In this edition to our Day in the Life Series, we chat with Stephanie, an Events Planner with a large IT firm. Stephanie takes us through the ups and downs of planning and executing large scale meetings. We think that it sounds stressful but very satisfactory!
Can you sum up your main responsibilities?
Planning all aspects of the event and being onsite to ensure the event itself runs smoothly. This list is far from exhaustive however planning can include: finding the ideal venue, creating the agenda, booking speakers (including travel & accommodations), sending invites, keeping track of registrants, sorting meals (taking into account dietary requirements), organising AV, signage, music, lighting, videography & photography and on the day dealing with things like registration, logistics & timings and every potential problem that might come up!
Did you require further education to get to your current position?
I did not specifically study Event Management however many people find that is a requirement to break into the industry. My background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Events have always been a passion of mine though and it was only recently that I decided to make a career out of doing what I love!
What are the working hours like?
In the build up to an event, the hours are endless. 12+ hours days are customary and during the event itself I am lucky to get 3-4 hours sleep a night! Luckily in my job, the remainder of the time is fairly civil and a normal work day is from 8-9 am to 5-6 pm.
What are the pluses and minuses of working as an Events Coordinator?
You have to be very thorough and very prepared to ensure that you are covering all aspects of the event during the planning phase and you must take preventative steps to keep things from going wrong on the day. Despite all your hard work, things will undoubtedly go wrong so you must be prepared to solve the problem as quickly and as efficiently as possible – hopefully without anyone knowing about it! The biggest plus is that I love what I do. The build up to the event is very exciting and seeing the culmination of all your hard work in the smiling faces of your attendees is well worth it. Depending on the size of the event and the time spent planning, a post event buzz can last for weeks!
What has been your greatest achievement of your career?
A recent event that I put on for 400+ people. Everything ran smoothly and I received tons of acknowledgments on the day as well as in the months post-event. It was hard work but so much fun to see everything finally come together!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Ideally running my own business putting on events.
Do you think the benefits and rewards match up to your expectations?
How are the social aspects at your workplace?
We are a pretty rambunctious office with loads of banter. It can be great fun however it sometimes makes it hard to get anything done! I have to stay away when I am on tight deadlines!!