At a time when VO is looking for new talent, there is a question worth asking: what training, skills, qualities and character do you need to work at VO in 2020?
The event industry is populated by a variety of profiles. But which ones? And, at VO, what is the common thread that binds these professionals into a single collective? The answer is far from obvious. To give a broad outline, we asked three of the agency's “profiles”: Dimitri, an experienced Project Leader; Lindsay, a Project Developer for 4 years; Monica, a young freelancer working with us since 2018. Here is the essence of their responses, where we have identified a few constants, criteria and features of the VO “profile”.
Real training is on the job!
Trained, yes. Conditioned, never! Since its creation, the VO clan has always been characterised by profiles from horizons and disciplines originally unrelated to events.
In addition to the communication type profiles, you might for example come across a trained lawyer, or a graduate in socio-cultural animation and continuing education, or in romance philology... Indeed, masters in events are a recent creation - especially at the Brussels School of Journalism and Communication (IHECS), which will create new 80 graduates for the market this year. This development need not change anything in the DNA of VO, which is based on the honing of qualities, skills and values that are principally forged and put to use in the field.
From knowledge to skills
The events profession is split into multiple disciplines. Versatility is a major asset. A little proficiency in graphic design, video, photography, sound or design will allow you to understand the language of these specialist areas. This multidisciplinary culture facilitates management of a varied body of professions, where clear, relevant demands must be articulated.
An event also requires a sense of organisation, last-minute management, pro-/reactivity and fast solutions. There is no choice here: you must be always ready, able to adapt, inventive, disruptive, alternative in your solutions. And - why not - have already anticipated the worst and what countermeasures there might be.
In addition to the production-associated capabilities, Project developers must also have a true understanding of the communication codes and societal challenges in order to create relevant and impactful concepts. A key capability is also the social profile, they must be able to develop a strong relationship with their clients, to get them to sign up for a concept without ever losing sight of the strategic and communicational stakes that the event represents for them.
It's a job for a real chameleon.
Qualities and values, a question of attitude
Working in events is a huge job, making an ephemeral “one shot” happen at a specific time and place. With one absolute obligation: not to get it wrong, because there is no second chance. Success requires the alignment of a special set of qualities: ambition, boldness, rigour, tenacity, attention to detail, dynamism, reflection... But, above all, being well organised and structured in your head, and naturally putting this structure into practice in the heat of the event. Events are intense!
Ultimately, you have to be built to work in a team. An event is a collective effort nurtured by an attitude of openness and attentiveness to everyone and everything, including in the inspiration and conception of a project. At VO Event, the human factor, mutual assistance, exchange, sharing, communication, respect and social relations are the cement of a smooth operation.
What about tomorrow?
The openness to others and to the world cultivated by VO Event puts the agency in touch with society, which is shifting in terms of its values, and this has an effect on the profiles wanted.
The range of profiles needs to be enriched by people specialising in areas such as future technologies and/or evolving societal values, in addition to their basic versatility. Why not have expert profiles in VR, the environment, circularity and sustainability?