How to attract the next generation of events industry talent?

The war for talent is fierce in a post-pandemic world. Three planners give their take on recruitment strategies.

With increased use of technology, senior executives in the business events industry are seeing talent come across from other integrated marketing agencies rather than traditional event agencies.
With increased use of technology, senior executives in the business events industry are seeing talent come across from other integrated marketing agencies rather than traditional event agencies. Photo Credit: GettyImages/invincible_bulldog

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 event agencies.

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.



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