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December 11, 2018

Portugal: Recruiting the Event Managers of the Future Today

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No one survives in the event organisation business without a huge passion for this area.

Only this passion allows us to endure the physical and emotional exhaustion that is inherent in this activity.

And who can handle this pressure? How do we recruit in this area? How can we be sure that we are hiring and training the right people to deal with all that "managing events" entails?

The generation that is now arriving to the job market is largely a materialistic and digital one. Materialist because they grew up in the conviction that they were entitled to have that smartphone, that they had to buy that essential outfit to go out at night and that they had to buy that ticket to Festival X or Y that all their friends are going, so they also have to attend.

They grew up convinced that they were entitled to everything, even if they were not fighting for anything.

How does this generation, intelligent and sarcastic, digitally dependent, fit into an activity that involves so many sacrifices and placing ourselves outside our comfort zone?

First, it fits in with some fascination, not many of them imagine themselves working in businesses such as law, management, engineering, health or other vocational areas, so they embrace this area by default or by curiosity, and the aforementioned fascination by a world with its “party mode” always on.

And how do event organisation companies recruit this generation now entering the job market?

In most cases, in a recruitment interview, in addition to a training analysis in this area, occasional work experiences and motivation, what we are evaluating is empathy with the candidate and whether we have faith in the candidate's potential or not.

Confirmation that the person truly has a profile for this area comes from everyday life, but it comes first and foremost from how that person reveals himself in moments with few hours of sleep, lacking a meal or putting up with a more anxious customer.

Or coming to an empty room and believing that after a few hours, the event will be ready and fantastic, no matter what.

And here the difference is between those who succumb to the pressure or those who embrace and manage it even if, so often, behind a mask of absolute confidence, there are innumerable doubts and insecurities.

In the crisis years we heard and used the word "resilience" repeatedly. Applied to our area, it translates into a continuous effort, and suffering, to reach the intended goal.

With Miguel Gonçalves (Spark Agency) I learned that no one handles suffering every day and that organisations can not demand this from their teams. Forget resilience and adopt "consistency" as the new slogan, or the ability to be dedicated and focused daily on the activity we develop.

Being empathetic, funny and occasional creative is easy in our line of business, but withstanding pressure, being professional, consistently generating value, day after day after day, this is a championship in which very few can play.

By Pedro Rodrigues, Desafio Global General Manager

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