What? Why? How? All You Need to Know About Conference Producer Jobs!

Becoming a conference producer is, in our view, one of the most exciting and dynamic roles for a graduate to get into.

As the creative force behind the commercial hubs of the events world, you’ll be responsible for market research that will unveil the most important topics and trends across a huge roster of potential industries you’ll specialise in: these can range anywhere from Security, Tech, and Telecoms, to Education, Health, Energy, Leisure and many many more. A conference producer’s research involves speaking to experts face-to-face and over the phone, ranging from analysts to high-level executives, generating proposals, and creating the shape and content of the events themselves. University graduates are uniquely positioned to fulfil these tasks: your studies will have given you the critical abilities and tools to dissect a given research topic. The aim is to produce creative copy, brochures, agendas, and whatever other kind of literature might be deemed necessary for a conference’s successful undertaking.

As well as speaking to industry experts, you’ll be tasked with securing their attendance as eminent speakers, making use of the flawless social skills you’ll have no doubt spent your degree perfecting. You might be wondering why you’re planning events if you don’t get the opportunity to see them yourself. No need, because you’ll be attending as well! The international scope of many conference companies means you could find yourself globetrotting across the world’s continents: events can take place anywhere from South Africa, Russia, and India, to North and South America. It’s imperative that you show up, not just so you can marvel at your creation, but also to ensure its smooth running and to apply those networking skills university students are so famous for: it’s one thing for a speaker to attend a conference, a whole other thing to keep them coming back again and again. This is where the client-facing side of conference production becomes important, as your presence will offer opportunities to build on existing relationships that could last your entire career.

If you’re interested in Conference Producer jobs, here are some of the things we’re looking for:

  • Research, analysis and copywriting skills, the bedrock of any successful conference.
  • A team player, because you’ll be working across sales and marketing teams to coordinate your efforts.
  • Flawless interpersonal and communication skills, as you’ll be charming your way to success.
  • Commercial experience either post-graduation or during your degree, to build transferable skills
  • A 2:1 degree, either BA or BSc, seeing as it’s the cornerstone of academic intelligence.
  • Language skills that are worth your weight in gold in the events industry.
  • Last, and not least, you’ll want to be financially driven, as the bottom line, as with all businesses, is to produce a product that generates revenue.

 

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about Conference Producer jobs, how they work and how we can help you find one.

 

Ask the Recruiter – October 2018

I was offered a job last month and was all set to resign, however my current company upped my salary and convinced me to stay. I am now having second thoughts – what should I do?

Your question is not unusual. Due to it being a very candidate short market, research found that over 50% of people are counter-offered when they resign. Of those that stay, 50% are active in the job market within 60 days, 80% have left within 6 months and 90% have left within a year! The reason for this is that the counter-offer tends to be a knee-jerk response from the employer, and rarely fixes the underlying problem(s) that led to the employee wanting to leave.

Given that this is therefore a common issue, both recruiters and employers tend to be aware of it, and the savvy ones will have left a door open rather than burned bridges with the candidate who accepted the counter offer. Providing you feel that this door is open, I would recommend re-approaching the recruiter and client again – chances are they may not have filled the original role or may have a different role to consider you for. Providing you approach them with the right attitude, they are likely to re-consider you. If there is not an open door, or the employer is no longer hiring, I would start your job search again asap – the second thoughts inevitably get worse, and the sooner you confront the issue the better.

What is the etiquette on dress code for interviewing? Few offices seem to wear ties, or even suits nowadays so I don’t want to turn up overdressed, but likewise I don’t want to appear scruffy!

I always work on the basis that it is better to risk being smarter than expected than to dress down and find that this goes against you. Few companies will mark you down for being overdressed, although some might do so where image/culture is of special importance (I have heard of some PR agencies rejecting people for wearing suits). If you are using a recruiter, I would start by asking them – they are likely to have visited the company’s office before and have an insight to its culture. If you are not using a recruiter, you may gain this information from some Internet research – do they have a picture of the team/inside of the office on their web site for example? You could also phone the reception, explain that you are due to visit, and ask them what the typical dress code is. If you are still not sure, I would wear a suit/equivalent for most interviews, with a decision on whether to wear a tie based on how corporate you feel the company is. However, if it is for more of a creative agency interview, I would go smart casual.

If you have any questions for next month’s Ask the Recruiter email us at [email protected], follow the company on LinkedIn or find us on Twitter @_MediaContacts and Facebook.

