December 8th, 2020
HOW 15 EVENT PROFESSIONALS GOT NEW JOBS
Today's read...9 minutes
We're focused on the PIVOT this week with info on how to improve your profile, update your resume, successful pivot stories from folks in the industry, and how you can get a little “Help For The Holidays.” Plus, find out how you can “Tune-In” for Back of House’s FIRST live event!
More updates to the 2021 festival schedule: M3F plans to happen as soon as March, with Life is Beautiful in September. Meanwhile, Envision Festival and BUKU Music + Art Project decide to take 2021 off, and instead, BUKU announces a new event for late October dubbed BUKU: PLANET B.
It seems pretty clear that events will need vaccines to return in full force, but event production resources may also be the best way to bring that vaccine to the people. Belgium and Manchester have already shown that their involvement in government initiatives could be a massive catalyst in overcoming COVID.
More research efforts are being employed to study live entertainment’s return to large crowds. The Apollo Hall in Barcelona will examine a variety of testing styles and PPE with 1,000 volunteers. Virus spread isn’t the only thing being tested, though; research will also be put into managing audience comfort levels in venues.
After 30 days straight without cases, New South Wales moves to 100% capacity and up to 5,000 attendees at outdoor events. Their government will also try to jump-start the entertainment industry by granting $1.5 million each to multiple production companies, including the producers behind Splendour In The Grass, to launch new 2021 events under COVID regulations.
Australia will host Summer Sounds Festival starting this year. The month-long concert series will feature “Party Pods” with groups of 4-6 people, pre-ordered drinks and snacks, enhanced safety features, and much more to keep fans and staff secure.
Interested in pivoting while events are on hold? No one blames you! Here are some Linkedin and resume tips from entertainment recruiters to help you polish off your profile.
Spotify partners with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to donate $500,000 to the emergency relief fund for independent venues. They have been working to provide short-term relief to venues on the verge of closing while waiting for the Save Our Stages Act to pass.
On December 16th, Back of House is partnering with LinkedIn to bring you an industry-wide, FREE event, Rock Your Profile. This workshop will walk through how to create a rock star LinkedIn profile, build your brand, network on LinkedIn, and ultimately find new opportunities. SIGN UP HERE.
If you need a little “Help For The Holidays,” check out MusiCares new relief effort for industry workers. The first 4,000 applicants will receive $250 e-cards for essential goods.
You made it to bullet #10. You're a good listener. Feel free to show this week's 'Happenings' to your exes, just like your Spotify Unwrapped.
New Tips and Flip Kicks with Dan McKay
What A Year Huh? When I flew home from Bulgaria in February after ending a Five Finger Death Punch Tour, I was concerned about the spread of a new virus. As a Tour Manager, it's important to pay attention to world events, but little did I know at that point that it would bring our whole industry to a screeching halt. Touring personnel are known for their ingenuity and being able to adapt quickly. I didn't want to dwell for too long, so I decided to put my energy into turning this year around, to look towards some excitement and positivity. My kids and I have been making skateboards in the backyard as a hobby since 2015. With my once rigorous touring schedule on indefinite hiatus, it seemed like the perfect time to set up a proper skateboard company! We moved from the backyard into a workshop, launched a Kickstarter campaign to make this family business a reality, and decided to call our new venture Finless Skateboard Co. Pledge to be a part of our community.
Job Advice From Other Event Pros
Though many have lost their event jobs due to the pandemic, many event pros have been able to pivot into new positions or turn side-hustles into full-time hustles, as Dan did. Back of House reached out to some of those people to gather more information about how they found their new gigs, to learn what event skills are helping them in these new roles, and to get some advice. New positions range from full-time to owner/operator, from remote work to on-site, and the contributors offer a variety of ideas and insights. We hope that their stories will help inspire you as much as they did for us!
Click the image below to hear more from each of our guests.
Need Some Resume Help?
Mackenzie “Melo” Tucker, an event professional with a graphic design background, can help make your resume stand out.
Melo entered the event industry about four years ago. Melo’s interest in contributing to immersive event experiences began as she was working on her BFA in Collaborative Design. She has dipped her toes into many pools of the industry including Artist Hospitality, Quartermastering, Decor, Performance Art, and more. Melo prides herself in being a “yes-woman” and finds the best flow in the Art Department and Harm Reduction spaces.
When she found that events wouldn’t be returning for a while, she started to do a little soul searching for other ways in which she could work. This led her to explore her love and background in Graphic Design deeper than ever before! She has now created a new business in which she helps other small businesses with their branding and also creates standout resumes for those looking to find new work. You can learn more about her story and what services she could help you with here.
Katie Budge is a live events contractor who has been working in music festivals and corporate events for 8 years, with a strong specialty in event management, production, logistics and coordination, and artist relations. One of her favorite gigs was serving as the Artist Relations Director for DirecTV’s 2019 Superbowl event in Atlanta headlined by Foo Fighters and run the jewels. Her favorite recurring annual gig is working in the AR team for Suwanee's Hulaween. After the last (2) years working as an independent contractor, and working part-time as a Producer for bSharp events in New Orleans, and Production Coordinator for Element Experiential in Boston - she’s been navigating this quarantine through strengthening her relationship with her work network and colleagues now more than ever.
