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Last week, we kicked of this three- part series to cultivating confidence and building careers in the event marketing industry. To recap the series:
1. BE THE FIRST
Whether you’re sitting in an important client meeting, surrounded by high-level executives, or conferencing with team members, don’t be afraid to be the first to speak up. You’ll gain confidence each time you do it, and you’ll earn respect in the process.
“You have to prove to the world that, ‘Hey, I’m here for a reason I was asked to be in this meeting, so my input is just as important as everybody else’s here,’” Gilchrist says.
2. FIND YOUR VOICE
If you have something to say, say it proudly and strongly—don’t let your voice go down. Not only will this benefit you in meetings and pitches, but if you’re face-to-face with consumers, they’ll absorb that enthusiasm and remember the interaction better.
“It’s the presence you have in the room. Come in confidently, project your voice and you’ll gain that trust and have that relationship, whether with clients, the team or consumers,” Gilchrist says.
3. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS
And after working on your inflection, consider filtering out passive words from your vocabulary, such as “I think” or “Maybe” or “Could.” Choose strong, active words. Be direct.
4. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM
Encourage your team to take ownership of their individual roles. This is especially true in the world of staffing, where more often than not, producers will not be on-site to give minute-by-minute direction. A confident team reflects positively on you.
“It’s giving people the tools they need to own their own project,” Gilchrist says. “There’s nothing more powerful than coming to the table or event with a full understanding of your role and responsibilities. I preach that to my team.”
5. MAKE A DECISION
That’s right. Decide.
6. MAKE A MISTAKE
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be afraid of not learning from them. If you can prove that you’re honest, that you made a mistake, that you found a solution and executed that solution, you’ll have the gumption to handle the chaos of the event world.
7. LEARN THE ‘TOOLS’ OF THE TRADE
Get your hands dirty, learn how things work and how they’re made in order to deepen your overall perspective on the industry and what keeps it humming. Even if it means picking up a power tool every now and again.
8. BE ACTIVE
What’s going to get you pumped for an event or staffing gig? Listening to an inspirational podcast? Going for a run? Getting amped up on your favorite playlist? Events require energy and personality, so find that outlet that will allow you to shed the stress and help you bring your A game to the footprint.
“I am a huge fan of TED talks. I listen them when I travel, in the car and as I am getting ready in the morning,” Gilchrist says.
9. FIND A MENTOR
We know networking is important, but it’s equally important to find a mentor—a reliable, wiser person who’ll offer career advice, help problem solve, offer references, throw a few opportunities your way and ultimately, influence your career.
For Gilchrist, with so many young people starting off in staffing, the role of mentors are especially important within her organization to help staff “mature” in their roles quicker.
“Mentoring them together with senior level people has really given them that confidence—that ‘learn by example’ mentality,” Gilchrist says. “It’s not just about that one person telling them what to do, it’s supporting them so they can do the critical thinking and problem solving—because if you can’t do either of those on your own, you’re not going to go very far in the event industry.”
10. ATTEND EVENTS
Isn’t it obvious? It takes one to know one—we’re talking thinking like an attendee. Be a fly on the wall. Fill up your calendar. Observe the staff and take mental notes of how you felt at every point in the experience, including what went well and what was missing. You might earn some major points for doing your homework, and you’ll be better equipped to face consumers on the other side of the coin.
“Better yet pick up some shifts and work as a brand ambassador! You can appreciate the work when you get out there and put in a 12-hour day on your feet.” Gilchrist says.
Tune in next week for part 3 of the series: Game changers: they’ve types of event staffers shaking up the industry.