YPIA committee member Alice Godfrey talked to us about how she got into Event Management in the Arts and shares insights of her day-to-day job at the London Symphony Orchestra.
Job title / industry
Events Manager, London Symphony Orchestra
Average starting salary
What qualifications /experience do you need?
A Degree and some Event Management experience. I have a music degree from the RNCM, which does help when working directly with the orchestra, but is definitely not a necessity.
In a nutshell, what is your job?
I am the sole Events Manager within the Development Team at the LSO, meaning I work alongside all the other fundraisers to organise events throughout the calendar. It’s a really varied role which includes everything from drinks receptions and dinners with LSO Artists, recitals for our corporate sponsors to standalone fundraising Galas. 2020 has also seen us organise our first series of virtual events, something which I had never really done before but has very quickly become the norm.
Best part of the job
Working on events in amazing venues, with fantastic catering and world-class artists. In my previous role at the Royal Opera House I worked on events at Buckingham Palace, the Tate Modern, the Mandarin Oriental and Trafalgar Square. My favourite events whilst working at LSO have been at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard and BMW Welt in Munich.
Downsides to the job
This year has probably been the biggest hurdle for me in my career; having to cancel countless events and not knowing when we will be back to in-person events has been very challenging. Outside of the current situation, the biggest downside of events is probably having to be the last person left in the evening and the first person back in the morning to make sure everything is cleared and ready for business as usual!
What does a typical day look like?
I don’t think there is a typical day for an Event Manager, the hours certainly aren’t typical! The best days in my current role start with a site-visit at an exciting new venue, usually include a lot of meetings and can sometimes end in an event at the Barbican, but unfortunately at the moment I seem to spend a lot more time at my WFH desk than I would like…
How did you get into Event Management?
After completing my degree I knew I wanted to work in the Arts but not as a performer. I completed a Development Traineeship with the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras which included organising their post-BBC Prom reception at the Royal Albert Hall. I enjoyed the build up so much, and the event even more. I knew my next job had to be in events.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to go into Event Management?
Get involved with as many things as possible! It could be organising a small event at uni or college, a Christmas party for your colleagues or attending a drinks reception with donors at your workplace. Every event experience is a good experience and will put you in a good position to do the job professionally. You learn the most by being proactive, fixing problems and staying positive.
If you want to get in touch with Alice about getting into Events Management feel free to contact her via LinkedIn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org