Meet Liz Farthing. Currently the Conference and Event Sales Manager at Sydney’s Q Station, Liz is an enthusiastic event professional full of life and great experiences. A graduate of Event Management at University, her first paid events job was to mind a dancing unicorn and in this tell-all, she admits to forgetting an event – eek! Did she save the day? Read on to find out, plus learn a little more about this wonderful Event Pro, Liz Farthing…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
After studying psychology and interior design I have travelled and gained experience in various roles before finally deciding upon, and falling in love with – events! Studying Event Management at UTS opened many doors and gave me great exposure to an event staffing company Event Workforce. This team was great for both volunteer and paid work at some of Australia’s largest outdoor events. I have had experience over sporting events, festivals and community events, in NSW and Victoria. Currently working in a hotel that is located in 30 hectares of National Park, I have moved on from managing our C&E Operations Team to the Sales Office to gain greater experience in how events come together end to end.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
Probably Sydney Colour Run a few years ago. It was my first job as paid event staff and my role was to assist the Unicorn Mascot (who couldn’t see out of his costume very well!). He proposed marriage to all the girls, amped up the guests and generally had as much fun as possible. Throughout the day I assisted with set up, merchandise and registration. We ended the shift dancing on the stage with some other staff and the Unicorn. The vibe was great, everyone was covered in colour and dancing in the sunshine and having a blast! I fell in love with the fun of event execution.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
I learned the hard way to trust your staff but always double check the things you should be double checking. Let’s just say that on a day managing nine events one event was ‘missed’. Ironically by both my staff and the kitchen staff. We scrambled with all hands on deck and pulled it together and the client had a great time, but it was a very valuable lesson.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
Tenacity / Flexibility / A sense of humour.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
I would say that the job options are endless and your skills are transferrable so gain as much experience as you can (unpaid if necessary), meet and network with as many people as you can and take advantage of good opportunities.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
How do you unwind after a big event?
If it’s evening I like a beer or pinot but if the suns still shining I’ll jump in the ocean or go for a run.
Words to live by?
Now is the new later
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Figuring out my next move after my current contract is up.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I’m interested in upcycling / repurposing / sustainable approaches to living so I like researching and attending these kinds of events and workshops. If I need space to get away and think I go for a hike.
Sunset Sabi in Manly. It’s my local. The Japanese-with-a-twist food is amazing. Great cocktails. Fun tunes. Good vibe with both guests and staff.
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
I can only cook a hand full of things but my secret is the best ever nachos with a lot of veggies snuck into the dish. Ninja Veggie Nachos. Plus it’s a great excuse to enjoy some margaritas also.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
My next trip will be Everest Base Camp – India north to south – Sri Lanka Surf and Yoga Retreat. I think my ideal destination is a combination of new cultural experiences and a lot of nature, I love the outdoors!
Best fashion tip?
Buy quality over quantity. And you can never have too many cozzies.
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
A margarita or G&T
It’s event day – heels or flats?
Flats. More versatile – just in case.
Why do you love your job?
I love my team and the site I work on. Coming into a National Park every day, on Sydney Harbour with amazing views and our own private beach, plus the laughs and the support of the team in the Sales Office is what motivates me every day.