Millie Heslop

Operations Manager, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

Out of high school Millie joined the industry open to the opportunities it might bring. She soon found her calling in operations, where she’s able to utilise her natural organisational and planning skills and travel the world doing what she loves.

When it came time to leaving high school, I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue. I had a friend who was working in event management and I thought that it sounded like a lot of fun. I’ve always been very well organised and enjoyed planning activities.

Event Management used to be packaged into different business degrees with events as an elective. I wasn’t interested in doing business management so I decided to go to TAFE.

Millie started out in customer service and worked in a variety of roles, before taking on a position in operations.

I’d applied to ETF for an Exhibition Coordinator role, not realising that it involved predominately event marketing. The Recruitment Manager suggested that I’d be better suited to operations, however, they didn’t have a role available at that time. Six months later they contacted me with a role.

After one year at ETF, I was asked to join the international team. I am now an Operations Manager responsible for delivering all of the international events in the ETF portfolio. In the past three years I’ve delivered the World Gas Conference in Paris, LNG18 in Perth and I’m about to complete the 27th World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C.

I oversee all aspects of the event – including the exhibition, conference, gala dinner, entertainment, catering, security, registration and logistics. I enjoy collaborating with all of the different contractors to successfully deliver the event. For me, working on international events entails a different country with a new set of health and safety regulations and various industry norms to discover. There is no shortage of challenges working with different time zones and cultures.

Millie’s advice for anyone interested in a career in exhibitions and events:

Get involved. It’s a great industry to work in. The industry is very supportive, particularly of young people starting out in their career, so ensure you make the most of every opportunity. Be prepared to work hard; the events industry will certainly challenge you. Operations is a very rewarding career; being able to plan every detail of an event and then see it come to life is an experience that you won’t forget!

 

“My role includes a great deal of variety and a lot of challenges. No two days are ever the same and every event that I work on is different because I’m working in a new country with different people and diverse cultures.”