GUEST POST: Sarah Wenman, Conference and events consultant at HotelRes Ltd and Great Events UK. Travel
Millennials in this industry are constantly looking for new opportunities to get involved in. I personally want to get out and experience what’s on offer, not only to gain valuable insights into the industry to bring to our clients' events but also to broaden both my professional knowledge and my personal horizons. The "Millennial mind set" means that we are always looking for that new challenge to excel in and succeed, we look for new and exciting ways to further our development and keep ourselves up to date with the ever-changing face of the industry.
Being a Millennial in the events industry certainly has its fair share of challenges and changes - both as an organiser and on the client side. In my current workplace, we have seen a change in the needs of our clients and the types of events they want to hold. Gone are the days of the standard boardroom meeting with a Powerpoint presentation thrown in for good measure! Now it’s all about engaging - interactive events in unique and unusual venues across the globe with added values such as team building activities, incentives and dining experiences. There is also a strong emphasis on social media, technology and the way an event is shared, presented and delivered.
I personally came into this industry with no previous experience whatsoever after a long 9-year stint in a retail position. I was instantly thrown into the deep end and learned new systems in a role that couldn’t have been more different than what I was used to. To re - use an analogy recently said to me by an inspiring Irish guy nicknamed Padraicino: My first week felt like I was drowning in a pool of uncertainty I had jumped straight into with both feet, it was either sink or swim so I thought to myself – best get swimming then! And I haven’t looked back since. Best decision I ever made!
My journey into the meetings & events world is proof that there is an incredible amount of potential for millennials to adapt and shine in this exciting industry - no matter what your background is. I have experienced some amazing opportunities in the 3 years that I have now been part of this exciting and fast paced industry - travelling to different destinations, dining in high-end venues and meeting likeminded individuals. I have forged both good working relationships and friendships around the globe - these are just some of the perks of the job.
This industry gives millennials the opportunity to experience destinations, venues and activities first hand and to meet some amazing people along the way. These opportunities give people like myself the platform to recommend new ideas to clients that we can talk about with confidence, all while increasing our profiles as #eventprofs through networking.
Through business trips I have - learnt about the history of Flamenco in Madrid, walked through the city of Rome, tasted many a whiskey, learned to play the Bodhran and walked over the roof of third largest stadium in Europe, Croke Park, on its infamous skyline tour in Dublin (I have a long standing love affair with Dublin’s fair city so this was an absolute personal highlight for me!).
There is a big opportunity for Millennials to showcase and explore what social media and digital marketing can do in the destination management field and beyond. Millennials have experience of using these platforms as teenagers and in young adulthood - we sort of have a natural navigation of technology. We’re all just a hashtag away from event world domination!
Millennials have all the opportunity they want to make memories and lead the industry in a new direction.