Jade Rushbrooke, senior producer at Stagestruck, discusses her career highlights, how she got started in events and how the industry can better support the next generation of young professionals.
How did you get started in events?
I have always been the one to organise, from my mum’s wedding when I was 12, school prom, group holidays etc. so when I was thinking about what to do at university, events stood out. I think to work in events, you need to have the passion and love for it over anything else.
What is a career highlight for you so far?
That’s a tough question, there are quite a few. However, they all have a common theme; where I have been working so hard in the pre-production, many challenges are faced and then as a team we deliver the most successful experiences for the delegates and most importantly our clients. Also, as a personal highlight, meeting David Beckham is definitely up there as well.
What’s your favourite event you have attended and why?
Again, another difficult question, it’s very hard to attend events and not critic it with an events producer head. Purely on event experience – Coldplay at Wembley in August was amazing, from the technical production to the sustainability credentials, every event aspect was covered and delivered seamlessly. The event appealed to every sense so every time I hear Coldplay now, it takes me back, that’s a sign of a great event.
When not at work, what do you do to switch off and relax?
Spending time with my family and friends, usually eating and drinking. I also love a holiday/city break. Before Covid, I had a bit of a reputation in the office as most holidays were taken. Also watching football, going to the gym (I try) and trying not to organise anything.
Do you think the industry does enough to support and attract young event professionals, and if not what could be done?
We can always do more, although my university course was great, experience in events is vital and without my placement year, I do not think I would have landed my first job in the events world. I think more placements/internships need to be offered and companies should give young people a chance not based on their experience but on their attitude, passion, and mindset. My placement was expenses only, but I was fortunate to be able to live at home. I think if placements are offered, they need to be paid or at least accessible to those who are not able to live rent free etc.
What advice do you have for someone starting in the industry?
Take every opportunity, even if you think the role isn’t the best or what you hoped for. Be open-minded and be prepared to work hard and you will reap the rewards. The adrenaline when an event is about to begin or the pride you feel when stakeholders say it’s the best yet makes it all worth it.