Let’s Talk Events & Leisure Industry Guest Speaker Series 2013

Let’s Talk Events & Leisure was delighted to kick off the Industry Guest Speakers Series 2013 with a full lecture theatre and visit from Peter Gunn, Chief Executive BH Live and 3 BU graduates.


Peter Gunn gave his large student audience an overview of the broad scope of Events & Leisure venues and programming on offer with BH Live. With products and services covering leisure activities, the arts, entertainment, culture and events it employs upwards of 1,000 people across its venues and leisure centres.  BH Live also draws in 50,000 conference and exhibition visitors e.g. BIC and has over 1.6 million visits to its Leisure Centres each year. Peter highlighted their BH Live Experience Privilege scheme to over 200 students, and shared the news that BH Live has also recently signed the contract with Portsmouth City Council to manage and operate the Pyramids Centre in Portsmouth.

20131003-IMG_8227   From the left: Hanna Parsons, Alex Ainsworth, Cathi Farrer

Cathi Farrer (BA (Hons) Leisure Marketing 2006) currently working in the Marketing Department at Bournemouth University told the students about her decision to come back to Bournemouth due in part to its appeal in life/work balance, & being closer to friends and the beach. Cathi has a passion for sports events and after having spent time on the Rugby Events event circuit, Cathi was determined to get involved with the London Olympics. She applied for a majority of the jobs out for grabs and landed a position as Services Group Leader at the shooting competitions. Not her favourite sport though she had a fantastic Olympic experience that she’ll never forget. Cathi’s advice to the students was to be persistent and try new things, find the areas that they like and build networks.

Hannah Parsons (BA (Hons) Events Management 2012)

Hannah shared her story of when her placement turned into a management position on her first day as the current manager left the company. A big (and scary) challenge that she took on which gave her great experience. Hannah then worked part-time during the last year of her studies to add to her work experience. Currently working as the event coordinator at a cancer hospice associated with Poole Hospital, her advice to students is to not only go looking for opportunities for the most obvious events companies, but to open your search criteria and you will find event jobs in industries you never thought of.

Alex Ainsworth (BA (Hons) Events Management  2012)

Alex started his journey at RNLI as volunteer and was later promoted to team leader. Alex currently holds a position as the RNLI’s south central area face to face and events manager.  Alex encouraged current students to grab all university opportunities that are presented to them, including volunteering, guest lectures and industry competitions. It builds on the learning and helps build industry contacts. It also shows people you are interested and keen to learn more and gain experience in the events industry.

A big thank you everyone involved. See you next week!

By: Maria Näs

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