Academics at Leeds Beckett University are developing a set of career guides for people looking to enter and progress careers in the outdoor events industry.

The two guides will cover a range of events including music festivals, agricultural fairs, recreation and leisure events, and some corporate events. It will focus on jobs such as events manager, events assistant, production roles, security, health and safety and marketing.

The guides will focus on: how a career in the outdoor events industry can progress; defining the likely stages in career development; ways in which individuals can enhance their career prospects; and what can organisations can do to support, attract and retain talented individuals.

The two guides produced will be freely available to the outdoor events industry:

  • An Outdoor Events Industry Career Guide – This guide will be aimed at potential applicants – students, young people, professionals in other fields looking for a change of career – and current outdoor events professionals, to assist with career planning.
  • Supporting Career Development in the Outdoor Events Industry – This will be aimed at employers to identify what organisations can do to attract, support, develop and retain staff to remain within the industry.

Professor Kate Dashper (pictured) in the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management at Leeds Beckett, is leading the research project, which has been funded by the Events Industry Forum.

Dashper said, “The outdoor events industry consists of a diverse set of occupations, roles, positions and career paths, with variable working patterns, contracts and relationships. This can make it difficult to understand what a career trajectory looks like.

“This can cause problems with recruitment – as it is not clear to potential applicants what kind of career they could develop in the industry. It can also make retaining staff challenging – as it can be hard for current staff to identify ways in which their career can develop and progress.

“Over the next 14 months, our research will address these gaps in understanding. This will provide the evidence we need to develop two resources: one to guide potential and current outdoor events professionals to see the sector as providing a long-term option for a successful and satisfying career; and one to assist events organisations in recruiting, supporting, developing and retaining staff.”

Dashper said the project will benefit the outdoor events industry in both recruitment and retention: “As many organisations in the outdoor events industry do not have trained Human Resources professionals, these industry-focused, evidence-based resources will provide essential guidance and input to assist in all stages of employee management, helping organisations attract and hold on to the best staff.”