Q and A with CoEM Graduate Charley
Charley Hanna is currently working in her ‘dream job’ as an event manager at NEON Model Management in Sydney. She was offered this position 2-months before graduating from College of Event Management and is ‘beyond excited’ about her new career in events.
Let’s hear how Charley was drawn to studying event management in the first place, what her study experience was like and what’s it really like to be an event manager!
Why event management?
Before event management, I was studying a Bachelor of Psychology with a Bachelor of Finance. I also had an office job in Sydney CBD and quickly realised that the repetitive nature of the job was something I didn’t want to continue. I’ve always had a love for events and seeing people come together for experiences. I loved the idea that event management could incorporate so many different aspects; from marketing, to budgeting, to creative and to physical practice – I knew I would never get bored!
What program did you chose?
The Event Manager program. It’s essentially an online course but also included ‘in person’ sessions.
I know from the start of the course that I wanted to enter into PR and experiential events that promote fashion/lifestyle brands. I put all my work and effort towards that goal – and now I am in my dream role managing events for top-tier clients
What do you love about events?
I love being able to see my guests faces once they enter a room! When people whip out their phones to take photos of the space – that’s when I know I created something special and something worth capturing.
Why do you feel you got the job over others?
The interview process at NEON first started with a face-to-face interview. Following this, I then got through to the second round where I had to showcase my creative skills through a hypothetical proposal brief for an event client. I definitely believe I got this job over others due to my creative ability to think of unique instagrammable features for brand clients and that my ideas have more originality to them.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical work day as event manager of NEON includes managing two event assistants, creating mood boards for clients, liaising with all suppliers, managing the overall budget and purchasing, negotiating collaborations and sponsorship proposals, scouting new clients, running the bump-in, bump-out and event day logistics…and consistently brainstorming new cutting-edge ideas for the events industry!
Wow that’s a lot! How satisfied are you with your current role?
Excited beyond belief
What’s a highlight of the job so far?
I executed an entire influencer activation for our client, Pretty Little Thing at Splendour In The Grass Festival. This was a major task with a lot of responsibility and creative direction that I absolutely loved. It brought a new challenge of organising an event outside of Sydney, therefore required extra work in terms of location, new vendors, and arranging an entire events team! We hosted influencers in a Byron Bay mansion for the weekend and included so many fun activities and a huge launch party! This event really gave me the confidence as an events manager with all events that followed.
How did CoEM contribute to you securing this position?
CoEM was a great help in building my foundations of event management knowledge. Without them, I would not have been able to create the proposal brief for the interview rounds that secured my place in the company! CoEM definitely taught the necessary skills and important information for creating a real life job proposal.
I actually was offered this position 2-months before graduating from CoEM!
While studying how valuable was the Industry Engagement Program?
The Industry Engagement Program was so important to understand the type of events that I liked and disliked. Being able to network with people in the events industry is also just as important! It really helped bringing myself outside of my comfort zone and take notice of just how much work goes into running an event.
What other valuable lessons did you take away from the course?
The most valuable lesson was that the more practical experience you have, the better you will be in the industry! I also learnt that creating organic and natural relationships with your suppliers is so important for on-going work. I have some suppliers now that I would even call friends! We always trust each other to deliver, arrive on time, and execute the overall vision together.
So you have any advice for anyone wanting a career in events?
My advice would be to be truly passionate about what you do and which events field you go into! I knew from the start of the course that I wanted to enter into PR and experiential events that promote fashion/lifestyle brands. I put all my work and effort towards that goal – and now I am in my dream role managing events for top-tier clients.
What does a future in events look like for you?
Long-term, I would love to be a Director of an events agency or even my own events agency! The events world has so many opportunities and avenues so I cannot wait to see what comes my way.
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