Being an event professional in 2021

Last Updated on Thursday, 8 July, 2021 at 12:48 pm by Andre Camilleri

James Cassar is the director of several event companies within the corporate and social event fields.

It has been an all-time myth that working in the events industry was an easy way to make money while having fun.

The truth is that, this is just that – only a myth. Working in the events industry is very challenging, not only because of the very long hours, which require you to work through evenings, weekends and public holidays, but also because of the substantial responsibility that burdens an event planner. Planning an event requires long hours of planning, testing and meetings in order to deliver that experience expected by both client and attendees. Delivering experiences requires knowledge supported by hands-on training that instils planners with the skill and foresight to come up with the correct decisions at the right moment and frequently when one is hard-pressed for enough time to think. Sacrifice and skill are in fact necessary for all professionals within the events industry, from photographers to videographers, bands to DJs, light and sound operators and riggers, dancers, performers, chefs, waiters, bar tenders, security personnel and so many others who are part of the industry. 

While professionally executed events come with sacrifice, they also reward the events professionals with great satisfaction, as an event becomes a memorable experience that continues to be remembered long after the event has ended. Events have always been taken for granted, but are in reality experiences that make up the lives of individuals. People have always celebrated their milestones with events – be this a birthday, a religious milestone, a marriage, an anniversary, a personal achievement, and so on and so forth. Similarly, societies and countries have done the same; every milestone, anniversary or achievement has been sealed by an organised event, making that highlight a memorable one. Business events have also been opportunities for businesses to network and make connections locally and internationally, showcase products and sell them to new customers, meet local and international partners and seek further opportunities. Social events have offered the opportunity for individuals to meet, develop relationships and friendships, possibly leading to stronger bonds such as marriage, partnerships and collaborations. Physical meetings are therefore part of life and life without such events is not the life most people wish to live.

Fast forward to 2021: 15 months from when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the world. Event professionals, artists, suppliers … indeed, the event industry in general have been side-lined; the realities of the industry’s dependents have been put aside, left to beg for a fair and safe re-opening, which allows operators to earn a living once again and to sustain their families and those of their teams. This safe re-opening is potentially the only way to safely control crowds when people meet to socialise, which will happen as it is part of our culture. The only way to ensure safety is by trained personnel, monitoring entrances and exits and ensuring regulations are not being broken.

In 2021, event professionals are not only begging to be considered as equal to other industries; they are also begging to allow them to plan the events that once made life much more interesting, colourful and enjoyable.

James Cassar is also a hands-on event producer himself, with a strong academic background including a PhD focused on international events and event destination marketing from Bournemouth University, UK. James is a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta, lecturing topics related to events and is also the author of academic papers, reports and conference presentations and proceedings. James is also assistant secretary general at MEIA

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