Connecting with your customers, as well as your colleagues is important, especially in the events industry.
Are you considering a career in the events industry but don’t know where to start? Carving out a new career can be daunting, but hearing from those who have already walked the path can be incredibly inspiring. That’s why we spoke with Puteri, one of our Cluster Sales Managers at Encore, who started out in the events industry after winning an Apprentice-style competition. In this interview, Puteri shares her journey, including her favourite aspects of working at Encore and the valuable skills she has developed along the way. Plus, she offers advice for those looking to follow in her footsteps. Read on to learn more about her inspiring story.
How did you first become interested in the events industry and what led you to your current position?
I was studying marketing at university when I heard about The Eventice, an Apprentice–style competition in Dubai. It allows final year students to compete to win one of two exclusive jobs at a renowned event production company. This competition sparked my interest as I was keen on pursuing a career in the field. It sounded like a great opportunity, so I gave it a go and won! Encore reached out to me after winning the competition and gave me the opportunity to join the team as a sales coordinator for venue services. Here I am, seven years later and still proud of this achievement.
Could you tell us a bit more about The Eventice and why you think Encore has chosen you to join?
The Eventice took place over three days. Initially, 120 students signed up and only thirty made it into the final rounds, based on recommendations from the university. We had to solve several challenges as a team, much like the popular TV programme. On the first day, the ‘game’ was similar to a treasure hunt at a mall which tested our teamwork skills. On the second day, we had to create a pitch deck and promote our concept, and then the last round saw us tasked to discuss our biggest passion. When it was my turn, I spoke about my love for connecting with people, a value that Encore also holds close to their heart. Connecting with customers and colleagues is paramount in the events industry, and I knew this was something I could excel in.
Fast forward to today, and I am now the Cluster Sales Manager for the area that includes the prestigious J.W. Marriott Marquis, where the Eventice took place. It’s as if I hatched from the hotel itself! Encore recognised the passion and creativity I brought to the competition and saw that I embodied their values.
How do you stay motivated and focused on work, and what do you do to continuously develop your skills and knowledge?
Maintaining strong connections with the sales and wider team at the hotels is a crucial element of my job as a sales manager. It makes my work more enjoyable and keeps me motivated. When I first started in sales, I struggled with public speaking and initiating conversations, both of which are essential skills in this line of work. However, with the help and support of my colleagues, as well as my love for self-help books, I have been able to overcome this fear. I learned that the key to effective communication is finding common ground with the person you’re speaking to and having a passion for your job. That way you establish a sense of trust and build a stronger connection.
What do applicants need to bring to the table to be successful as a Sales Manager?
The event industry can definitely be busy at times, so you need to have the right mindset and be able to deal with last minute tasks. It’s a competitive environment so enthusiasm, willingness to learn and a can-do attitude are crucial as well as the ability to know who to ask for advice when needed. A customer-first mindset, something that Encore prides itself on, is also paramount You have to be passionate about going above and beyond to meet your customers’ needs and providing them with the best possible service.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in joining the event industry but don’t know where to start?
Universities usually offer recruitment fairs which are great opportunities to speak to different companies, such as Encore, where you can talk to people in the events industry first hand. Some of my friends who work in production used to go to concerts or events, talk to the crew members and ask if they had any openings. An internship or apprenticeship programme could be another great opportunity to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience. Explore as much as you can, give your best and take time to reflect and see if what you’re doing matches your ambitions and personality type.
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