One of the things that we love about what we do is that it’s a very broad sector with fuzzy definitions and this is one of the problems with trying to professionalise the industry. We also have a large section of the events industry that is voluntary and it’s almost impossible to engage that audience in ‘professional’ networking or discussion as it’s not what they are in it for.
Anyway, it’s vast so how can we define ‘event organiser’? Are we logistics? Planning? Strategists? Creatives? This term alone covers a myriad of realities – from the voluntary organiser of the town carnival to the manager of a large scale conference, from a music festival director to sports event co-ordinators. We have a problem with our terminology. Add to that that most of us are working far beyond our job descriptions, then we really don’t know where we stand and we have no means to compare and contrast where individuals are within the sector.
After this week’s success with the Invictus Games Prince Harry can claim to be an event organiser and happy for him to join us! But it highlights that our definitions such as they exist are insufficient. This also means that our clients and potential clients have little to help them comprehend the quality or capability of an events organiser. So what can we do?
Together with a number of other agencies and suppliers, we are working with EVCOM to promote quality event management services and to gain some shared understanding of what professional means in this sector.
Students start back at university this week (at Falmouth anyway) and our first session with the third years is ‘what does it mean to be professional?’. I am hoping that the discussion with give us some further insight into how we might define our role and sector!
Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky Events