What it's like being an event coordinator

Race Track Events Jobs by Joce Jocelyn Harper

Hurray! Another new an exciting job title to blog about. The cool thing about this job is – I REALLY LIKE IT!

Race Track Events Jobs by Joce Jocelyn Harper

Opening Day

Race season always starts the day after Christmas at Santa Anita

If you have ever been interested in getting into event planning & coordination, here is how I did it.

1.     What gets you excited? I made sure I am passionate about events before I jumped down the rabbit hole, chasing opportunity. The love of events originated from my career as a production assistant on live award shows. That live energy and controlled chaos is so addicting. I realized I love that feeling, and it did not necessarily have to be on a television set.

2.     Meeting the right people. In 2014 I visited Portland. I went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and when I posted a photo on Instagram, the Event sales manager of the garden liked my photo. Her title sounded awesome. I was a production assistant at the time so anything “manager” was an upgrade. I decided to direct message her, and I got her email. We became email pals for a bit, as she answered my 21 questions about her job and how she got it. I wasn’t asking her for any specific favor, I just wanted to know what her job was like! Fast forward to 2017, and I reconnected with her to thank her for her patience and input. She was so happy and surprised to hear from me. We are both now Event Sales Managers, and I’m sure there is so much I can learn from her!

3.     Say Yes & Follow Advice. At the end of 2016, I started a job doing marketing and media. I was liking it because web design and media are easy for me. But deep down it wasn’t my passion. I missed being out with the crowds, organizing, conversing, and enjoying the final events. While I was at the marketing job, my classmate convinced me to go to a career fair at my graduate school, which is how I found Legends Hospitality. Through them, I was offered an internship at Angels Stadium this past summer. Having Legends on my resume was the ticket. The series of event from attending grad school, to meeting a classmate, to attending a career fair are all very vital to me having the job I do now. Never underestimate what a simple suggestion or piece of advice from your network can lead to!

4.     Consistent, Persistent. I have been pursuing a full-fledged hospitality & event career since 2015. I applied to work at Disneyland, knowing that graduate schools would recognize and honor that company on my resume. I am earning my masters in hospitality management, so that I can eventually become a hotel owner, event planner and whatever else my brain dreams up. I stay in touch with anyone I’ve met, because they all have a hand in my journey. And I work hard at Santa Anita Park, so that this upcoming racing season (my first race season!) will be great!

What I do at Santa Anita
My job is a mix of premium event sales & event coordination. I help organize the ticket distribution, menu selection, payment and details for events that have been booked by my boss. I am also beginning to learn the sales aspect, where I will be hunting down new clients who have yet to experience the wonder of horse racing + our gorgeous spaces.

Sales will be a bit intimidating. But probably not as intimidating as being a flight attendant who gets air sick, or being a production assistant who added too much milk to a producer’s coffee.

More photos and written blogs to come!

Have you ever wanted to do event planning? What’s stopping you?