The exciting life of an Events Assistant

Lily, a candidate for Tiger Recruitment, one of our partner agencies, talked us through a typical day as an Events Assistant for a multinational asset management company. Events management is, as she describes it, a ‘marmite’ kind of industry – you either love it or you hate it! If you thrive in a high-pressure environment and you’re not phased when things change last minute, this could be the perfect career for you!

7:00 am: On the day of a busy event, we start very early in the morning. As I work for a large asset management company, we conduct our own research into different industries like finance, real estate and infrastructure. Today we’re launching our top-selling series of reports so it’s all hands on deck! It’s better if we can get into the venue the night before as there is so much to do on the morning of the event.

Unfortunately, it’s only myself and one other member of my team here to set up today. We have to rush around the venue to prep the name badges, set up the iPad stands, check pop up banners, and the breakfast selection. My role requires me to be on top of every detail – from obvious things like checking the AV system, right down to something as small as the wi-fi password for the venue. As an Events Assistant, you have to be on the ground to do the grunt work, but it is an extremely valuable role.

8:00 am:  As the guests start to arrive, I make sure they can find their name badge and direct them towards the breakfast table. At this event there are some really important people in attendance including CEOs, directors and VPs of multinational companies, so it’s important to remain professional at all times. You never know when you’re directing a CEO to their seat. It’s exciting to be a part of these big events because they offer some fantastic opportunities. We hold this particular event in New York, Singapore and Hong Kong, and I’ve had the chance to help those teams plan their events. Communicating and coordinating international teams is something I didn’t think I’d be doing this early in my career.

9:00 am: It may seem surprising, but when the event gets underway and I’ve handed the microphone to the keynote speaker, I can actually relax a little bit. It’s important to take any moment you can to catch your breath because even after the event is over, my job isn’t.

10:00-11:30 am: After my moment of respite, I have to remain aware of everything as anything could go wrong at any moment. In the past, I’ve had to replace the keynote speaker with less than 24 hours’ notice, and write out 400 name badges by hand when our printer didn’t arrive in time. You don’t have time to dwell on these problems, or panic. Luckily, today things have gone smoothly, but you always have to be at the ready with the stationery kit in hand.

12:00 pm: The event is over and it’s time to pack down. We have to make sure we’ve secured everything and bring it back with us, because this includes valuable tech (which needs to be packed a certain way, so it doesn’t break before the next time we have to use it).  Unfortunately, even though this is the end of the event, it isn’t the end of the day for me.

1:00 pm: Once back in the office, things happen quickly in order to capitalise on the interest from the event. We jump straight in to sending the attendees feedback forms via email, and pulling all the info we gathered from the iPads into a spreadsheet. There’s no time for lunch on event day, so we power through with snacks around the office. Ordinarily, partnerships and sponsorships make up the majority of my workload; today, however, they’ve all gone on the back burner.

3:00-3:30 pm: It’s home time! We started at 7:00 am today, so we’re able to leave the office at about 3:30 pm. Leaving the office without a debrief may seem odd, but we usually wait until a couple of days after the event because the adrenaline is still pumping and we can barely sit still. It always surprises me that even though we spend so many hours prepping, the actual event flies by in three-and-a-half hours, and by tomorrow, we’ll be on to planning the next one.

Tiger Recruitment is a London-based recruitment consultancy that specialises in matching exceptional support staff to businesses and private individuals. Graduates with the Professional Business Diploma from Oxford Media & Business School are valuable candidates for Tiger’s discerning clients.

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