I Wish I Knew That

Ever have that head slapping moment? As I’m getting more and more experienced in events, I’ve been finding myself doing that more and more. So, to save you the time (and headache), I’ve made a list of things I wish I knew or advice I wish was given to me at the beginning of my career. While the majority of the list is related to events, a lot of it is applicable to many industries and careers.

Identify event companies you want to work for. Find a key person in that company and take them out to coffee. Pick their brains.

Spend time with your AV guy. Get to know the basics so you could troubleshoot in a pinch.

Do what you love and what you’re passionate about.

It’s OK to sacrifice a little to get where you want.

Ask for unpaid internships or job shadows in a variety of different niches like weddings, concert productions, corporate, destination management etc. Decide what you like best and go after it.

It’s all about who you know. Network and meet people. The events industry is small so get to know people early on.

And because I read somewhere that experience is the best teacher, I went and sought out tips, advice and things they wish they knew back then from some of the best event professionals that I know.

“Wish I knew that no two things will ever be the same!” – Tahira Endean, Cantrav Services, @TahiraCreates

“Focus on what it is U do otherwise you risk under performance & a loss of focus on other work.” – Marc Smith, Amuse Consulting, @Amuse_Events

“1. ALWAYS bring a back up pair of flats. Yah, the four inch heels looks great but you will die without a back up (especially for any event not on carpet!)
2. I love doing events but I think Samantha Jones did all the SATC fans a bit of a disservice. It isn’t nearly as glamorous as a red carpet event every evening! You will be sweaty, dirty, stained and exhausted at the end of any event you do!
3. If you are an event contractor always add 20 hours to what you think it will take to produce an event
4. Have a team or at minimum a very confident #2 to help you troubleshoot day of
5. Be nice to your vendors! (This really should be #1). You will need a favour called in at some point. You do not want to tarnish these key relationships.” – Andrea Bava, Blitz Media & Events, @blitzme

“My secret to biz success. very simple 50% hard work + 50% patience if you don’t have both become an employee.” – Marc Smith, Amuse Consulting, @Amuse_Events

“I wish I knew:

1. What a chivari was (hint: it’s a chair!).
2. That the phrase “9 to 5” does not apply to the events industry!
3. That confidence doesn’t necessarily always make up for lack of experience.
4. There truly are no stupid questions (see point 3 above) 🙂
5. When you think you can’t do any more, you can always do a little bit more.
6. Comfort over fashion onsite – ALWAYS!
7. There is such a time as 4am, and sometimes that is your rehearsal call time.

The thing I never expected?

How inspiring, gratifying, and exciting my career in the events industry would be. Dream big!!” – Katie Schaeffers, Procreation Design Works, @katieschaeffers

“You will never stop learning to keep events current. And you need to play nice – it is a small sandbox!” – Tahira Endean, Cantrav services, @TahiraCreates

“It’s all about who you know. Collaboration is KING!” – Liz King, Liz King Events, @lizkingevents

“This trumps all: find your true passion and focus on that!” – Soha Lavin, Countdown Events, @countdownevents

“The little mistakes at an event – nobody notices them except you so chill and just get on with it.” – Laurent Munier, Way Doper Events, @laurentmunier

“Surround yourself with really smart ppl in areas that are not your core strength.” – Marc Smith, Amuse Consulting, @Amuse_Events

“1. Network, network, network – industry is super tight knit and everyone knows everyone. Good to meet as many people as possible to maximize opportunities.
2. Strong people and communication skills are a must – whether you’re dealing with a client or a supplier, you always have to have your game face on.
3. Best way to learn: by being hands on – if that means putting on a pair of work gloves and learning how to put up a 20×20 marquis tent with your tenting supplier so be it!” – Brittany Wong, Brandlive Group, @Brittany_Wong

“Always promote. And never stop promoting until the very end (even if you are sold out).” – Laurent Munier, Way Doper Events, @laurentmunier

“[Things I wish I knew at the beginning of my career…] Corny as it sounds, it would be how much I would love this job!” – Alicia Keats, Alicia Keats Weddings + Events, @aliciakeats

I hope this list was of value to you – I know it was to me! And because this post was all about sharing and learning from each other, feel free to leave me a comment about the best piece of advice you got/you have to give. And if you want the inside scoop on events, follow these fantastic peeps on Twitter!

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7 thoughts on “I Wish I Knew That

  1. laurent says:

    Glad to be a part of this list with all these wonderful people. Thank you Priscilla.

    This should be required reading for anyone taking an Events Production class or just starting out in the industry.

  2. Shira Gordon says:

    Fantastic post Priscilla! I totally agree with all of it. I will pass this on to anyone interested in getting into the events field 🙂

  3. Chivari is a chair!!! you’re right. Excellent advice and words to live by

  4. […] To read the original post by Priscilla, click here. […]

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