Event administrator
Sage Gateshead

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Gail D – Sage, Gateshead

0:00:01 Hi! My name’s Gail D. I’m an event administrator here at the Sage, Gateshead in the Performance Programme Department which basically means that I help to organise all of the non-classical gigs and events that we run here. I actually started working here as a customer service team member when I was part time while I was studying for my masters. Originally it was just a temporary position and then it got made full time so I’ve been there for three and a half years now in the department.

00:00:26 It’s a fantastic place to work. The people are great, you know, the work itself is really good fun. No two days are ever the same. It’s variety, every single day is different, really good.

00:00:38 The best thing is definitely seeing, you know, a completely full hall with an audience who are absolutely loving a gig and then seeing the artists really, really enjoying that as well. It kind of reminds the artists as well what they…why they do it and why they love doing it.

00:00:55 My first dream was actually to be a helicopter pilot, very randomly, which I’ve never achieved yet. But I was always really into my music, so I just love music. I play a lot, I sing a lot. I was always into that so. I didn’t specifically know what I wanted to do but I always knew that it would be something within music. Well, I did a music degree so I’m classically trained and I sing a lot classically, but I also…in terms of other music, I’m into pretty much everything. I listen to everything. I really like jazz, I used to play a lot of jazz as well, a bit of folk, you know, and then the more popular, the indie and rock stuff as well. Pretty much anything. If you throw it at me, I’ll listen to it.

00:01:35 I did think about being a professional musician but I just couldn’t be bothered with the practice to be honest. I was, I was…I am naturally musical but it would have been a lot more hard work for me to go down that route. And also it’s something that, you know, it’s always good to keep on the side and you can kind of pick it up later on in life if you really want to.

00:01:54 When I was at university studying, it’s a lot of the history and the theory of music and, you know, studying different composers and, apart from kind of the obvious practical ones like performance and composition, the kind of study of it is quite dry. What I got from university which really, really helped my career was all the extra-curricular activity that I got involved in. The student-run music society was really active and I got involved with that organising, you know, tours for students and music tours to Florence and all over the place. You’ve got to remember when you go to uni to get as much experience, life experience as well as studying experience as you can.

00:02:33 When you’re dealing with artists or tour managers, if they’re not happy or, you know, something’s gone wrong for them, actually having to kind of problem solve on, you know, as you go along on your feet is very challenging. Especially being, you know, a relatively young female and a lot of the tour managers are older males. Actually it’s not that easy to have to stand there and say, ‘actually, no. You’re wrong’, and ‘you can’t do it that way. You’re going to have to do it my way’. They don’t listen a lot of the time.

00:03:01 Musically my kind of…one of my biggest inspirations who’s somebody that we work with here quite a lot as well is a guy called Tom Bancroft, who’s a big jazz musician in Scotland and especially he’s involved quite a lot in education and, you know, children. Getting children involved in music. And seeing his enthusiasm for that is spectacular. It’s really, really inspirational because that again reminds you why…you know, what music’s about and what it can achieve.

00:03:28 I think the most important thing is to think about something that you’re going to be happy doing and that you’re going to love doing. It’s not about the money at the end of the day. Working in the arts, you know, generally speaking, it’s not going to be fantastically well-paid. You’ve got to do it because you love it. On difficult days you’ll remember the really good experiences of the really good gigs or the really good artists you’ve worked with and you’ve got to love that bit of it, because that will remind you on the bad days why you do it.


Gail D organises musical events at the Sage Gateshead. “The best thing is definitely seeing, you know, a completely full hall with an audience who are absolutely loving a gig and then seeing the artists really, really enjoying that as well.” She started organising gigs and tours while she was still at university. “You’ve got to remember when you go to uni to get as much experience, life experience as well as studying experience, as you can.”

More information about Conference and exhibition managers and organisers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

36%  male 
64%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group manage, organise and coordinate business conferences, exhibitions and similar events.
There are no formal academic entry requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award or equivalent qualifications. Professional qualifications are available and may be required by some employers. Off- and-on-the-job training is available.
  • Discusses conference and exhibition requirements with clients and advises on facilities;
  • Develops proposal for the event, and presents proposal to client;
  • Allocates exhibition space to exhibitors;
  • Plans work schedules, assigns tasks, and co-ordinates the activities of designers, crafts persons, technical staff, caterers and other events staff;
  • Liaises closely with venue staff to ensure smooth running of the event;
  • Ensures that Health and Safety and other statutory regulations are met.
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