When people ask me what I do for work I often receive different versions of the same question. The list goes on: “Do you get to attend glamorous functions every weekend?”; “Do you meet famous people?”; “What do you actually DO?”. Much like the film industry’s “movie magic”, the event industry has a fantastical and otherworldly quality about it which may explain the mystery or misunderstanding of an event assistant’s day-to-day work..
The short answer is admin (yes, lots of it!). If I express it as a percentage of my total working time, it is at least 80%.
I enjoy many aspects of my role, and fortunately this includes completing the admin. I know that admin does not exactly have a reputation for being exciting – so please let me explain! Yes, admin involves creating spreadsheets, making phone calls and drafting emails amongst other tasks; but it is also rewarding in two ways.
I am continually learning.
One week I may be getting extremely well-acquainted with Robe, which is a little seaside town in South Australia that holds great historical significance in Australia and particularly for the Chinese Community. Another week I may be learning about the future direction of the palliative care industry and thinking about creative ways to incorporate the concept of “compassionate communities” for a brand launch. Another week I may be researching event trends in LA. Yes, my specialty area is event production, but there are many other intricate details that I learn about other industries through my day-to-day work. In the truest sense, no one day in the same!
Playing a large part in supporting the team.
As an event assistant, I’m the person in the background who makes sure that everything runs smoothly. It may be something seemingly trivial like making sure that the spare external battery is fully charged, or even that a spare copy of the run sheet is printed “just in case”; all these small tasks ultimately influence how effectively the wheels of the event are turning. At the end of the event, it is rewarding to know that these small actions play a part in the big picture and help the team as a whole.
Due to the multi-faceted aspect of this role, there is always something to learn as an event assistant – and that is where having good mentors, being a keen observer and having a positive attitude goes the extra mile!