A shortage of manpower is a common issue among stakeholders in the
business events industry, regardless of the region. As businesses build
back in the new reality, the fight for talent is challenging the
business events industry.
Below, three events industry professionals share their thoughts and strategies.
Phil Boyle, SVP, managing director, Asia, Jack Morton
The sudden recent return to live events from virtual ones across the
last two years has seen the market flooded with opportunities for
skilled live-event producers and project managers. This means that these
skills are heavily in-demand, so the freelancer market is hot with a
lot of freelance talent booked for the next 12 months on projects.
Event producer talent has become a lot more agile in the last two
years, so the ability to understand both digital and live events has
become a major asset, especially as we return to live events, with
digital and virtual components integrated across every event.
It’s increasingly important to push strong strategy skills and the
use of technology across our industry, so we are seeing talent come
across from other integrated marketing agencies rather than traditional
Luther Low, regional operations director, Asia Pacific, CWT Meetings & Events
We are always on the lookout for passionate, driven, and
high-performing individuals to join our team. It has definitely become
more difficult to find the right talent as many meetings and events
professionals have moved to other industries.
However, with a number of MICE-related courses being offered at
educational institutions across region, we're looking forward to some
new blood joining the industry.
We are hiring planners with event expertise and recruiting from other
sectors. Experienced event planners can hit the ground running and
manage projects with minimal supervision.
But we’re equally on the lookout for talented individuals from other
sectors who have the right attitude and can bring new ideas, and we
provide them with on-the-job training.
Natalie Crampton, director, TEC
It’s been tricky to find the talent in the Middle East, especially in
the UAE, because the majority of the people who live here are expats
and when Covid arrived, we didn’t have the government support that you
saw in other countries such as the UK. People who lost their jobs had to
go home as they couldn’t afford to live in Dubai.
It’s been hard to recruit - our first port of call is to recruit
locally where we can, as local knowledge is key. We will then go further
afield, but we are mindful that it can take up to six months to get
people up to speed with the culture and local traditions.
We’ve recently hired from the client side, the first time we have
done so in 14 years, and it’s given us a useful perspective. We are open
to hiring from other sectors too, as long as potential recruits can
offer the right skills set.
Aviation is a good sector, where senior cabin crew members from
airlines such as Emirates and Etihad are very well trained in client
servicing and posses a lot of the skills required. They understand food
and beverage and have other skills that are transferable, alongside
in-depth knowledge on travel and destinations.