Lecturing Legend – Leanne Bamford-Barnes
We consider ourselves to be very lucky when it comes to the talent we have around here at CoEM. Our lecturers come from such diverse areas within the industry and have completely varied backgrounds, yet still wear the common badge of all being event managers! Leanne Bamford-Barnes is no exception. Coming from the hot area of experiential marketing events, she is now CoEM’s Manager of Training and Assessment (very important person) and is the epitome of what we love about our teaching staff; dedicated, honest, smart and creative. She also possesses one or two other attributes that are mandatory upon hiring; a slightly mischievous nature and a sense of humour!! Here’s what Leanne has to say about her years in the event industry so far…
Q. How many years have you worked in the event management industry?
A. 14 years. I worked at marketing and experiential agencies for just over 10 years, then I freelanced for about 4 years until I moved into adult education.
Q. What do you love most about working in event management?
A. The people. I have worked with some amazing men and women that have become life-long friends. Working in events means you are always working as part of a team which I really enjoy, it suits my personality. I also liked the fast pace and the dynamic nature of the industry, but it’s the people that I really love.
Q. What’s your favourite event that you have worked on?
A. I don’t have favourites – sorry! Every event that I have worked on is memorable in some way. When I started my career it was all about working on big global brands but as my career progressed I became much more interested in working on events that had the power to make a real difference not just sell products.
Q. Have you encountered any obstacles during your career?
A. Several years ago trying to work part time in the events industry was challenging and almost impossible. I think this is changing though as workplaces are becoming more flexible and the workforce is looking for a more balance in their life.
Q. What’s your favourite event of all time?
A. Year one of Vivid. The event itself is spectacular but I think that it’s my favourite because of how it fitted into my life the very first time that I went with my family.
Q. What’s the worst job you have had?
A. Working with irrational and rude people can turn any job into a bad one very quickly. I have also done my fair share of packing and taping up boxes to send by courier – the ‘not so sexy’ part of event management!
Q. Tell us one of your career highlights?
Winning an Agency Award when I was working at Momentum in London. At the time I was working with a very challenging client and it was nice to be recognised by my peers.
Q. Tips to be an awesome event manager?
A. Be flexible and approachable, always say thank you. Be one step ahead of your clients. Being kind and easy to work with will always get you ahead.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt working in events?
A. Surround yourself with superstars. Your job will be easier, more fulfilling and loads of fun if you are working with the best of the best.
Q. Tips to get a job in the event management industry?
A. In our current market interning and volunteering at events is a great way to build your CV with relevant skills and experience. We receive constant feedback from industry that they are looking at qualification and experience when they are hiring. And, remember that each time you meet someone in the industry you are actually networking and making contacts for the future.
Q. Who inspires you?
A. The women I work with, they are truly amazing. It is a pleasure to go to work every day and work with smart, professional, creative and passionate women.