Our Event Educators – meet Jade Whiteley
Event creator. That is one of Jade Whiteley’s many job titles over 16 years of working in events. There’s also event producer, operations director, logistics manager and production manager, lecturer and presenter. But we think ‘event creator’ is the most fitting as it encompasses such a broad range of skills, experience and knowledge and says so much about this extremely creative Sydney-based industry pro.
I love to share my experiences with others and assist them to find their path. It’s great to foster the next generation of talent, I see this as a really special opportunity
We feel super lucky to have Jade on our team as one of our wonderful learning facilitators (yes, another title). She recently told us that the reason she wanted to teach event management was “to share my experiences with others and assist them to find their path. The event industry has evolved so much in the years I’ve been involved in it, and it’s great to foster the next generation of talent, I see this as a really special opportunity.” We love that kind of ‘give back’ mentality. It’s a common passion all our educators share. But for now, let’s find out a little more about Jade; her career trajectory, her favourite events and her opinion on the future of our exciting industry…
Can you give a description of your event career trajectory?
I started in non-profit, doing administration and organising events for Opera Australia. After that I went freelance – and had a blast! Rolling Stones concerts, Fashion Week, GQ Men of the Year Awards, what fun. I did a few years with City of Sydney organising the logistics for Chinese New Year. I then became the Operations Director for IMG Culinary, leading the operations for Taste of Sydney/Melbourne/Perth and Margaret River Gourmet Escape. I now consult and lecture in the industry.
What’s the best part of being an event manager?
The feeling you get when the crowd cheers or you can scan a crowd and see smiling happy faces – and know that you did that.
What’s the worst part of being an event manager?
Working in the rain.
What are the top 3 attributes of a great event manager?
Determination – because this is a tough gig. You will work hard mentally and physically, and you can’t give up. Passion – if you really love bringing events to life, you will do so well in this industry. Being a team player – event teams are thrown together quickly, and you often end up being thrown in the deep end almost strangers. Being able to bond and work together easily and quickly makes all the difference.
What’s your particular events speciality? Why do you love it?
Major outdoor events. I love outdoor events (when it’s not raining!) – crowds of people having fun, enjoying the outdoors – it doesn’t get much better than that. And bump-ins are always nicer in the fresh air!
Event that you’re most proud to have been involved in?
Taste of Perth – because I was part of the formative team that launched it.
Why have you chosen to teach event management?
I love to share my experiences with others and assist them to find their path. The event industry has evolved so much in the years I’ve been involved in it, and it’s great to foster the next generation of talent, I see this as a really special opportunity.
How do you think the event industry will evolve in the next 10 years?
Bigger, more commercialised and more competitive. Australia is amongst the world’s best event producers and I see them going from strength to strength.
A little more about Jade. She has held the role of Operations Director for IMG Culinary, delivering nationwide festivals including Taste of Sydney, Taste of Melbourne, Taste of Perth and Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Her other roles have included National Tour Manager for Opera Australia, Venue Event Manager for Australian Fashion Week, Talent Logistics Manager for MTV Australia Awards, Logistics Manager for the City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Parade and Production Manager for the State Theatre in Sydney.
Jade also presents Event Training Australia’s Executive Certificate in Event Management throughout Australia and Singapore.