Event Career Guides: The account executive

Edwards didn't come from a marketing background
Edwards didn't come from a marketing background

Event Student Hub uncovers the multitude of jobs in the events industry so you don't have to. We speak to Circle Agency's Caitlin Edwards about her role as account executive.

Name: Caitlin Edwards

Job role: Account executive

Company: Circle Agency

Starting salary: £20,500

What was your background before joining the company?

Before joining Circle Agency, I was in full-time education and had a strong interest in sports and science. Following my A-Levels I attended the University of the West of England (UWE).

I studied Human Biology and was a regular player in the university hockey team. After graduation I began working in life sciences recruitment, where I picked up a wide range of transferable skills, before moving to Reading to start working for Circle Agency within their staffing department.

How did you secure your job? How long was the interview process?

I initially started at Circle as a talent executive, which suited my skill set as I had previous experience in recruitment. I undertook a short interview before I started at Circle and then learned directly from our head of talent through on the job training.

Once I had been at Circle Agency for a little over a year, an account executive position became available within the client services team, and I decided to go for it. Most of Circle’s account executives come up through our internship program, which is great for giving recent graduates a foot in the door. 

I think I got off lightly as internship candidates are asked to complete a questionnaire, attend an initial interview and then a second stage interview in which the candidate is asked to present on a brief that they have been given.

What is your remit at the business? What are you expected to manage?

I work within one of the client service teams at Circle, supporting the account manager and account director within that team. I help with journey plans for experiential tours, pull budgets together, liaise with staff and suppliers, and I do a lot of sourcing and general admin for the campaigns we are working on.

I can be found doing anything from pulling together a kit list for production or keeping track of spending, to liaising with retail stores to ensure they are kept up to date with the latest information about our forthcoming tour.

I work closely with on-site event managers to ensure the activations run smoothly. I am also tasked with writing up reports to keep clients updated on campaign progress and results. My tasks range from day-to-day, which is something I love about my job and this industry.

I also have my own account to manage. It is a smaller campaign, but it is great to have the responsibility and ownership that comes with solely managing a campaign from start to finish.

One of the things I love most about working at Circle is the great range of activations that I get to take part in. As an account executive, I regularly visit event sites before the event to help with the set-up and then I return on the live-event days to ensure smooth running and liaise with the on-site staff.

It’s great to be working so closely with an account manager and account director, and learn first-hand from them and other senior members of the team.

What are your working hours?

The working hours at Circle Agency are 9.00am to 5.30pm, but as we work within live events my hours can vary depending on what activations and events may be happening.

My working hours may not be completely regimented but it’s so rewarding to witness these events and campaigns come together, and being a part of these activations is so much fun.

Who do you work closely with?

I work closely with all the different departments within Circle Agency, including production, staffing, creative and finance. There are three of us in my team and it’s great to be able to learn directly from my colleagues who have vast experience within this field. 

What do you love about your job?

I love being on site and seeing these events take shape first hand. From the initial site build to the happy client at the end of the day, there really isn’t anything more rewarding. It’s great to be on the stand or present at the activation live on the day, and speak to the public about what our client is offering. I love hearing positive feedback from those who stop by.

Everyone loves an awards ceremony, especially when you pick up a few gongs. Even if I haven’t worked on that account, I still feel proud that I’m part of the Circle Agency team.

What are the challenges of the job?

As I didn’t initially come from a marketing background, I often find myself turning to Google to look-up some of the marketing-jargon that gets used. However, from speaking with clients and visiting sites, I’m picking up new terminology every day and I love that my industry knowledge is increasing rapidly. 

More: Top brand experience agencies - Circle 

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