Lecturing Legend – Greg Latham
Our next featured lecturer is Greg Latham, lecturer at the Melbourne Campus and coordinator of one of our part time Diploma courses. As you will read, Greg has had a long and varied history of event management but what you won’t see on his CV is the fact that he’s a coffee loving Kiwi who loves playing volley ball and the ukulele and hanging out with his two boys. And absolutely hates having his photo taken!! Enjoy our Q and A with Greg…
Q. How many years have you worked in the event management industry?
A. Before I started teaching (which I love), I worked for twenty years in the events industry, running a range of events, from small free concerts for local councils through to large arts festivals that ran over a couple of weeks. I’ve worked in both New Zealand and Australia.
Q. What do you love most about working in event management?
A. I get the biggest buzz out of managing events when the curtain goes up and I see the delight on the faces of the audience. It’s very satisfying seeing what I experienced when I first saw a band or artist – sometimes quite a long time earlier- come to life. I love that feeling when the audience cracks a smile, or sheds a tear just like I did when I heard them or watched that show. For me, that’s the magic.
Q. What’s your favourite event of all time?
A. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival which is held each year in August. It’s huge (the largest Fringe in the world), with so many performances going on throughout the city. I really felt like a kid in a lolly shop because I could go and see so much – often 3 or 4 shows a night, every night for over 2 weeks! It was a little bit overwhelming but great in the same breath.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt working in events?
A. One of the things that I believe helps in the events industry (possibly also in life) is not to allow obstacles to stop you achieving what you want. Being able to navigate around large immovable objects is a key. And I have definitely found a few of them lying in my path! I find the most helpful way to think in such situations is: Can I get around this?; Can I get through it?; Can I blow it up?; or Can I build a bridge and get over it?
Q. What was one of your most difficult jobs?
A. Probably the time I worked in local government. Some people love it but I found it stifled my creativity because of all the obstacles. But as in most things there are glimmers of light in the seeming darkness. In this case I was very proud to bring the Exxopolis Luminarium to Melbourne in 2014.
Q. Tips to get a job in the event management industry?
A. Tips for working in events: You never know who is watching you. Even if you are working in a dead end role in a less than perfect situation always be mindful of who you come in contact with – they might be your next employer.
I’ll leave you with that thought…