I met Melissa Critchley while working for the Event Marketing Association (EMA) in 2015 in London. At this time, she worked as an in-house event manager at one of the leading global law firms in London. Later on, I also had the pleasure of welcoming Melissa as a speaker at the Event Planners Talk event in 2016 about ‘buyer and supplier relationship — the decision-making process’. Since then, Melissa and I have stayed in a good relationship and follow each other’s career journeys around the world. When I moved to Heidelberg, and Melissa to New York almost two year ago, both of our careers took a new turn.
Looking back at my own career, I aspired to work as an in-house event planner in the financial or legal sector. But if you are new to the events industry, as I was back then, with little experience and no network, it’s very hard to set foot into the corporate event planning world because these jobs are rarely advertised, and a lot of it goes by word of mouth. After unsuccessful attempts to find such a job in the corporate event planning sector I just gave up, and by the time I figured out who’s who in the events industry, I decided to continue to work on this blog. That’s why I want to share this interview with you today about the exciting world of corporate event planning. That if you are reading this, and no matter what stage of your career you are in right now, it will be a useful guide and hopefully provide you with hints and tips about where to start. And if you already have this dream job, it will inspire you with new ideas, based on Melissa’s over 12 years’ experience in the corporate event world.
Melissa’s experience is international and she knows how to network like a pro. Since moving from the UK back to the US, she transitioned from in-house to the agency side, so I also asked her what the main differences are between these two geographic markets and between the in-house and agency roles. Melissa’s journey is very exciting, and she’s very active and knowledgeable at quickly adapting to new situations and progressing her career. I’m very excited to share this interview with you because it contains valuable information about career progression, trends and good business advice.