Over the past month, I have been working with a client who is trying to break into the event management industry, to be more specific, she wants to be a wedding planner. This is a tough industry to crack as most planners are sole proprietors and thus not looking to do any hiring. After meeting with a few wedding planners, she heeded the advice of attending wedding expos and other trade shows to learn about the industry and network.
This individual has begun to hit the wedding expos to build a network of photographers, DJs/bands, florists, and other planners. She is hoping to be able to negotiate her way into an apprenticeship with a well established planner. While 99% of the attendees at the Expo are brides-to-be and are zoned in on their big day, the other 1% are savvy individuals who are catching the attention of professionals who are in the industry.
I thought this was a great idea and one that could be incorporated into other industries as many organizations use national and regional conferences to conduct initial candidate screening interviews. An example is the Chicago Ad Federation – they host a career day targeted at current or young alumni, offering panels of advertising professionals who can offer information and advice. The number of business cards swapped that day was amazing.
Think this is an out there idea, check out what CareerJournal had to say about this strategy. So instead of heading to a career fairs that can feel like cattle calls, why not head over to the trade show and talk with individuals in a more relaxed setting.