After working in the UK, Lauren returns to Sydney in a role that sees her flying high and achieving her goals.

NAME: Lauren Milledge
AGE: 25
POSITION: Business development coordinator
ORGANISATION: Sydney Showground


I started my first job in the events industry when I was 19 as the functions assistant at Parramatta Leagues Club. I remained at the club for almost three years, during this time moving up to become the functions coordinator and successfully completing a Bachelor of Business in convention and event management. I then moved onto the Australian Turf Club as an events coordinator, where I focused on race-day and non-race-day events.

From here, I moved to the UK for a working holiday, which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. After a few months I secured a role as an event coordinator for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. One of the highlights of this role was running a road show around the UK and Scotland; it was an amazing opportunity and I was able to visit a number of different venues around the country.

After 18 months in the UK, I returned to Sydney to find my current role at Sydney Showground in December 2012.
The venue is very versatile and hosts a variety of events – ranging from AFL games through to concerts, exam marking, special events and film and TV shoots – making for a very stimulating workplace.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve met key players in a number of different industries, including the head of Screen NSW, and have started developing relationships with some of Australia’s influential location managers. The strategy is developing nicely and we’ve had some good wins throughout the year.
While the imminent closure of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre has direct implications on our business, we will be working very hard over the next three years and have commenced building a new multi-purpose venue.

I find the business events sector fascinating – it opens you up to new people and new industries on an almost daily basis. It’s a great learning experience and a constant challenge, but also extremely satisfying. Consumer events are great as well. It’s always good to see families and individuals enjoying the variety of exhibitions we stage and to see the place humming with thousands of people at one time – this is what inspires me most and I look forward to further developing my role at the showground.
My advice for those seeking a career in the industry is to get lots of experience, identify your goals, and work towards them. Make sure you surround yourself with positive and motivating people, and seek out opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you. m

Supervisor’s comment

Lauren has brought a pile of enthusiasm and a ‘can do’ attitude to our business development team. She places a high priority on customer service and is never afraid to challenge internal boundaries for the good of her clients. The event industry is renowned for dishing out difficult situations, however Lauren’s approach is always professional, calm and solution-based. Long term, Lauren will be a great asset to the industry and I’m proud to be working with her.

Rebecca Hughes, strategic business development manager, Sydney Showground