Networking is a key part of an event management career.

Ever heard of the phrase "it's not what you know, but who you know? While you need some form of knowledge base, networks and connections are invaluable in the business world. In fact, the people that you meet – in both professional and personal settings – could just be the key to your career in the Australian event management sector.

However, as not every person you meet will have a dream position for you, it pays to do your own networking – to give you the edge over the competition. So, if you are an event management student thinking about the future, what networking avenues could you take to further your prospects? Read on to find out.

Take on the power of social media

Are you taking advantage of social media?Are you taking advantage of social media?

According to Social Media News, there were 3.7 million Australian LinkedIn users as of January 2016. This figure continues to grow year after year, and if you are not on the platform, you are missing out on some sweet networking opportunities.

Using LinkedIn, you can not only network among other professionals, but industry leaders too. Unlike Facebook, it's possible to follow, comment and share posts from these movers/shakers – highlighting your insight, thoughts and interest in the industry. According to Princeton University, building your LinkedIn connections requires minimal effort, and you can learn what event management organisations want in a candidate.

Of course, if you take this route, you can also post your own articles on the industry, further showcasing your hireability.

"Hello, nice to meet you"

While many networking opportunities are heading online, the traditional approach of industry events is still tried and tested. Each year in Australia, the event management industry puts on countless conferences, which provide unparalleled access to some of the industry's greatest minds.

Take the NSW Career Insights event from Meetings and Events Australia, for example. As a pure career event, it highlights the evolving range of roles in the event management industry. This is the type of event where networking is accepted and encouraged – connecting future leaders with those currently leading their fields.

Networking events also put you one step ahead of the competition in relation to new technology such as Priava – the cloud venue and event management booking system software currently used by Kenvale College. Capable of managing many complex processes such as multi-venue availability, event logistics, catering, equipment and resource requirements, the software could become the industry norm, so being familiar with it could put your application at the top of the pile.

At industry events, it's important to be open to conversations and always remember to take note of new acquaintances' names – so you can add them on LinkedIn later!

Studying your way to a job

At Kenvale College, networking can also occur in the learning environment. All of our event management subjects have real world practical event assessments that provide work experience opportunities, utilising the knowledge and experience of outside organisations. These are a great opportunity to showcase what students have learned in the classroom, and good performances can lead to job offers and future networks.

Another chief networking opportunity the College provides for students are industry guest speakers every two weeks. In the past, this has included representatives from the International Convention Centre in Sydney, Rebecca Hunt from Event Birdie and Managing Director of Eventeamwork Jana Wunderlick.

Event management is key across a number of areas.Event management is key across a number of areas.

Students also have many opportunities at college to build their network as Kenvale is continually informing students of industry events such as The Event Show Sydney.

Of course, as a student, you can continue to ask questions and build a network of contacts for the future. But putting in your best effort, showing a good attitude and being responsive to learning can turn work experience into full-time employment.

Event management – where do I begin?

Interested in learning more about Kenvale College's event management courses? With our open day approaching, now is a great time to launch into your dream career!

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Thank you for inviting us – we really did appreciate it. I must say I was really impressed by the Briar Ridge team – one of them (… Aiden) did a really great job explaining who they were, what they were about etc., and really took the time to give us the background on the person behind it all (Gwyn Olsen). He’d clearly immersed himself in the project, and I think she’d have been really pleased if she’d seen that. Happy to reach out and tell her so if you think it would help pave the way for future events.

- Anonymous, Winefest Guest 2015

I just wanted to express thanks and congratulations to all at Kenvale for the magnificent lunch provided on Thursday.

I have been to many hatted restaurants this year and can honestly say that they would have struggled to produce such fantastic dishes.

The lunch was a credit to your students and your staff.  It would be a privilege to enjoy another visit next year.

Best wishes to your graduating students for success in their career and to your staff to continue to guide students to reach such a high standard.

- Anonymous public guest at Kenvale Restaurant 2015

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