My journey into international events – meet CoEM grad Alicia
Everyone has their dream international event, whether it being a bohemian music festival in USA, a gourmet food festival on the coast of France, or a glitzy designer fashion show in Japan. It’s a vast events world out there, and I personally couldn’t wait to be a part of it. One of the main goals in my event career was to be able to work in international events. Nothing sounded more exhilarating than to being able to experience the challenge of working within an environment of various cultures.
Opportunities like that don’t get handed to you on a silver platter, so I decided if I wanted it that badly I would have to take some risks and work hard. London is a city full of opportunities (and Aussies). What better place to start for a young and ambitious events graduate? I packed my bags and headed for the other side of the world at the end of February this year. One thing that events pros will always tell you is that your industry contacts are key (that’s Tip Number One), and now I couldn’t agree more.
A few years ago, a work experience opportunity came through College of Event Management for the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition. I had never heard of anything like that, so was unsure about applying. Tip Number Two – event pros will always tell you, ‘don’t limit yourself’. Again, I learnt how true this was. I worked for the week with the LAB 5 Experience Team, assisting in PR and Events, and I couldn’t have loved it more. Being able to host guests from over 36 different countries in multiple venues throughout a crazy week had its many challenges but it was just fantastic.
I kept in touch with the LAB 5 team throughout the past year, and told them I was interested in moving to London. Upon arrival, I met up with the team, and started work the very next week. I certainly hit the ground running, with my first event within three weeks of arriving. This was based at the St Pancras Hotel in London, hosting the Northern European finals for the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail competition. One of the many countless things I love about working in overseas events, is being able to experience new venues; unlike anything you would ever see in Sydney.
I then ended up hosting tours in London for international guests, visiting some of the most highly acclaimed bars in London, and recently returned from San Francisco after working on the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competitions finals. It has certainly been a rollercoaster after only being in London for two months!
The third final tip that I can give for anyone interested in the crazy world of events, is to always treat everyone you meet in the industry as your potential employer. It only takes that one contact to give you the golden opportunity!
Postscript: since writing this post, Alicia has landed a role as Events and Placemaking Associate at Knight Dragon in London. Knight Dragon is creating a new and vibrant district on London’s Greenwich Peninsula including the development of an event calendar.