This is the time of year when many meetings and conferences are underway. Shortly, there’ll be a lull as the bigger associations and conferences take a bit of a break in the middle of the summer. By break I mean that they won’t necessarily be meeting but the event planners will be very busy coordinating and orchestrating the upcoming fall conferences. No doubt many of you are wondering what jobs will be available in the industry this year. If you follow the 24-hour news cycle, well then let’s just say you must be worried sick. First things first. Turn off those news channels. While I’m slightly joking here, the meetings and events industry is still hiring. You just have to be smart as to where to begin your job search.
Consider Event Planning Internships to Get Your Foot in the Door
Of course networking can play a vital role when seeking employment. By networking, you meet potential contacts in a non-threatening environment. However use networking properly. Don’t jump into discussions about opportunities available etc. Rather, develop a bit of a relationship or rapport and the opportunities will tend to materialize from there. Internships are another great way to get your foot in the door. Typically internships are awarded to students or graduates that are entering the industry. But, don’t rule them out altogether even if you have been in the industry for some time and are just seeking a career change.
Social media plays a vital role today in the meetings and events industry. There are a couple of social media sites that stand out for their role in promoting industry jobs.
LinkedIn. There are many groups that have been created in LinkedIn for the sole purpose of promoting jobs. In fact I was so impressed with LinkedIn’s “jobs you may be interested in” widget that I added it to a related site, Welcome To The City. If you are logged in to your LinkedIn account and you come across their widget, it tailors the jobs it displays to you based on your account’s preferences. Certainly worth checking out. I would also suggest that you spend a little bit of time on LinkedIn searching for groups that deal with employment opportunities and then join those groups.
Twitter. On twitter, there are countless accounts that deal only with job opportunities. If you start following these accounts you’ll get updated opportunities delivered directly to your feed. Click here to see a list of twitter accounts that deal with job opportunities.
Is Now the Right Time to Become Certified?
Employers, when hiring people, look at the person’s skill set and education first and foremost. While the job of an event planner doesn’t necessarily require specific certification, a recent study by PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) indicated planners with event planning certification were paidhigher than those without. As I have always stated, it is never a bad idea to invest in yourself. Potential employers will typically interview those that have industry certification before those who do not.
There are event planning jobs in the industry today. While they may not necessarily be all that visible, they are still there. You have to become diligent and be smart about where to look for the job you are searching for. And even though you may be using social media to make first contact, it never hurts to be old-fashioned and pick up the telephone to make sure that they have received your information.