Getting Started in the Industry
Sharon Bonner has made Bright Ideas Event Coordinators one of Canada’s top corporate event production companies. With decades of experience in the industry, her knowledge, contacts, and creativity are the key ingredients in Bright Ideas Events’ outstanding corporate events.
How do I get started if I have no experience?
The best advice I can give to you is to get your feet wet as soon as possible. Volunteer for any and every kind of event so that you can gain all sorts of experience. Try volunteering in an event office preparing for the event. Then volunteer for set up, event and tear down as each shift offers different exposure. Don’t be frightened to try anything. I suggest that you experience all kinds of events from weddings to conferences to corporate events so that you can get a real feel for the type of event best suited to your style.
Do you think formal event planning education is critical?
I think it is good to get some basic education so that you are able to converse with other event professionals. Learning about production schedules, risk assessment plans, waivers, insurance, etc. is always good knowledge to have in your back pocket. If I had to choose an employee with event education or event experience, I would choose the candidate who had worked the trenches. Experience is key!
Are event planning internships valuable and how do I find one?
Most certainly! I think internships are by far the best way to take a “crash course” in this field. It gives you great hands on experience and looks impressive on your resume. Plus you get a great letter of reference at the end of the internship!
I would suggest that you start searching early on in the year for a position before you graduate. Take time to meet with prospective companies to see what they offer and if they might have an opening for you. Internships terms are usually 3 – 6 months and are most often unpaid to begin with.