11 Ideas for Shifting Your Event Career Path

Are you feeling pigeon-holed into a specific career path and want to realign? Or feel that your services offered are too broad and need focusing more clearly? Either way, here are 11 ways to get on track.

Once you have established yourself within the event industry, your confidence begins to build and you may feel like there isn’t any task that you can’t handle. You may have found a niche that suits you well and you’re beginning to take the lead on projects. But what if you decide that you’re interested in exploring a new area within events? There are many emerging roles and skills needed in the event industry and the possibilities are growing all the time.

Although it is great to offer a wide variety of services there can be wonderful benefits to focusing on a specific niche. Instead of being limiting finding a way to identify your desired niche and position yourself as a leader can really boost your career. Here are 11 ideas that will help you to shift your focus towards your desired area of expertise and and expand your future career opportunities.

  1. Use Your Network

If you are looking to make a shift within your career your personal and professional network are a great place to start. While it can sometimes be intimidating to make a career shift, if you make your goals known within your network you will be much more likely to hear about new opportunities that may suit you. You never know what options might be available to you, unless you start exploring and connecting with others in the industry.

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  1. Take a Step Back

On occasion you may have to take a step back in order to make a career shift. This might mean taking a lower paying job, or perhaps a more entry level position in order to get your foot in the door with the niche you are interested in. Once you have broken into the sector of the industry that you desire you will be able to build and grow upon the experience.  

  1. Volunteer Within a New Niche

If you aren’t ready to fully take the dive into a new niche you could start out by volunteering to see if it’s a match for you. Many different types of event managers are looking for volunteers.  Wedding planners, nonprofit organizations and corporate organizations can all benefit for an intern or event volunteers. Reach out and see if you can job shadow or assist on an upcoming event. This will give you great perspective before you take the leap into a new focus area.

  1. Create a Personal Brand to Reflect Your Goals

Reinventing your career can be significantly impacted by the personal brand that you surround yourself with. As soon as you know where you want to focus your career goals you should take time to make sure that your online presence reflects your newfound passion. Keeping your social channels up to date, creating a blog or newsletter and developing consistent messaging will show others that you are focused and committed to your profession. By portraying a sense of confidence and knowledge you will instantly gain credibility with others within your niche.

  1. Start Your Own Business

If you can’t find the right job within the niche that you desire, you could go out on your own and start your own business. If you feel that you have the experience necessary and the drive to be an entrepreneur and that the demand is out there you might be well served by taking the leap and creating your own opportunity. While this does take time, commitment and passion it can often times pay huge dividends for motivated event managers.  

  1. Continue Your Education

Depending on the type of change you are looking to make, you may benefit from some additional education or a certification. Having increased knowledge in a specific area will show your potential clients and employers that you are committed to your new area within events. While there are the common certifications such as the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional),  there are also niche specific courses and certifications for industries like wedding planning, travel consulting and catering.

  1. Conduct Informational Interviews

Once you have identified the shift you would like to make in focusing your events career you might start to gain some additional knowledge by interacting with individuals who are already established in this portion of the industry. Reaching out will help you to build relationships, identify new opportunities and learn more about the area where you want to focus. Doing some basic informational interviews with other event managers can be a big boost to your career and your network.

  1. Learn How to Communicate Your Transferable Skills

Just because you are making a career shift, doesn’t mean that the skills you have already gained in your previous years of work are worthless. Take time to identify the skills you have and how they can translate into the new work you will be doing. If you are moving from planning conventions to planning private parties, you have a large number of skills that will easily translate to your new career, but the key is being able to convey this to your potential clients and employers.

  1. Gain New Skills and Knowledge

Finding a niche within the event industry that appeals to you can take some time and research but it is a key tactic of millionaire and celebrity event organizers. Be sure to spend ample time reading and researching all of the pros and cons that can come along with each area of interest. You should also look into blogs within the niche to stay current on trends and connect with influencers.

  1. Allow Yourself to Overcome Your Fear

Give yourself permission to explore your passions and take a leap! Sometimes making a change can be a bit scary, but if you follow your heart you will be so much happier and fulfilled in your career. Make smart and educated career moves, but give yourself the freedom to explore everything that the event industry has to offer!

  1. Position Yourself As An Influencer

As you gain experience and expertise, you should spend some time and work hard to position yourself as an influencer in the sphere. Find opportunities to speak at events, write and develop content, update your social profiles, comment and start discussions on social and professional networks. By building your reputation you will attract more clients for your business and gain the attention of potential business partners and employers.

In Conclusion

Everyone’s path to success in the event space is different. Some of us may know instantly where we want our focus to lie and others may spend years working on a variety of events. The key is that you find something you enjoy and you take the time to explore the options that are available to you. This is one thing that makes working in events so fabulous. The endless opportunities are sure to create an exciting career for you no matter what niche you may land in! And if you want it enough you can be the event boss.

About The Author
Kelli White
Kelli White has 10 years experience in event management, creative marketing, volunteer coordination and non-profit fundraising. You can follow her at @kellimwhite.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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