Jessica Simpson has the big job of being the event planner for the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Her job includes seeking out, working with, and booking all types of entertainment from professional dancers and comedians to bands and artists. Jessica’s passion for her job was extremely encouraging for our class to see. Although it took her changing majors in the middle of college and trying out many jobs, she ended up with a job that she absolutely loves. Jessica not only shared her enthusiasm about event planning, but also offered advice.
- The shows that sell well in Nashville don’t necessarily sell here. Birmingham is different than every other city. It took Jessica a while to find out what the demographic in Birmingham enjoys most. Now that she’s been working at Alys for a while, she’s realized that she has to plan her own events with her own creativity instead of looking at shows in Atlanta or Nashville.
- Her whole job is a huge balancing act. Jessica said that it’s hard to balance bringing shows to Birmingham that everyone already knows and trying to broaden the horizon and stretch out the interest of the people by bringing new shows.
- Jessica said that you need to be careful in every move you make and every decision you make in the event planning industry. Every single person in the industry, whether the manager of a band or the technical representative, is trying to make money. It’s smart to know where you want to draw the line and stand firm in that.
Having Jessica come speak to the class was very exciting and refreshing. Seeing the strategic side of event planning made it even more interesting to me. I appreciate her taking time out of her busy schedule to come share with us. It was also a great advertising tool as well! After looking at the pamphlet Jessica gave us, I’ve already got tickets to some of the shows at The Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center!