Bright Network chatted with Heather Young, Events Manager at Google. Here she shares her insights and experiences and offers advice to those who wish to follow in similar footsteps.
Tell us about your role as an Events Manager
I currently manage all of the events that take place in the Google London offices. There are 3 sites and 11 event spaces in total.
How did your career begin?
After leaving school, I went straight to work in a busy Solicitors office as a Personal Assistant. This did nothing for my creative flair so after a year I went to study Advertising & PR in Glasgow which spurred me into thinking about a career in Event Management.
What did you do next?
After studying, I started out as an Event Assistant at 29Glasgow. Helping out on fashion shows, product launches, celebrity parties I got the taste for it and worked my way up the chain from there. I went on to work for the largest independent leisure company in Scotland called G1 Group as Sales & Events Manager/Wedding Planner. I then made the move to London and have been privileged to work on events in some of the most amazing venues in London such as the Southbank Centre and Royal Opera House to name a few.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?
The most interesting project I have worked on was GQ Man of the Year Awards 2011 at The Royal Opera House. The amount of work and production that goes into transforming a space is immense and what a great feeling when you watch it all in action. Makes the months of planning all worth it.
Best thing about your current job?
The great thing about this job is that your day is never dull or monotonous. Each event is very different and innovative. After 7 years in the events business, it is such a pleasure to use innovative technology that is changing the face of the industry. I am very much a people person and project managing events allows you to engage with folks from all walks of life (including Royalty, Celebrities and Industry Leaders)
In brief… describe your average working day your day (if it exists!)
There is no average day here, each one unique and comes with it requests for all things weird and wonderful. It is my job to make it happen.
What skills are essential for your role?
To work in Events, you must be first and foremost, a people person. You liaise with so many stakeholders, suppliers, clients and you need to know how to speak to people on all levels therefore excellent communication skills goes without saying.
You should also have a meticulous eye for detail and be a big thinker. When you have an idea or creative proposal that you want to bring to life, try to 'kill it' first. Pick it apart and plan for what could go wrong so you know how to fix problems before they happen.
What advice would you give for someone looking to go into events?
I would say do your research first. There are so many different branches of the events industry that you don't find out about until you're in it. If you are a behind the scenes person, into spreadsheets and figures, creative designer, AV guru or if you're winning all the business for your company through your great personality and suave sales pitch there is probably an area of events to suit most.
Also, work experience is vital. it is a very fast paced and rapidly changing industry. You can work some unsociable hours and if you don't love what you're doing it will show in the work you produce.
One thing you wish you’d known when starting out…
I wish someone had told me that even though you almost always get invited as a guest to all the glitzy events you plan, you'll hardly ever make it to them as the next big project will be just around the corner.
It looks and is a glamorous industry to be in, but don't be fooled, you will work hard though the pride you will feel makes it all worth it.
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