Conference producers are a vital part of the events industry. They have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, from the inception of the event, through to concept, and running it on the day – no, this doesn’t mean dealing with logistics and setting out tables! They are likely to be up on stage, giving out the opening address, and liaising with teams across the company to ensure that the event reaches its full commercial potential. It is a very busy and demanding role; a lot is expected of you and there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, but in return, you gain good exposure to all areas of the business and event, great earning potential particularly if you’re fresh out of university and has benefits such as international travel.
As a popular role within the events world, here’s everything you should know about being a conference producer!
What does being a Conference Producer involve?
Mostly you would be researching the content for the conference – desk and telephone research may be slightly tedious but is totally necessary for the event to reach its full potential.
It is a very commercially-demanding role; essentially, each event is run like its own business – profit the aim, and the role involves a lot of communication across functions.
It is a very varied role, and some of your tasks may include:
- Conducting research – as you are basically the project manager, this needs to be in-depth and will inform the entire event’s contents.
- Find and attracting the right speakers to create a high-quality event that will appeal to your audience.
- Working closely with the sales team to find and attract the right sponsors for the event.
What skills do you need to be a Conference Producer?
- Communication is key, both verbal and written; building relationships with speakers and sponsors is the key to a great event.
- Excellent research skills, as you’ll need to find the right people to talk to and have expert knowledge of the market.
- A keen eye for details is paramount – everything needs to be perfect and that responsibility rests with you!
- Commercial awareness is also important, as are the crucial project management skills; constant multitasking and being able to work effectively as part of a team.
Ready to face the challenge of taking on a conference producer job? Email your CV to [email protected] or call 020 7359 8244 for more information.
There are many different reasons why you might be dissatisfied with your job and want to leave. We’ve rounded up a selection of those we hear the most, and if any of them ring a bell, it might be time to give Media Contacts a call!
One of the biggest career motivators is, obviously, salary. If you feel you aren’t getting paid enough, do some research; our consultants have expert knowledge about industry salaries and they can help if you’re due an increase your boss can’t or won’t give you.
- Job scope
Maybe your problems stem from the work itself – maybe the job you signed up for isn’t the job you are doing right now? In this case, talk to your line managers – an open and honest dialogue about your issues might result in changes to keep you on board. Equally, it might be likely that you could do the job you want to do, but in a different company or sector.
- Career progression
If you’ve been in your current job for a while and don’t see any prospect of moving upwards; don’t be hesitant to explore other opportunities – remember, the current job market is candidate-scarce, so you are a valuable commodity and building your professional skills in a new company could be the next step for you.
- Management style
Sometimes there might just be a fundamental difference between you and the way your manager or the business itself operates. It’s important to find satisfaction in your job and if you feel that your ideals clash with those of management, then there is absolutely no harm seeing what other roles there that are out there might be a better fit for you.
- Work-life balance
Even within sectors, different companies have vastly different work-life balances. If you’re feeling demoralised because you’re expected to stay late every night, there are other companies that can allow you to do the same job, without the soul-crushing thought of consistently staying late. Better work-life balance means you will be better motivated and enjoy your job more.
- Flexible working
Many companies are more open to trying different forms of flexible working (read our previous article here) and it may be something you want to take advantage of – starting later so you can drop the kids off at school, for example. Benefits like these are increasingly common so feel free to ask our consultants which companies offer a schedule that suits you.
Regardless of the reason, our recruiters are there to help you find your next move, a job that you can be happy and satisfied with. Sending your CV to [email protected] as the first step towards your dream job…
Currently the majority of the PR desk’s clients at Media Contacts are agencies rather than in-house PR departments. Here is the low down of the pros and cons of working for an agency rather than in-house PR, so you can decide which type of career would suit you best.
Working for an agency gives you access to far greater variety than you would have if you worked in-house; different clients, across different sectors and brands, and working with a team of other PR professionals eager to share their knowledge and expertise with you.
You will also have access to a whole legion of industry experts and media contacts within a PR agency that you might not in-house; building these contacts will stand you in good stead whichever direction you decide to go in later.
Another benefit you may find in a PR agency is that you are more likely to be right on top of the latest industry trends and movements, with access to cutting edge resources e.g., creative teams and digital gurus that some in-house PR staff can only aspire to. After all, the expertise, innovative techniques, creative solutions and guidance a PR agency can offer its clients is one of the main reasons they pay them.
Whilst working in an agency gives greater variety and experience, it is often said that to truly immerse yourself in the brands, the culture and the industry sector you need to be in-house. Plus, when you are the in-house brand champion you get to be the client so can offload the bits of the work you don’t enjoy so much to your chosen agency.
It’s a bit of a myth that work-life balance and pay are better in-house – inhouse teams are usually so lean these days that employees take it in turns to be on call 24/7 and are often required to travel or attend important press briefings and crisis meetings at the drop of a hat. Sometimes pay is better, certainly for some of the really successful conglomerates, but just as often it is on a par or lower than that in agencies.
In short, there are plenty of exceptions that prove the rules and the best thing to do is to take each job and company on a case by case basis. Ideally talk to a PR consultant who knows the industry and can give you a clearer idea of what difference companies and agencies are like to work for.
One of the most important aspects of PR is being able to write eloquently and succinctly, whether it’s a press release, speech for a conference or an internal communications campaign, for instance, only well-written and interesting copy will do.
Selling in stories to the media is an important skill and it helps if you have a strong network of press contacts. The press contacts you build at the start of your career will often be what future moves hinge on.
Building rapport with clients, influencing journalists, pitching ideas and networking are all vital, so you need the confidence – even if you have to ‘fake it till you make it’ – to get out there.
- Time and Workload Management
As well as a strong work ethic, you need top class organisational and time management skills to be successful in PR – you will often be spinning plates and working to tight deadlines.
PR is a very sociable industry and you must be able to get on well with clients, internal teams and all sorts of stakeholders alike.