Michelle Stansel

Marketing Director for the Big Feastival

How I got my job

I was always interested in music growing up and when I was at university I started working at the student-run promotions department. I knew after just a few weeks that I wanted to work on live concerts and events for a living. I got a couple of good internships after uni, one in the marketing department of a big concert promoter in Chicago, which is where I’m from. That led to a marketing assistant role with a promoter in Houston, Texas. I worked my way up to marketing manager then, after a couple of years in New York, I was offered a job in London. In my second year in the job we started producing festivals in Hyde Park. This was an amazing new challenge. After many years working on these festivals, I moved to IMG in January to take on The Big Feastival.

What I love about my job

It’s incredibly satisfying to see the results of all of your hard work first-hand at an event. Seeing thousands of people enjoying a festival that you promoted makes the long hours and lost weekends worthwhile.

What is difficult about my job

There are a lot of quick turnarounds and short deadlines, which can mean late nights in the office or working on weekends. There is also a lot of competition now in the festival market, so it’s more difficult to set your event apart from the rest. The Big Feastival has so much great content and a fantastic mix of food, music and family entertainment in a lovely setting that it makes it easy to be passionate about your work.

What skills I need

You need to have a good knowledge of the media landscape to know where to advertise. You need to be creative and constantly looking at different angles and new technologies for reaching your audience. Being organised, a good communicator and able to manage budgets are key.

Where to start

A marketing or communications degree is important, but not essential. I actually studied accountancy! The most important thing is getting work experience within the industry you want to work in. Get your foot in the door, work hard and keep connected with the people you meet.