An Exploration of Career Progression in the Events Industry: From Volunteer to Event Professional

Jiang, Kirene Yiwei
Cox, Stephen
Matheson, Lexie
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Volunteerism is a major part of the events industry. Many people enter and develop their career in this field through volunteering activities. The events industry in the Auckland region frequently engages with volunteers. Many of the volunteers take part in annual events, such as the Auckland Lantern Festival, Pasifika Festival and the Diwali Festival of Lights. People also volunteer at some of the city?s sporting events, such as national rugby league, netball and basketball matches. However, there seem to be limited opportunities for people to work in this field, due to a difficulty in finding routes by which to enter into the industry. In terms of theory, there is a large research gap in the link between the events industry and volunteerism, especially regarding event volunteerism and motivations towards pursuing a career in the industry. To fill this gap, this study employed a qualitative approach to explore the career pathway of individuals to enter the events industry through volunteering. This study conducted a case study by interviewing event workers who have had volunteer experience within the Auckland region. This study contributes to enriching our understanding of how volunteering facilitates career development in the events industry, and also offers practical suggestions on how to advance professional careers through volunteerism in the field. The current study aimed to review the events industry, volunteer motivations, and volunteerism as an influential factor for career progression. To achieve the stated aims and objectives, the study employed empirical qualitative research to explore events volunteers? career progression. By exploring the events industry in the Auckland region, this dissertation provides evidence gathered from events volunteers and event professional workers. This study aims to identify the events industry and event professionals in the researched area. Also, it draws a picture of the events industry in the real world and reveals the attributes of an event professional in the field. The findings described have refined the events industry literature including the understanding of people?s intentions, expectations and motivations as an event volunteer. Moreover, this study investigated volunteerism as an important part of career progression in the events industry.

Events management , Volunteerism , Career progression , Events industry , Events professional , Volunteer motivations , Exploited volunteers
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