Creating Career Opportunity
If you work on live events, your days are likely moving slower than ever before, but that doesn’t mean your career should. When slow periods hit an industry, they create room to rev up opportunity in new areas. For event professionals, in-person functions may be limited, but the playing field is wide open for space to broaden personal networks and generate exposure in the industry. Now is the time to meet fellow event pros and cultivate connections for future occasions. Here are some tips for setting up a future that’s thriving with opportunity.
Get Connected and Be Involved
Joining an event group is the surest way to learn from other event professionals. However, simply being in the room isn’t enough to create impactful interactions. Building relationships takes time and repeated exposure, which is why joining a committee or a board is a great way to stay engaged. Ditto for volunteering. Choosing to be involved ensures you will prioritize time and consistency with other members, creating new connections in an organic way. Naturally born relationships tend to be our strongest connections, so creating meaningful interactions with industry peers is the ideal way to build a network for your future.
Follow Up and Stay in Touch
Developing an authentic relationship into a long-term business colleague, mentor, or friend requires consistent follow-up. As you make connections, set up virtual coffees, lunches, or a socially distanced walk. Most importantly, set a reminder to follow up with another invite to meet again. Repeated exposure allows you to remain at the top of someone’s mind, which could land you your next career move. In addition, consistently gathering with peers positively impacts your feeling of connectedness and visibility. Taking the time to stay in touch with industry connections is a worthy investment in future opportunities.
Embrace Opportunities and Fight Fear
As opportunities start to emerge from your new relationships, take hold of them fearlessly. The proposed project or position may be something you have never done before, but that’s exactly why it’s worth doing. Through the process you will acquire new expertise, greater confidence in your skill set, and increased industry exposure. A few years ago, I was asked to chair volunteer recruitment for a large industry event. I was terrified because I knew nothing about coordinating
Volunteers, but I said yes anyway. After the experience, I came out with newfound leadership and staffing skills that helped boost my resume for a future events-related position. Accepting a new opportunity can open the door to future opportunities, so don’t let fear hold you back.
Right now, there’s ample space to introduce yourself to more of the events community, grow your network, and create a slate of partnerships to take with you when things are back in full swing. You never know where your next connection will lead so put yourself out there and see what happens.
About the Author
Lataya Williams has been in the events and hospitality industry four years, most recently working as a special event sales coordinator at U.S. Bank Stadium. She joined ILEA-MSP three years ago and has found volunteering with the association to be incredibly beneficial for professional development and network expansion.
The International Live Events Association (ILEA) represents and supports more than 5,000 members globally—event professionals who do business together, share knowledge, nurture talent and progress the live events industry. For more information on how an ILEA professional can help you with your event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.