Ever since the 2008 global financial crisis, employers that can offer reasonable secure positions have found themselves in a strong position when it comes to attracting the best people. But in every economic cycle, there is an eventual recovery. One trend that seems to catch many employers by surprise after an economic downturn is the exodus of talent once circumstances start to improve. This should not be unexpected; many employees will hunker down in unfulfilling jobs during difficult periods, biding their time until the risks associated with leaving a secure position are reduced. 

For jobs such as events managers where, in a positive market, demand for the very best often outstrips supply, this can be a real challenge. So how sure are you that you’ll be able to retain your best events professionals - and attract new ones?  

Here are a few areas to consider:

Challenge and autonomy

Event managers are stimulated by the challenge of new kinds of events and projects. There is some comfort in doing the same or similar events a number of times, but life can become unchallenging and predictable if that is all there is to do. Where practical, find different kinds of events to test your event managers’ mettle and if you employ more than one events professional consider rotating them between different events, or taking on different areas of responsibility, or introducing line management opportunities.

Give event managers the space to do things their way, with your support. Like any professionals, event managers are very proud of their expertise, appreciative when their expertise is recognised and can be prickly when it is not!

Appropriate and fair reward

If money is all that makes the world go around, attracting talent would be as simple as offering the highest salary. As we all know, it’s far more complicated than that, and organisations that offer relatively modest salaries can attract good people for all sorts of reasons. 

But once an employee feels they are being taken advantage of, or dealt with unfairly compared with colleagues, a bond of trust is broken and is unlikely to be reestablished. So always be fair and equitable. 

Considering non-monetary benefits such as flexible working and some form of recognition for the many extra and antisocial hours those working in events management often put in to ensure a successful event, can go a long way to retaining loyalty.


Event managers will want tangible evidence that their careers are going somewhere. This might be as formal as a career pathway scheme or could simply be a commitment to fund their continuing professional development. 

As this famous apocryphal exchange illustrates, personal development benefits all parties:

CFO to the CEO: What happens if we train all our event managers and they leave?
CEO: What happens if we don't train them and they stay?

Positive environment and culture

Event managers are full of creativity and thrive on busy, challenging environments. Highly professional, they still expect an upbeat culture in which success is celebrated. Event managers also want to feel part of a community that is making a difference, which is why positive values and corporate social responsibility initiatives are particularly important, as well as non-work opportunities for team building.

Personalise where possible

Not everyone in the workplace wants the same thing, particularly now that there can now be up to five different generations working in the same organisation. There are some basics to get in place, as described in this blog, but consider what you can do on a one-to-one basis to make the organisation more attractive, even if you have to start with your top tier of performers. 

The importance of the line manager

It is often said that people join organisations and leave bad managers. Line managers represent your organisation to your employees on a day-to-day basis. So it’s pointless having inspiring values or carefully thought through careers plans if line managers are not able to represent them positively. 

Do all your line managers help you to attract and retain the best employees? Or do they undermine your employer brand? 

If you’d like more personalised advice on how to attract the best marketing or event management talent available, Regan & Dean can help. Get in touch for an informal and completely confidential chat.