Why are culture & entertainment venues so important?
We’ve all been there, front row of the Celine Dion concert, ceremonially mouthing the words of ‘that-song-from-Titanic’, emotions reaching boiling point whilst clutching the hand of a loved one.
Ok, maybe not, but you get the point: live entertainment is pretty much unbeatable.
But of course, Celine isn’t the only star of the show. A whole host of employees work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all happen, from the ushers to the people selling tickets. With the right graduate job, you could be one of them.
What does this field encompass?
We’re talking about music venues, opera houses, cinemas, theatres and conceptual art shows- basically, pretty much anything that can take place inside an entertainment venue.
The big cheese in this subsector tends to be the venue manager. These guys have all kinds of responsibility, from managing the financial side of things, to hiring staff and booking entertainment acts. You’ll need to liaise with venue promoters, make them aware of any upcoming events and work closely with them to promote the event. You’ll also work very closely with talent agents, who you’ll need to deal with when booking performers.
Venue or event promoters work to promote an upcoming event or a specific act. How this is done varies depending on the individual, but it can involve the use of social media, having posters made and put up around town, and extensive media and digital media campaigns. It’s all about creating buzz and excitement around the show!
Of course, on the evening of the actual show or event, there are plenty of employees bustling around making sure everything runs smoothly. You’ll usually have security guards on the door, people selling and checking tickets, merchandise sellers and people selling food and drink.
Alternatively, if you’re a friendly and polite individual, you could become an usher who works primarily to show guests to their seats.
If you’re more interested in the technical side of things, you could help construct the stage, or work as a lighting or sound technician. You will work closely within the guidelines set by the act or performer to ensure that everything looks and sounds as it should.
How do I get into this industry?
Each career path in this area requires very specific skills or attributes. Venue managers have to be highly organised and have good business sense. Choosing the right acts and how much to charge the public is a lot of responsibility. Excellent industry knowledge is, therefore, essential.
Entry into this position is possible without a degree, but you’ll need to have years of experience under your belt. Studying a course in business or events management, however, will be greatly beneficial.
Venue promoters need to know where to promote the event, who their target audience is and what promotion techniques are most effective. You’ll need to know how to get the most out of social media and other marketing channels.
Again, it’s not an absolute necessity to have a university degree, but a marketing qualification will provide you with key knowledge and skills to perform well at your job.
Sound and lighting technicians obviously have a completely different role altogether. It’s a lot more technical and requires a completely different set of skills. Check out the Technical Production Crew: Camera, Lighting & Sound subsector for more details.
So, do you think you have what it takes to be a star in the culture and entertainment venue subsector?