Clodagh Fleming was in this year's top 3 for Event Industry Awards' "Event Manager of the Year" category. Her event, Rith na Lochanna 5k, was also been shortlisted for "Best Sporting Event". She took the time out of her very busy schedule to share her experience and expertise in Event Management with aspiring event managers.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about Rith na Lochanna 5k?
Our event is called Rith na Lochanna 5k and we started it as an annual school fundraising event. Each year we strive to improve the event.The growth in participation and positive feedback substantiates this. Our event's main focus is as a family fun day so people can run the 5k but there is also entertainment and races for all the children. With Russborough House being the location, the Wicklow mountains and Blessington lake as a backdrop it is a stunning location with a real carnival atmosphere throughout the event.
When did you start working in Events? Why did you choose a career in Events?
My introduction to events was three years ago when I came up with the idea for and coordinated all aspects involved in creating Rith na Lochanna 5k. I have been working in a management and HR role up to a year ago when I decided to pursue the new career direction in Event Management, with my aim being to start a career within the sports sector. My experience of event managing Rith na Lochanna 5k made me realise that it is an area that I have a real passion for.
What is the best part of your job? What do you love most about working in events?
I am naturally a very organised person so I enjoy all elements of the job. As I had initially suggested this event idea, essentially, I project managed the entire event, which included advertising, budgeting, marketing, online registration, running a social media campaign, sponsorship (from over 65 companies), securing title sponsorship from Renault Ireland and a grant from the Wicklow Local Sports Partnership for our current year’s event, venue and on the day activities with the assistance of a great team. I would find it very hard to single out a a single thing I love most as I really enjoy all aspects.
You are currently enroled on a Diploma in Event Management with Fitzwilliam Institute. How do you find it?
Yes, I am nearing the completion of your Event Management & PR course. I actually found it via LinkedIn when I saw a number of people working in the sports industry in event management roles had it listed as a qualification. I have found your course hugely beneficial and putting numerous elements from it in to practice I believe is in part responsible for the massive success of our event. Our event profit went from €4000 last year to over €10,000 this year. The added attention to detail that I was able to put in to practice from the various course modules was a huge help. Yes, you need to be disciplined and put in the work but the flexibility that this course allows you was really great. I also found the assignment review feedback really helpful and detailed. Yes I would most definitely recommend it as a course for any aspiring Event Managers!
What advice would you give to aspiring event managers?
It is all in the attention to detail, adequate planning and being able to think quickly, making changes when necessary, with little fuss.
Want to get your Event Management career started? We are now accepting final applications: