AAA 30under30 alumni Tim Herdal is a senior event manager with over 10 years of experience working in event production, procurement, large-scale site management, event control and artist liaison. Here, Tim reflects on the foundations of his career and discusses what the future may hold for him.

What was the first live event that really made an impression on you?
I come from a small town called Lewes, in the South East of England, which hosts a massive bonfire celebration every November. It’s not unusual for many of the locals to be involved since the moment they can walk. I grew up with the celebrations and was fascinated with all aspects of the event from a very early age. Seeing my small hometown welcoming around 80,000 spectators was captivating and inspiring.

What made you want to get involved in the industry and why?

There’s a sense of escapism in events, which I feel is vitally important in today’s hectic world. We grow up reading and watching the imaginary stories of other worlds, letting our minds escape from our everyday life for a short period of time. The ability to create these experiences in real life for attendees to lose themselves in fills me with excitement and drive! The majority of jobs work towards the everyday running of our world, so it’s refreshing to work to break people out of it.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome?

The ability to say no. When I was trying to find my space in the industry, I would say yes to absolutely every role going. Taking the time to step away from work has been a massive challenge for me, and one that I definitely need to work on still. The clarity I find from walking into a job well rested and rejuvenated is not to be overlooked.

How important are schemes such as AAA 30underThirty and do you believe the industry does enough to support young professionals?

As an industry we generally accept that there isn’t a lot of recognition for the work we do, which is why it was such a nice to find out that I had been named as part of this year’s cohort. It is important for us to step back and appreciate the work we do, and AAA has massively opened my eyes to that. The young professionals of this industry are the future organisers, managers and drivers of the event space in years to come, so making sure they are well recognised and supporting them is vital. There’s always more we can do to support young professionals, but as an industry this space is moving fast and lots is happening!

What is your advice for someone who wants to start a career in events?

Connections are your best friend. Talk to everyone, learn from everyone. In an industry as complex and diverse as events you will never know everything, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I will always want to keep a toe in the creative world of festivals. However, I am fascinated by the world of large sporting events, particularly by the complexity of extreme sports events. If anyone reading this is part of that industry, I would love to chat!