Tomorrow's Talent Q&A: Agnes Morgan, Ashfield Meetings & Events and SPARK Thinking
Agnes Morgan, technology executive at Ashfield Meetings & Events and SPARK Thinking, was recently named as one of our Tomorrow’s Talent winners. Here, we find out more about her thoughts on how the meetings and events industry should appeal to new talent, and what it means for her to win this award.
What does it mean for you to be named as a winner of Tomorrow’s Talent 2020?
It was a huge shock to find out that I was one of the winners of Tomorrow’s Talent 2020. To be honest, I’m not really sure it’s sunk in yet! I feel very honoured to have been selected by such a distinguished panel of judges and incredibly grateful to have been recognised so early in my career.
How are you going to celebrate?
Well once I got over the initial “what just happened” moment, my initial celebration consisted of dancing around my kitchen and just jumping up and down with excitement. But I am off for a nice camping weekend in the great British outdoors and taking a bottle of bubbly with me to open on whatever mountain summit I walk up!
How do you think the meetings and events industry needs to adapt to continue to attract new talent?
Having gone through university, I think the industry needs to look at forming partnerships with schools and universities to help create relevant content and create a better understanding of what the events industry actually is. I think a lot of universities are very fixed on showing the industry in a certain light with the academic side taking priority. It’s understandable but at the end of the day, graduates will come into their first role with a very different idea of what working in events is actually like. As a student you only really hear about being an event manager for weddings, festivals or conferences but anyone who works in the industry, knows that it is so much more than that with different job roles, sectors and event types. My job role is not one of those ‘typical’ roles that you get told about, and I think that’s taught me that the events industry needs to be flexible at allowing people to adapt their job roles to their skills to really let them shine, which I think in return, will make the companies and industry shine even brighter.
I think it’s important to encourage younger generations into the industry, before they even apply for their university degree too. I was fortunate enough to be able to change my degree but that is not always possible. If we can showcase how brilliant our industry is and the opportunities that are available at GCSE and A Level, we can help to shape new talent that comes through the door in years to come. One day, I’d like to hear about pupils wanting to work in events just like they say that they want to be a doctor or a teacher. Let’s start with the younger generation to help shape the future of the industry!
What’s your advice for someone starting out in the meetings and events industry?
Get involved in as many things as you can, ask plenty of questions and don’t panic when you make mistakes, instead, own up, learn from them and never do it again. Above all, work hard and don’t forget to smile.
What are your ambitions for the next one year? Five years? Ten years?
I definitely see my future in the events industry, so I am looking forward to see where the journey takes me for sure. I still consider myself quite new to the industry, so I am just super excited to continue to develop my skills, expand my knowledge further and to progress my current technology-related role too. The explorer in me would love to take some time out to travel or work aboard but equally I’d love to give back to the industry and shine a light on the events industry in schools and universities to encourage younger generations to get into events sooner.