Sign up to our newsletter for Inspiration and advice to help you plan awesome events.
Getting to Know Cassandra Hicking
Meet Cassandra Hicking. Currently the Corporate Events Coordinator for EPICURE at Taronga Zoo Cassandra knows that as an event professional she needs to “strap in, hold on tight” and not let go! Cassandra loves seeing people enjoy themselves at events that she has created and if Bon Jovi is playing she might just join them. So join us as we get to know another fabulous event pro… Cassandra Hicking
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
Let’s just say my career has been just about as linear as event planning.
Like most, my working career began in customer service. Whilst studying Theatre at university I began working two separate jobs as a sales assistant for a new surf brand and a check out chick at grocery store. Glamorous, right? I have often held two (sometimes three) jobs at once within administration, child care, merchandising, and as a personal trainer teaching group fitness classes. Most notably I have had the pleasure of working freelance as a photographer & blogger covering music festivals such as Subsonic & Lost Paradise!
Uncertain about my dreams of winning an Oscar, I began my professional career as an Executive Assistant and have since worked within a global IT company and a B2B marketing agency. Within both roles I quickly became an “advocate for fun” as an internal events coordinator and as part of the wider marketing team assisting on various corporate conferences and roundtables ranging from 10 people to 4,000. During this time I continued to moonlight as part of the Butcher’s Daughter front of house team during weddings and bespoke events – satisfying that inner creative bug!
One could say that landing the job as part of the EPICURE team at Taronga Zoo was finally the “big break” I was looking for and marks the official beginning of my events career! *Watch this space*
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
VForum, 2018! Two days, 4,000 people, combined total of 4 hours sleep, one amazing team and a whole lot of fun.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
That there is always more than meets the eye!
There are so many variables to consider, even when planning the simplest of events.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
Enthusiasm – as with any role, I truly believe you have to love what you are doing to do it well. As most will know, the events industry can be particularly intense – especially during event week and often people run on very little (read “no”) sleep to get the show on the road! You have to either love what you are doing or be crazy to do it time and time again. Perhaps both?
Solutions Oriented – events are a rapidly changing and evolving environment. It goes without saying there will be problems. To be successful I believe positivity, having an open mind and aptitude for critical thinking is absolutely integral when times get tough!
Foresight – as the “professional” it is your job to understand the logistics of your event and mitigate any risk factors. A lot of this comes with experience, learning from our seniors and inevitably our own mistakes.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Strap in, hold on tight and don’t let go! I am only at the start of my journey within events and I can get a little crazy at times. However, strange as it may be, I can already see how much I have learnt in such a short period of time and there’s no feeling quite like seeing people enjoy their time at an event I have been a part of creating. Whether it is a morning tea, party or festival – these small moments can make another person’s day and it is quite special to be a part of that process.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Choosing one would be like choosing between my children… If the beat’s alright, she will dance all night!
Though I will admit that Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer is my Achilles heel.
If you had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Canada – I am snow obsessed.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Olympic Swimmer, Zookeeper, Marine biologist, Veterinarian and a Hollywood Actress…
Who would play you in a movie?
What skill or talent would you most like to learn and why?
Hip Hop dancing! I’m thinking flash mobs and dance battles…
Best event you have been to as a guest?
Two stand outs: Corporate Fighter 2015 and Return to Rio – 2018
Words to live by?
Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today! – James Dean
Anything that is worth having is worth fighting for.
What is your best party trick?
Impersonating Golum from Lord of The Rings…. Don’t ask.
What can you not live without in your life?
Music and exercise.
Favourite party theme?
When I grow up