in Demand
In the events industry, a range of skills and qualities are highly sought after. Organisational skills are crucial, given the need to manage multiple projects and adapt to unexpected challenges. Resilience and the ability to find solutions quickly are essential for event managers, who must handle unforeseen issues effectively.
Adaptability and being proactive are also key traits in the industry. Candidates must be capable of reacting swiftly to changing circumstances, which are common in event management. Being unflappable, cool-headed, and open to change is essential for success.
Moreover, candidates with a strong understanding of technology and the ability to integrate it into event projects are highly valued. Digital teams have become integral in many agencies, and candidates who can collaborate effectively with these teams are in demand.
In a recent survey conducted within our LinkedIn network, we posed a crucial question to event professionals: "Which skills or qualities are currently in high demand within the industry?" The responses were enlightening, with a substantial 31% emphasising the need for Digital and Virtual Expertise, underscoring the industry's growing reliance on technology and immersive experiences. Creativity and Innovation closely followed, garnering 29%, highlighting the constant drive for fresh and imaginative event concepts. Furthermore, 26% highlighted the significance of Communication and Fast Thinking in an industry known for its unpredictability, while 14% acknowledged the enduring importance of Planning Skills in crafting seamless events.
Preparing for the Future
The events industry is poised to continue evolving, with a focus on technology and immersive experiences. Immersive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, are expected to play a more significant role in creating engaging and memorable events. Digital experiences will be used to create "wow" moments that captivate audiences.
Despite these technological advancements, the importance of face-to-face interactions and in-person events remains paramount. The pandemic underscored the irreplaceable value of bringing people together for networking, learning, and experiencing brands. The industry is likely to continue embracing both intimate, personalised events and large-scale launches to cater to a diverse range of preferences.
The event industry is in a state of transformation, with candidates and clients adapting to shifting priorities, challenges, and opportunities. Employers must emphasise their company culture, promote trust, and offer flexibility to attract top talent. Candidates should focus on their attitude, tenacity, and adaptability, as these qualities can often be more valuable than academic qualifications.
In a competitive market, collaboration between clients, candidates, and experienced industry experts is key. Effective communication and a strong understanding of the job market are essential for matching the right candidates with the right opportunities. As the industry continues to evolve, staying informed, flexible, and proactive will be crucial for success.
Overall, the events industry is set to thrive, leveraging technology and immersive experiences to create unforgettable events. As we move forward, the events industry will remain at the forefront of bringing people together for meaningful interactions and unforgettable experiences.
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