Ashley Liddell – Event Management
Class of 2015
Before entering the College of Health and Human Performance, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. After doing some research and applying to the Recreation, Parks & Tourism major, I took the introductory Event Management class and knew this major would be perfect for me. I then spoke to the academic advisor on how I could get more involved with the college and was introduced to LEAPS, the Leisure, Education, and Parks Students. By joining this club, I met a lot of new people within the same major as me with similar interests and made many new friends. I was also introduced to professionals within our field in the Gainesville community that gave more insight into the Hospitality and Event field. I met with University of Florida graduates that shared their experiences and provided advice and tips on the dos and don’ts of our time in college and post-graduation as well.
I later became a member of the TRSM Honor Society where I gained more connections within the community. This is how I started volunteering with Keith Watson Events and gained more experience within the Event field. Volunteering with Keith Watson Events and interning with the Florida Museum of Natural History, as a part of my field experience class, gave me more insight and helped me to understand the processes and needs when dealing with vendors and venues, when planning an event with Winterfest.
I also learned a lot from the dedicated, great teachers in our department that pushed me to work hard and strive for greatness in my career. They assigned practical projects that caused me to think through the actual event planning processes which contributed to my knowledge when working with Winterfest as well and will help me in the future.
Internship site: Winterfest, Inc.
My main responsibilities working for Winterfest, Inc. are assisting my supervisors with planning our big events in the Winterfest season including the White Party, the Black Tie Ball, Family Fun Day, the Grand Marshal Reception, and of course the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. This includes corresponding with vendors and participants, working with sponsors, and marketing the events. I provide and process vendor applications, process ticket orders, and register boaters for the parade. I am constantly participating in updating social media and our website with new information, along with editing and updating various print materials like brochures, newsletters, and press releases. I register guests for our RSVP events and also participate in conducting mass mailings for our various events. Large quantities of data entry and general office work have been a part of my duties as well. Because we are a team of six creating large scale events, the other two interns and I play a large role in the planning and production process.