The Green Room

I am a specialist recruiter for the events industry. AMA

I’m Robert Kenward and I’ve worked in the events and recruitment industry for over 20 years. I’ve run my own recruitment consultancy for the last 4, so hopefully this adds more credibility than any BS creds pitch I can throw at you.

My approach focuses on the personal and career aspirations of candidates matching my client’s business growth plans, rather than the usual cookie-cutter approach of throwing CVs at a company and hoping something sticks.

I specialise in niche, business essential and time-critical roles, which are crucial to the successful growth and development of a business.

I match people with people via our bespoke Fitability® programme, as well as their skills and experience, therefore helping clients RETAIN talent as well as attract the best fit for their business overall, not the closest match of who happens to be looking at a job board.

Oh, I also have a puppet as my brand ambassador…

I’ll be here to answer your questions live on 2020-06-02T15:00:00Z2020-06-02T16:00:00Z.

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Talk soon!

Hi Robert,
Thanks for doing this AMA! Our question is - are there any jobs at all for events professionals at the moment?

Hello Robert!

  1. With the event manager job being one of the five most stressful jobs, do you think it is usually underpaid? From my personal experience, this is the job that requires your heart, your soul and most of the time you work around the clock, but they pay does not reflect it.

  2. I have noticed that the events industry is mostly represented by women, have you seen any shifts in that respect in your career? And if not, why do you think that is the case?

Thank you in advance :slight_smile:

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And one more:

  1. What is the most sought after skill set of event manager by recruiters?

Thank you!

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Im a very happy freelancer but do miss the security of a full time position.
I have worked with a company for over 6 years now, how would you suggest I go about asking for some kind of retainer post Covid?

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Thanks for your questions so far!

Robert is here and will start answering shortly.

Keep your questions for Robert coming in and it would also be great if you could share your thoughts about jobs in the events world after lockdown.

There are, however what i’m seeing is they’re usually from companies reacting to an immediate need (online, virtual) specialist etc. rather than career roles. The market is thinking about waking up, however, it won’t kick back into 50% gear for at least another month or two.

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  1. companies pay what they can afford or get away with, applicants need to decide if what is on offer suits them. In general an EM salary should reflect the responsibility, accountabilities and added value to the business. As you know, every EM role has it;s nuances and as such so does the pay.

  2. I think the ratio is 70% female, however board or owner level is something silly like 30% which is crazy. The shift i;ve seen is this getting called out more and acted upon rather than some CSR drive for clicks.

  3. Fun fact, it’s a recruiters job to decide what is sought after. I’m paid to interview a client to take a full brief and write a job description the look for these specific skills/background/experience/fit/etc.
    If you’re asking what skills are clients mostly looking for, it’s flexibility and ability to work autonomously .


Sounds simple but just ask. You will however, need to show why this will help them as well as you.

The bigger question for me though is if you’ve worked for the same company for 6 years then IR35 will bite you on the butt when that comes back in and why would you still be freelance there? I know you’re getting paid more on a day/project rate than PAYE but all the benefits and security etc. but if you’ve not wanted perm before, is it more to do with the current situation rather than any burning desire on your behalf?

Hi Robert,
Do you think there are certain qualifications that would make an event producer more competitive?

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Hi Robert,
If someone has their heart set on working for a particular company, how should they go about this? Is there anything they could be doing during lockdown?

Can you share what a typical salary and hourly rate might be for a medium level Event Manager in the UK? And what kind of responsibilities that might cover?

question from jonny.
Do you think there are certain qualifications that would make an event producer more competitive?

Only relevant to the sector, demographic or role you’re going into. For example a Diploma in Event management sounds great and looks awesome on a CV, however, i honestly can’t tell you the last time someone insisted upon a qualification (unless tech production etc.)

People get hung up on what they can do, rather than how they can help a new employer or add value/make their life easier etc. If you can show examples, tell stories of where you’ve hit what they need, that’s better than any piece of paper.

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How long’s a piece of string…

EM in live events or B2C experiential can range from £25-£50k, howeverm remember some people use AM, AD, SAD in place of EM so it depends on what you mean by an EM and what you’re doing.

It’s too wide a question really. Sorry.

Don’t know about hourly rate as i only work on permanent career roles.

Agreed! We receive quite a few speculative CVs / applications that focus on the qualifications and competencies where we’d would much rather read about their experience and how that could ultimately help us as a business.

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research before doing anything.

Assuming they’ve highlighted this company as a cultural/social/skills/clients/people match rather than “they do cool stuff” then you need to reach out the people responsible for hiring or someone on the senior team.

Best way is by finding out if they are connected to anyone you know and then asking for a direct referral. Not a job, a referral, phone call or something to introduce yourself.

Otherwise it’s a email (as none is in an office at the moment), however you need to realise they may be furloughed, redundant etc. themselves so open with empathy rather than asking for a job.

“i know you might not be recruiting at this time, but i wanted to put myself on your radar should you ever need someone’s who’s great at XXX, i’d love the chance to chat and answer any questions you have”

Something like that.

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That’s fair enough! Also interested in internships. Are these generally free or paid? I would need some kind of income to live off so have always been put off doing these before.

Great tip, thanks! Cheeky question - do you think this works for projects as well as jobs?!

If you write with the reader in mind and can show how you add value and what you do that would make their life easier, no one is gong to get mardy

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Hi Robert,

As events shift from physical to virtual, have you seen a shift in recruitment requirement/ job descriptions in that way as well?


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