7th March 2016

A Career in Live Events #NCW2016

Young? Creative? Ambitious? Thinking about what to do next? Perhaps it’s time to think outside the box. It’s time to consider pointing your career in the direction of the live events industry.

Live Events Industry

Career Insight

Riding on the crest of a wave that started with the scale and success of the London Olympics in 2012, the UK is quickly becoming the epicentre of the live events universe.

“It’s incredible how things are going for the events industry,” said John Duncan, a member of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, “We’ve seen unprecedented growth over the past few years, and we’ve got two major international conferences in Glasgow in the next few weeks alone.”

Asked whether the spike in service has seen a growth in the number of jobs, Duncan responded in kind; “Of course! More work means more jobs. It’s an exciting time to be joining the industry.”


In fact, it’s an industry booming like no other. UK live events has grown by a whopping £3bn in the last five years, with projections estimating that it could top £48bn by 2020. It’s risen to become the 16th largest industry for employment in the UK; there are somewhere in the region of 530,000 jobs across the live events industry in careers as varied as stage management, projection mapping and lighting.

“I’m biased, but for a creative person, it’s an incredible industry to be a part of,” said Shannon Harvey, an international projection mapping consultant and lecturer at Backstage Academy,  “the scope of different jobs, challenges and opportunities is huge, and creating something new every day is an unbelievable feeling.”

Over 25,000 British companies work within the live events industry, an industry which is fed, in part, by Backstage Academy’s hugely respected level of training. The Academy is based at Production Park, and run out of the largest indoor rehearsal space in Europe, LS-Live, which allows students the opportunity to fine-tune their skills in high-level industry surroundings around acts as big as Take That, Stone Roses, Muse and Lady Gaga.

The earning opportunities for a student studying live events is huge, too, even pre-graduation. Talented students well on in their studies can command very respectable fees for a day’s consultancy work, and in the case of Backstage Academy, students have travelled as far as Taiwan to complete projects.

Students undertake two professional work placements during their time at Backstage Academy, something that National Careers Week 2016 Ambassador William Costello think is imperative for any ambitious young student;

“Work experiences are valuable not only for the skills and qualities gained during the experience, but for the opportunities to network and spark opportunities that work in student’s favour. Developing these networks/relationships with professionals and employers is crucial. Let’s teach students to be smart enough to walk through any door that opens for them.”

Backstage Academy’s final Open Day of 2016 is on 31 March 2016