The Value of a Professional Portfolio for Trade Show & Event Professionals

Few corporate event professionals have professional portfolios. We’re too busy, too tired, and frankly, no one ever asks to see samples of our work. But for the last 30 years, I’ve kept samples of my work: photos of exhibits, templates for budgets and pre-event planning, newsletters I’ve written, and documents I’ve used.

Today, jobs are very competitive. Individuals who have little experience apply for jobs that were once reserved for those of us who know events inside and out. So, what do we do?

First, have a strong resume. Second, have a contact that will give you an edge. Third, put together a portfolio. Whether it’s a notebook with photocopies of your work or an online document that you can print out or direct hiring companies to, you need to showcase your capabilities.

In the coming weeks, I will share some of my finds and my own portfolio as I build it. Yes, I’ve kept samples, but now it’s time to put it all together. Why? The last person who beat me out for a job HAD a portfolio. Time to give ME the competitive edge!

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Give me a break already

I knew that meeting a 30-day challenge would be, well, challenging, but give me a break! Between slow Wi-Fi and two back-to-back trips, even Tweeting about the challenge is a challenge. So, how can we get our Portfolios finished by the end of August? Answer: 15 minutes at a time

The only way we busy professionals are going to get our portfolios done is to take 15 minute breaks whenever we can (whenever we’re home) to pull a sample here and there, write a note about what we were doing, and just keep at it until we’re done. This weekend, buy your accordion folder or loose leaf notebook, buy some plastic sleeves, and start assembling!

I’m on the road again this week … but maybe by Friday night I’ll have something to show for my 15 min. — I found more samples the morning I left for my trip last week; and I remembered some cool trade show promotions I did 3 years ago; you can, too. Give yourself a break!

Pick up the pieces …

Welcome to The Trade Show Maven’s 30-day Professional Portfolio Challenge. Are you ready?

Too busy? Me, too; let’s do it anyway. Let’s create our professional portfolios together so that when it’s time to find the next great job, we’ll be ready.

On your mark, get set, go … go pick up the pieces that will make up your portfolio. Follow the steps on www.tradeshowmaven.com. The challenge starts there and on Twitter. Just follow me on Twitter @tradeshowmaven or use the hashtag #portfoliochallenge.

I dare you! Let’s pick up the pieces together.

Gail Hernandez, The Trade Show Maven