16 June was Youth Day; so it’s the perfect time to consider how hiring young people – including those who have no work experience or formal skills – can benefit your events company:

Short term solutions

Lots of bright young students are eager for work experience, and can fulfil temporary roles – a perfect solution for events. Warren Murray, the Exhibition Director of MamaMagic, The Baby Expo, says, “We hire students for every expo. They provide extra hands on the ground, which are much-needed for simple but critical tasks, such as visitor assistance, set-ups, and more. At the same time, we know it’s a great experience for them, and it exposes them to the industry. In fact, that’s how I got bitten by the bug!”

Agencies are available to handle the hiring, training and onsite management of students, so organisers can have a stress-free experience using them.

Dynamic vitality

Sue Gannon, the Director at the EXSA Academy, has worked with a number of young recruits over the years. “Young people have a dynamic vitality,” she says, referring to their deep reserves of enthusiasm and energy, and the desire to prove themselves. These traits are ideal in the events industry, where long hours and a high degree of dedication are standard.

Plus, because they have few expectations about their role, they are flexible – another essential quality.


Although it sounds counter-intuitive, hiring a candidate with no experience can be an advantage. They will be eager to learn and have no bad habits to unlearn!

It is also important that the industry passes its skills on to future generations.

Freddy Nyathela is the founder of SA Roadies, which provides technical production training and learnerships for live events. He says, “Young people are willing to learn and are looking for opportunities. It is up to us, the older generation, to make sure we open the doors to them. Truly speaking, the events industry has a lot of older people running it and we need new blood. We need to start up-skilling the youth so they can step in and be involved.”

Fresh & refreshing

The youth have a fresh, different perspective on life. They bring new ideas and can challenge the status quo, which injects new life into a company – and the industry as a whole. Sue says, “Young people just think differently. And the youth are the future of the events industry. We need to include them, to ensure the industry keeps evolving.”

Tech savvy

“Millenials are digitally savvy,” adds Sue. Today’s youth grew up with the internet and smart phones, and are at home with this technology. They can help your business navigate the digital space; whether it’s how to use different social media (does anyone over 30 even understand SnapChat?), suggesting useful apps or ensuring you’re up-to-date with the latest developments.

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