#EventProf of the week: Aimee Cole, freelance event manager

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Each week we will focus on a StandOut individual who has been extraordinary within the events industry. This week it is Aimee Cole, freelance event manager.

How did you get into the events industry? Where has your career taken you and what roles have you enjoyed?

My journey into the dynamic world of events began as a graduate in 2021, armed with a 1st class degree in international events management. I stepped into the arena (quite literally) as an event coordinator at Sheffield Arena, where I cut my teeth on the logistics, planning, and execution of large-scale events. From there, I worked as an event manager at The NEC in Birmingham, further expanding my expertise in event management.

Embracing the freedom of freelancing last year, I embarked on an exciting chapter in my career. Through freelancing, I’ve been privileged to contribute to incredible events such as Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Soundstorm, and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Each opportunity has provided me with invaluable experiences, broadening my horizons and deepening my passion for the dynamic world of events.

 

 

What is it about your job that you love doing?

What I genuinely love about my job is its diversity. One week, I find myself standing in a muddy field, and the next, I’m halfway across the globe contributing to a festival in the desert. This variety not only keeps things exciting but also allows me to meet so many new people along the way. From last-minute firefighting together to bonding over the chaos and joy of making events happen. Every project introduces me to a new tribe of support and synergy, with many friendships that expand beyond just a single event.

What’s been the standout moment of your career so far?

The standout moment of my career so far was undoubtedly when I secured my first freelance position at Glastonbury, working within the main site office team. Glastonbury is a bucket list event, to both attend and work, so receiving the opportunity was a “pinch-me” moment that gave me the courage to embark on my freelance journey.

In my role overseeing all on-site accommodations, I encountered significant logistical challenges. However, it was here that I realised the true essence of event management lies in the intricate details that go unnoticed but make all the difference.

What’s been your biggest achievement?

One of my most significant accomplishments revolves around my role as event manager for the Network of Women in Events (NOWIE). Within this, I orchestrate events that connect women from various areas of the industry. This year, we achieved a milestone by curating a full day of content for the Event Production Show’s Future Stage. Throughout the day, we hosted five panels featuring esteemed industry members, fostering pivotal discussions on a range of industry topics. Contributing to a movement that amplifies the voices of women, creates opportunities, and promotes representation is special to me.

Equally, what have you done that you can now look back on and cringe?

Looking back, I cringe at my fear of seizing opportunities. There were many instances when I doubted my abilities or opted to remain in an unhappy role out of fear of the unknown. I often dismissed opportunities, convincing myself that they were beyond my capabilities.

What key pieces of advice would you give to someone starting in events?

  1. Be proactive and inquisitive. Put yourself out there, express your interest, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. The events industry is filled with amazing individuals and valuable lessons to absorb. Having a positive attitude can go a long way.
  2. Prioritise your mental and physical well-being. As a freelancer often involved in on-site work, I have learned that my health is paramount. Establish a simple routine that includes breaks away from your desk, nutritious eating on-site, incorporating exercise (even if it’s just a walk around the site), and allowing yourself downtime between contracts. The burnout is rarely worth it!
  3. Refrain from comparing yourself to others. Each person’s journey in the industry is unique and equally significant. Draw inspiration from others but focus on your individual path.
  4. Have fun. Regardless of your level of interest in the event or show, try to experience it for yourself and find enjoyment in what you do.

Approach the industry with curiosity, self-care, a sense of individuality, and a commitment to finding joy in the process.

What career goals do you have and where do you see yourself heading? For example, is there an event that you would love to work on but haven’t?

Currently, I’m enjoying the flexibility and diversity that freelancing offers. My aspirations include getting involved in more international projects and tours. Looking further ahead, I envision myself transitioning back into working in arenas.

If you would like to nominate someone for #EventProf of the week, please email marketing@standoutmagazine.co.uk