I met Libby and the original team when I volunteered for the ‘Easter Speggtacular’ at Baylham House Farm in March 2013: there wasn’t much time to chat though! I had come relatively inexperienced and nervous, but willing, hard-working and with intentions to impress. I was after a role at the TM Forum in Nice for the Spring but caught wind of a potential internship opening in the office at EMA Events, and set my sights on making that potential role not only an actual position, but MY actual role. It took a few weeks and a bit of badgering and as I’m still here, it doesn’t seem like Libby regrets giving me a chance! Nearly a year after starting at EMA, I am staring the Easter Speggtacular in the face again, but this time, I’m the one organising it from scratch.
Since Easter 2013, I have experienced all manner of events. I couldn’t pick a favourite; I went to France for my first shot at international business travel to manage my own forum at an enormous conference event. I have become a regular face at the Baylham events, where I have truly learned the meaning of the phrase ‘getting your hands dirty’. As a concept it’s never been something I am adverse to, but scruffy jeans and wellies are the uniform for these events!
I have taken my Baylham car parking skills to a festival for a bigger challenge; Standon Calling was my first festival experience and I have already put my name down for next year. Thank goodness for Katie’s caravan though: luckily the sporadic heavy rainfall happened to be when we were not on shift, but snug and warm under that roof! The Glynde Food and English Wine Festival has already been mentioned so many times on this site as a favourite event of our event managers and I finally got to see why! Unlike 2012 we had perfectly warm weather and along with a fantastic team to work with and a little background music, the event went by far too quickly.
Since the excitement of the Frankfurt conference in November I have had a peaceful Christmas, but ‘crazy season’ is right around the corner! Now that I have been here nearly a year, it is clear to see how far I have come from volunteering onsite at any event I could find, to getting stuck into the events from the very beginning where my role is managing everything.
My slice of advice for a prospective event manager: everyone starts at the bottom! If you want a chance, ask for one and you might be surprised how far it gets you.
There is nothing more exciting, satisfying or scary than seeing your event develop, come together and succeed. This year I have learnt so many lessons and met so many people, neither of which I will forget – bring on 2014 for more of the same!