How to Land a Job in Corporate Hospitality

Corporate hospitality can seem like an exciting adventure – you can be catering for business parties in the most expensive buildings in the country one day, then providing food for top athletes and motorsports personalities the next. Rubbing shoulders with some of the most important, influential, and rich people in the world definitely sounds like an attractive career prospect, but how do you get into corporate hospitality?
Well much like every other industry, the key to the door is experience. Of course you’ll get experience on the job, but you won’t get experience unless you get the job, right? Not necessarily. One of the best ways to get more knowledge is to volunteer. Hospitality events at any level are high-pressure, tightly run machines which require careful planning and people to pitch in. As there are usually not enough people to help, event organisers are (generally) more than happy to have an extra pair of hands during their event. Even if there’s no specific job that needs doing you will always be handy, and whilst you’re volunteering you can find out more about how to run an event. This information can be invaluable and can really give you a foot-up on the competition.
Whilst volunteering it’s a great idea to make as many friends (and ask as many questions) as possible. As these people are already in the industry you want to enter they will know more about how to run events, what usually goes on, and what to do if it goes wrong. Making friends and meeting people in the industry is called networking, and can be another way of getting into corporate hospitality.
Corporate hospitality is a constantly changing and evolving being – what’s popular one month may be old-hat the next – and keeping up on trends can be very important. Luckily sites like Hospitality and Catering News, Hospitalitynet and Big Hospitality are all useful tools to use to find out what’s going on in the industry. It’s a good idea to check these before an interview, so you can use them to impress the interviewer.
If you’re studying a broad hospitality course, for example events management, try finding a more specialist course or module. Having a specialist area (or niche) will really help you slim-down the competition and have an area that you can become known for doing well. There might be a thousand event managers, but how many dog wedding event managers are there? (Obviously dog weddings might be too specialist, but you get the point we’re making.)
Making sure you communicate effectively is part of the job, and can be the difference between a good event and a bad event. Being clear and concise with your instructions to your staff and clients will help you emanate a professional appearance and get work done quicker and easier. Don’t, however, fall into the trap of just shouting at everyone – nobody likes that.
Making sure you are good at both time management and man management is another big part of being successful in corporate hospitality. Being able to effectively allocate people and time will help you run an event smoothly, impressing clients and party-goers alike.
Corporate hospitality can be a tough industry to break, but as long as you remember to get good experience, network and make contacts and manage efficiently, you’ll be working your way up in no time.

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