Executive Life Coach Ken Kelling discusses the path towards personal and professional growth as event professionals prepare for the coming year.
The transition into another new year often has many industry members taking time to assess and reflect on what professional growth looks like to them. But with the events industry moving at a constant rapid pace and new unknown challenges always ahead, finding the next step that feels right for each individual can be difficult no matter how many years of experience they have.
As Managing Director at Sense of Purpose Life Coaching, Ken Kelling’s vast industry experience and specialist knowledge in positive psychology has kept event professionals motivated from all corners of the industry. A key speaker during
CHS Birmingham 2022, his educational programme on personal and professional growth has encouraged the show’s delegates to develop and maintain a healthy mindset as they pursue their careers in the events industry.
“Keeping a positive mindset often means being clear about what’s in your control,” explained Ken when describing the major themes of his conversations with event professionals. “With so much going on the world and at work it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and so understanding the things you can control and those you can’t is vital.
“Being your authentic self is another talking point which means being in touch with your values, as they will drive your thoughts and behaviours whether you’re aware of them or not. Event professionals are also often figuring out what they want to do with their life. Answering that question is a journey that takes time, which is why it always helps to get in touch with what’s fulfilling and meaningful for you.” When directing his advice towards young event professionals currently getting their careers started in the events industry, Ken emphasised the first and foremost rule to be kind to yourself: “There’s a lot to learn and experience, and a lot of lessons will be thrown at you from day one!
“Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and you’ll have plenty of time to digest your learnings. Speak up if there’s something you don’t understand and don’t be afraid to lean on those around you for support – event management is a team game, not a solo exercise.
“Humour also goes a long way in event management and making sure to have fun is the one thing that can get you through challenging times. Always aim for high standards, but not perfection, because nobody and nothing is perfect. You can drive yourself mad trying to get there!”
“The cliché that change is the only constant in life has never been truer than where the events industry is at right now.”
While events management is renowned for its highly pressured work environment, the saturated market on stress management help is equally at risk of overwhelming planners seeking quick relief strategies. Commenting on the potential catch-22 situation, Ken offered a more simplified approach: “Take advantage of the widespread and honest recognition of mental health by talking about what might be bothering you. Nothing is too silly or burdensome to discuss with colleagues, so speak up and share what’s on your mind.
“It’s highly unlikely anyone will go through a career in this industry without feeling pressure at some point, and everyone must understand that it’s ok to not be ok at times.”
As the industry has dealt with drastic changes and challenges over the past few years, event professionals of all experience levels have been forced to stop and revaluate their careers. But according to Ken, adapting to inevitable changes in the sector is a key professional trait which shouldn’t be overlooked as the industry looks ahead into 2023: “There’s a cliché that change is the only constant in life, and this has never been truer than where the events industry is at right now.
“We are at an amazing advantage to choose this industry to be working in, where changes such as the advances in technology, communications, and science are providing some exciting opportunities. Immersing ourselves in live experiences is a key part of human nature which we’ll probably never grow tired of.
“Volatility and uncertainty in the world can make life a challenge, but delegates and planners alike will always want to come together whatever is going on. Being adaptable, flexible, and resilient are some of the crucial characteristics to shape a successful career in this industry.”