The Event Professional's Pandemic Survival Guide (with Sanity Intact)
Hey there friends. For those of you I don’t have the pleasure of knowing or working with, my name is Katie Budge. I’m a contractor in live events, and pre-pandemic I used to thrive (i.e. ~earn the medium-bucks~) working for a variety of festival & event jobs I’ve loved more than I’ve ever loved money or stability.
I’m sure my yearly schedule resonates with many of you: diving head-first into 365 days of event gigs with little to no time in between the last gig’s final load-out day, and the next gig’s travel in.
For the last 8 years, I’ve followed this career path for the thrill of meeting new colleagues, traveling to new environments, facing the challenges we almost always do, and most importantly, bringing idolized music to its die-hard fans (and alright, also to make a living).
While I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything, I’m sure like many of you, I did find my mental health was at stake in light of my schedule. As time went on, I found less and less time between our 14+ hour work days for nutrition, reflection, and exercise (outside of onsite steps and lifting black and yellow bins). I’m not saying I’m happy quarantine lockdowns have happened - many people have lost their loved ones or endured extreme personal loss in their lives - however, I am grateful for the time it’s given me to reflect on how much our work does in fact mean to me, see how much it means to my colleagues, and for the personal growth I’ve found navigating what to do with myself during what I call the “corona-coaster” of the last eight months.
So now, without further ado; I wanted to introduce the information and experiences I’ve collected to put together what I call “The Event Professional’s Pandemic Survival Guide (with Sanity Intact).”
1. Lateral Career Moves
SO. I’m sure as many of you did - I panicked and cried (a lot) when I went through my calendar deleting gig after gig for what was originally looking like a really promising year ahead. I wanted to make a plan (as is our nature) but with these “unprecedented times” planning more than a day in advance seemed impossible.
The likelihood of event work in 2020 (nonetheless in 2021) rapidly grew slimmer and slimmer, so I immediately began to ponder my plan B, wondering what I would do if it wasn’t my current all-consuming career. I love yoga, the outdoors, and extreme sports, and have always been curious about film and TV. So, all of the careers swirling around those crossed my mind, but I also questioned my qualifications and simultaneously wanted to make sure no matter what it was, that I was doing something that helped me continue to sharpen my skills so I could re-apply them to our industry when it does return.
I got to talking with the infamous Back of House Co-founder Jessie Baren, as we began brainstorming this piece, and in turn, made a list I thought all my colleagues might benefit from (if not get a kick out of).
The goal of the work may not be for the love of the music, but there are a lot of career paths that emulate the environments we work in, the core development of our business and departments, utilize the skills we have refined in our careers, and need skilled workers to help them (especially the non-profits).
As for ya girl here, I started using my time to help out a lot of the incredible BLM non-profits in New Orleans. Which felt extremely right given I’d always wanted to be more active politically and with social activist groups, but never felt like I had the time. After a few months, I was also contacted by a yoga studio in Athens, Georgia (shout out to Five Points Yoga!) as the incredible Lindsey Hammond had recently purchased the studio, and was in need of a new Marketing Director.
While Marketing for music venues is something I’ve done in the past and have extensive experience with, I’d never considered it my favorite aspect of our industry. To be honest, I was not sure how passionate I’d feel about the new opportunity, although I knew I had the skills to develop the systems the business would need to succeed and achieve the goals Lindsey was looking for. To my pleasant surprise, I have very much enjoyed helping build what is a really genuine and sincere brand. One that is based around meditation, self-care, and truly supporting people through yoga and the community it cultivates.
So low and behold, I had some new projects pivoting into different industries, but roles that utilized the skillset I had built working live events. I am extremely fortunate to have received enough unemployment to be livable with my savings, and understand how I’m even more fortunate to have the luxury of being able to focus on projects I actually want to work on, not simply something I’m doing to make ends meet.
It’s not easy to commit to a job we don’t want, but sometimes we need to for ourselves or our family. It may be what some of you readers are experiencing right now, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s to remember that no time you’ve spent working any job right now is wasted. You’ve either earned the money you need to get by, to achieve new goals you’ve had in mind, or at the very least developed a brand new sense of gratitude for having worked in a field we’re truly passionate about, as opposed to many people in America and the rest of the world.
What I’m also saying is, it’s not impossible to find a temporary job pivot that provides you an enriching experience, it just may not be easy or immediate, especially given the fluctuating closures of cities and job opportunities each and every day. A good place to start is just to truly ask yourself what your hobbies and interests are, and try to branch out from there.
As we millennials say, you should probably just google it.
If you didn’t find any of the career suggestions above jumping out at you, click the button below to see my top places to job search, and to hear about the FREE live event I'm hosting alongside Back of House and LinkedIn next week!
December 8 - A Game of Two Halves is a Virtual Conference hosted by the newly formed Arena Resilience Alliance to spur the creation of a unified framework to reopen venues.
December 8: Join BizBash to uncover the do's and don'ts of successful virtual experiences, from avoiding digital distractions and engaging attendees to obtain feedback and insights.
December 9: Learn the basic principles of living zero waste and prepare for a zero-waste holiday with former Back of House Headliners Marina McCoy & Alexandra Thompson from WasteFree Earth.
December 16: See virtual event takeaways from over 200 online experiences to help develop experiential plays that you can use for your brand.
December 16: Back of House and LinkedIn present "Rock Your Profile", an industry-wide FREE event for Live Event Professionals looking to pivot their career or find a new job in the industry. This workshop will walk through how to create a rock star LinkedIn profile, build your brand, network on LinkedIn, and ultimately find new opportunities.