Tomorrow’s Talent 2022 Winner: Daniel Wilcock
Daniel Wilcock has been working as a freelance event and project manager at Wilcock Event Services for the last three years. He gained a taste of life in events while a student at Lancaster University, where he organised concerts through the student-run Music Society. Volunteering and internships with Cheltenham Festivals, Bath Music Festival and Lake District Summer Music following graduation led him to landing a full-time event co-ordinator role with Opera North in Yorkshire where he delivered over 30 events a year until leaving to set up on his own in 2019.
Daniel’s ‘brave decision’ to launch a portfolio freelance event management career and branch out into other areas to deliver events around the UK, Ireland and Europe, caught the attention of the Tomorrow’s Talent judges who picked him as one of this year’s 10 winners.
How did you feel when you heard you’d won Tomorrow’s Talent 2022?
Initially I was just so delighted to have been chosen as a winner amongst such a talented field of nominees, I certainly don’t envy the judges! I received the news as I was working as a breakout technician at an accounting convention (at ExCeL London appropriately enough) so my immediate response had to be muted during the seminar I was sound mixing. But I didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day, even when I got home at quarter past midnight following a long de-rig.
Once the dust had settled I’ve reflected and my overriding feeling is one of gratitude for the recognition this award brings, for what I’ve achieved so far in only just over three years in the freelance events world. I’m so thrilled the judges chose me and my achievements to date, as well as my plans and ambitions for the future, to be included amongst such a brilliant calibre of winners.
What do you love most about working in the meetings and events industry?
I love the variety, I love the people and their professionalism, and I really enjoy the opportunities there are to constantly expand your range of skills and knowledge whilst working directly on-site, or even virtually, at events and experiences. Plus the fact that I often get paid to be at amazing gigs, football matches, world-class concerts and exclusive parties is also very cool.
However, what I love most about working in events is how tangible it is. We deliver a real product for real people and there are no endless discussions and meetings which lead to a project or idea which then ‘just didn’t happen’ (to quote a former director of mine). I’ve realised my skills are best suited to directly delivering the creative visions of the talented producers we have in our industry, and it keeps me motivated every day to work together to continue to deliver this most tangible of products.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting out in the industry now?
Have a bit more money saved up prior to launching your freelance career for starters! (Six months wages is a good benchmark in case anyone’s thinking of doing it).
Remember to dedicate time to networking and self-promotion, use as much social media (especially LinkedIn) as you can and keep expanding your skills and knowledge. Even if you’re not sure if you can deliver in a role you’re offered, take it on anyway because you will always surprise yourself at how fast you can learn and how much people are willing to help you.