A Week in the Life of a (4 Day) Event Manager
I am Karen Stenning, an Events Manager at Legacy Events and I am driven by my values and principles to both planet and people and this is why I work for Legacy Events. The events industry is a big polluter and creates hideous amounts of waste and unnecessary cost to the environment. It doesn’t have to be that way and Legacy proves that you can care about the planet and people and pull off a high calibre event too. This is a typical week for me, although I would say no week is ever the same, so here is an atypical week for me.
This is my day off from Legacy. At Legacy Events they promote the 4-day working week, a growing global movement to help business productivity, worker health outcomes, stronger families and communities, challenge the gender equality issue, and work towards a more sustainable work environment. This day off allows me to work on my new social enterprise - Spirited Futures - a leadership academy for young changemakers and trailblazers. I also get to meet other people in the sustainability and environmental change sector.
This is usually our team meeting day and a chance to connect in with the (now) European team on Google Meet. This is a great time to work out what we are all doing in the week, share ideas and knowledge and support each other with new events, suppliers, venues and production top tips. Now we live in a virtual working world, it is important to have time to support one another and share ideas. We also have a laugh and giggle too, we need to remember that work doesn’t have to be serious all the time.
Tuesday is my “lunch and learn” event for my main client. The client is a big tech company and I manage and host their internal lunch and learn across three different time zones. It is all hosted on Google Meet and we have about 50 people attending and learning about data science, market research and other research that has happened across the company. The purpose of the event is to allow employees to share insights and knowledge globally and using virtual events space is a great way to boost people’s learning and career development. Once the event is finished, we have to edit and upload to the clients digital library with a summary of the event, and well branded in the corporate colours.
The end of the day is finishing up the countless emails and Slack messages that have come in during the week and last few days.
This is my planning and organising day. We are starting to do a mixture of in-person events and online events. Wednesday is mostly my planning day, so I will spend the day doing a mixture of creating production schedules and building work flow processes to ensure that all projects are delivered on time and on budget. As Legacy is a sustainable events agency, we have the added responsibility of doing checks on suppliers and checking their green credentials. We have a check-list and all the team at Legacy have been trained on sustainability and what to look out for and how to spot a company that might be green-washing in order to look ecological although they may not have thought through their processes and systems effectively.
Every week we seem to manage a large online event. No week is ever the same and sometimes we are hosting large scale online conferences over several days, sometimes we produce and manage smaller events or in-person events. Whatever the size of the event, there is a long process of initial briefings from clients, creating plans and putting the production of the event together. We also have to work alongside marketing and communications teams to get the right messaging and communications across to the audiences involved.
We liaise and work with caterers and sustainability suppliers. Legacy has created a Marketplace of great suppliers and everyone who features on our Marketplace has been checked and verified by the Legacy Marketplace team. It is a great tool for event organisers created by event organisers.
In recent months we have started to go back to doing in-person events and have hosted some sensational events with delicious local food menus and serving tasty organic wines and beers from sustainably sourced suppliers. We look to work with companies that source locally and are not harmful to the environment. We have on-boarded new musicians and DJ’s supporting the music industry and showcasing new musicians and their creative talents. In terms of venues, we will only work with venues that have the best environmental and zero-waste credentials in place.
This is usually a day of wrapping up all outstanding administrative and processes that need to be ready for the following week. Friday’s are not a day for corporate events, so it is definitely a day of less running around or joining online meetings.
Friday afternoon is having last minute calls and slowing down in time for the weekend, maybe with a chilled beer at 4pm - obviously from a local craft beer. That's the end of the week and time to switch off from the screen. It is important for our wellbeing to switch off over the weekend, as events can be long hours and multiple plates to be spinning. Time off is essential.
Thank you for reading!