In all honesty, how good are event management students?

As an industry we have come a long way in terms of technology, health and safety reforms and generally keeping up with the evolution curve. Lamps that used to give you sunburn on stage, are now replaced with cooler pieces of kit in every sense of the word. Those clever event geeks who live in the dark and experiment with the very fabric of what we know and understand, continue to take our industry on an R&D warp drive into the future.

That is the great thing about our world. The stuff we need is developed by us, because it makes our life and subsequently our work better, easier and more creative. A pointless or inefficient change is generally greeted with sarcastic and cutting remarks, the offending flight case being left in the warehouse or at least on the back of the truck.

The event industry is this unforgiving because of the time frames we find ourselves working to. Although we embrace change for the better, public hangings off the nearest truss should not be ruled out for purveyors of crap ideas and those fixing stuff that’s not broken. We all know that you can’t improve Gaffa tape, so leave it alone!

This brings me to the main point of my latest rant. I clearly champion the next generation of event people. Investing in new talent is an equally important part of the evolution process and without encouraging new shoots to grow, we will find ourselves in desolate place, with knowledge and experience lost.

I have the best job in the world, I still get butterflies before I go to site and I wake up wanting to go to work. Even after a couple of decades of doing so. It’s a privilege to share my passion with those who want to do the same and I’m constantly impressed with the level of commitment Terbell students, and now my new intern friends at Jack Morton, demonstrate in their pursuit to forge a career in our industry. In my mind, they deserve the support and hand holding as they climb the first rung of the Zarges.

Sharing our trials and tribulations has huge personal value. One of life’s delights is the gawky look on twenty faces staring back at you, each one hanging on every word you say when I spin my eventful life into some rather embellished stories. Hopefully the audience picks out the important bits and goes home a little wiser having learnt from my mistakes and experience.

I want to celebrate the enthusiasm, the drive and commitment of those young and old students who want to either change their career or are just starting their journey in the workplace.

Fact – It is quicker to do the job yourself rather than spend the time showing a student how its done, then having to go back to check the work. More often than not making massive corrections that left unchecked, would result in two million rubber wristbands arriving from China with the wrong branding and made of cheese.

However, if we adopt this stance of “its quicker to do it myself” then the whole mechanic of evolution through education falls apart. Dinosaurs of the event world like me get crinklier and we’re soon going to see stair lifts and Zimmer frames appearing as line items on budgets, because we have neglected the next generation.

Next time you see a grubby event student sitting on the floor in some kind of yoga position, usually listening to bands that have Latin sounding names – grab ‘em and show them everything.

 They will love you for it, and one day will probably be a great source of free VIP tickets!

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