This is not a normal job. It’s one that requires an eclectic set of skills and whilst training counts, breadth of experience matters. Being an Event Host combines the skills of a performer, interviewer, mediator, coach and diplomat to present what the client wants, the agency brings to life and the audience needs to make an event a success. All of this is driven by a passion to create and deliver.
Alan Elston of Frontman has had a varied career and brings all of those skills together in his work as an Event Host. Here’s the story so far.
That was it, my epiphany. I knew in that moment that I loved being in front of an audience and making a connection with them. The last 24 years has through many twists and turns brought that decision to a reality.
It was in early 1991, stood in front of my lecture group at University as the Course Rep – in that moment I decided that this is what I wanted to do – since then my entire career has been focused on becoming good at it.
I fell out of University after 5 glorious years graduating the third time with an MA in Human Resource Management. I set about fulfilling my destiny, with absolutely no idea how I was going to do it. It’s been a bumpy road, many tears have been shed, I have been sacked twice and done many different things to get to this point.
I have been a project manager, articulated truck driver, salesman and presentation skills trainer. I have taken lead roles in amateur theatre productions, I have trained people to drive off road vehicles, taught people to water ski, been a bid coach, developed The Pitch Apprentice, coached event speakers, presented to disinterested crowds on street corners and finally after a chance opportunity become an International Event Host.
Everything I have ever done, every moment on stage, the booing crowds, the dying on my feet, the technical malfunctions, the bored and challenging audiences have all helped me to learn my craft.
They were my version of the ‘working mens clubs’ that the old time entertainers speak about with fondness in their biographies. There have been some great crowds and some tough ones too, though every one has in its own way been a worthwhile experience.
Now I travel around the world and host a diverse number of International Events. They always have a wide range of nationalities, English is often a second language and one of my specialities is to be understood by all of them. What underpins everything I do is a passion to connect with and really communicate with my audience, to tell the story of the event and engage, inspire and even entertain. For me this isn’t just an add on to another career in the media – this is what I do and I love it.