Media Employment Market Update – October 2018

We have noticed some very specific trends in the employment market in 2018, creating an environment that is unique in the 25 years that we have been recruiting. Here is a breakdown of what has been happening, and what it means to you as an employee/candidate:

Record number of vacancies / low unemployment:

  • By the Summer, a record number of job vacancies was recorded (https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/job-vacancies)
  • At the same time, unemployment has fallen to the lowest level in over 40 years (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45181079)
  • Our view on the reasons for this are:
  • Continuing economic recovery from the 2008 crash. Business confidence is relatively high despite Brexit and we are seeing as many growth hires as we are replacement hires
  • The size of the workforce is declining due to a combination of an ageing population and a reduction in immigration
  • During recessions employers often stop hiring and training junior staff. As the economy recovers that leads to a lack of intermediate level job seekers as fewer people entered the industry and now have experience

What this potentially means to you

  • We have seen strong wage inflation come in, both in the general economy (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45481485) and also through our own Media client base. From our perspective basic salaries in areas such as publishing, events and PR/communications were static from the crash of 2008 through to approximately 12 months ago. Since then basic salaries have typically increased by 15% – this may seem a high figure, however it represents less than 2% per annum when you consider the 9 year doldrums
  • Employers know that it is a tough period to hire in. Those with vacancies will often move quickly, and expect prompt decisions if they interview a strong candidate. This is partly to reduce competition to hire good quality applicants, but also because of the cost and inconvenience of having unfilled vacancies
  • When candidates resign they are highly likely to be counter-offered by their current employer – research has suggested that over 50% will be. However, there remain very good reasons not to accept a counter offer (https://www.recruitment-software.co.uk/7-counter-offer-statistics-every-recruiter-needs-know/)
  • In our view these conditions make it the perfect time to evaluate your job options – salaries are high, employers are fighting each other to hire and the record number of vacancies takes the risk out of moving jobs
  • If you are considering a change, we would recommend doing so in the next month – in December things will slow down and interviews will be harder to arrange, and savvy candidates are aware that the best vacancies for early 2019 will be interviewing and offered before the Christmas break
  • We are noticing freelancers are moving into permanent positions. This is due to the more aggressive political/tax stance towards the self-employed, a narrowing in the gap in earning potential between freelance and permanent, and employers being more willing to consider flexible working arrangements. Historically employers have been nervous about offering permanent positions to candidates who have freelanced long-term, however a number of our recent placements have been on a “temp to perm” basis to tackle this – it gives both parties a trial period before committing

If you would like further information about the current market, to assess your options ahead of the New Year, or to take advice on salary, appraisals, career options etc then please get in touch at [email protected] or on 0207 359 8244

Client Focus – Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry: An insight into B2B PR agency life

There’s never been a better time to work in B2B technology PR. The industry is thriving and growing at a rapid rate, driven by rampant innovation and a desire by companies of all sizes to digitally transform their operations.

This buzz of activity is creating a huge amount of opportunity for PR firms. Those agencies that are creative enough to deliver unique campaigns, smart enough to understand today’s technologies and personable enough to build lasting relationships will get the chance to work at the forefront of innovation.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “That’s all great, but is it really as good as it sounds?” It’s a fair question, so let’s take a closer look at what agency life is really like.

PR in action

B2B PR agencies are typically fast-paced, dynamic environments and exciting places to work – and the lorries is no different. The rate of innovation in technology means you’ll always be mentally stimulated and there will never be a shortage of interesting assignments for you to sink your teeth into.

You’ll also get the chance to work with a mix of different personalities and people from different backgrounds. Some will have technical experience, others will be more creative or strategically-minded and some will come from journalism backgrounds. Being able to work with and learn from so many different types of people is one of the main benefits of working for a PR agency.

Technology attracts a diverse crowd and the clients PR agencies work with are likely to be some of the most interesting, thought-provoking people you’ll ever meet. They are innovators that are literally changing how the world works and you’ll get a front row seat to the whole show.

What’s more, the variety of work means you’ll constantly be developing new skills. You could be organising an event one day and developing a company’s messaging the next, making B2B PR an extremely progressive industry to work in.

Of course, there are still challenges that come with a career in tech PR. For example, having to understand technical/niche content and make it accessible to a wider audience can be easier said than done.

PR can also be a tough, thankless gig. You’ll be expected to manage crises, think on your feet and pick up new concepts quickly, often without receiving the recognition you deserve from clients.

PRs certainly believe that the pros more than outweigh the cons, but the big question is: what makes the lorries the perfect place to start, or continue, your PR journey?

Why the lorries?

For anyone who doesn’t know, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry are an ambitious global agency with offices in London, LA, Boston and Berlin – and yes, there is scope to travel! They deliver B2B technology PR, content marketing and customer communications to a range of industry-leading clients – creating one brand story and experience, in one tone of voice.

Their boutique approach to clients means you won’t be stretched out across loads of accounts. You’ll work closely with a small number of clients, enabling you to get to know their businesses inside out and deliver fresh, insightful, effective campaigns.

And that’s not all, there are plenty of other factors that make Red Lorry Yellow Lorry a great place to work:

  • They will develop your skills – Working to be better is part of their DNA. They run bespoke training programs to develop your capabilities and career and give you opportunities to shape your experience.
  • They put an emphasis on culture – They want you to enjoy working there, so give you the freedom to be yourself in a great working environment as part of a fun, diverse and international team. They’re also family-friendly and flexible (they know you have lives outside of work).
  • They’re a social bunch – With regular after work drinks, there are plenty of opportunities to socialise, including an annual weekend away to a surprise destination!

So, if this has got you interested in a career at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, feel free to get in touch. They’re always looking out for great talent and would love to hear from you!