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Where have all the events marketers gone?

by EN

Founder and CEO of TEMBO Kate Disley looks at the transferable skills that can make great events marketers in a recruitment drought. 

Experiences marketing troubleshooter Kate Disley set up TEMBO. Disley’s team are jettisoned in spur impactful marketing within existing teams.

With the talent pool for events marketers dwindling, demand for their services has never been higher. Which would be great, says Disley, if she wasn’t also suffering from the dearth of events marketers.

Double whammy

Disley is a realist when it comes to scouting the market for bright events marketing talent. But there is scope she says by broadening your search.

“There aren’t any left,” she says.

“The biggest problem is we lost so many event marketers through Covid-19. They left industry.

“That causes two main issues. One, there isn’t anyone left to recruit in industry. And two, all that knowledge has gone as well. It’s not ideal situation, it’s a double whammy.

“We need to start looking outside the industry and I would encourage people to look to different skill sets. There are lots of transferable skill sets.

“I would look at anyone who has worked in publishing – it’s a very similar game. Both are about understanding audience.

“People tell me they only want people experienced in event marketing, and they need to look further. A lot of it is laziness that they don’t want to teach someone.

“It’s not rocket science, but there is a rhythm to it. As an event marketer for 25 years you know what is going to come flying at you.

“You know you’re going to have to prepare a preview or an app. Or there’s going t be the event guide deadline, or have to do a conversion campaign. Those are simple things we take for granted as event marketers and know you have to do that, but someone who hasn’t worked in events might not know.”

Top skills

Disley says there are different skillsets that can be invaluable at an events marketer.

  • English degrees. Disley recommends candidates with English literature or language degrees “because you know they can write well”
  • Marketing degrees. She says are “interesting, but personally would favour an English degree
  • Digital design skills. “Being able to make things look pretty is an underrated skill,” she says.
  • Someone who can build something in software will be able to work out how to use an email platform.
  • Publishing background
  • Finally, “go back to basics,” she says and look at their GCSEs and A Levels.

Raise the game

All hope is not lost Disley concludes.

“If someone is bright, you can teach them,” she says. “It does take time, but it’s not brain surgery. As an industry we have not choice, we have to look outside, bring new blood in then make sure we keep hold of them by making it an appealing place to work.

“Salaries have shot up, probably slightly out of control. That’s probably good because we’re having to attract fresh blood. We have to raise our game.”


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