Concert Career Pathways: Special Events Workshop

The UC Theatre held the latest Advanced Workshop focusing on Special Events. The workshop was lead by our Special Events Coordinator, Nicole Pena, and our former Director of Special Events, Patricia Gums. The workshop introduced our newest cohort of interns to our Special Events department, starting broadly with the question, “What is a special event?” Some answers came quickly – galas, receptions, meetings. A few examples stumped our intern crew, though. Was Bill Nye’s speaking appearance at the theatre a special event? What about certain concerts we’ve had over the years? At The UC Theatre, any rental by an outside party, regardless of whether the event is private or public, is considered a “special event, and thus falls under the purview of the Special Events department.

The workshop focused heavily on one of the most fundamental skills for success in the world of Special Events: cultivating and maintaining professional relationships. Each of our speakers offered their insightful advice on the subject, based on their individual journeys in building careers around this skill.

We discussed networking strategies, such as how to feel more confident in a situation where you don’t know many people, and how to feel comfortable giving a two minute pitch on whatever you have to offer.

I had the absolute pleasure of working alongside Patricia and Nicole as a Special Events Intern last year, so it was really exciting for me to witness and assist in the translation of some of that knowledge to the new cohort of interns. I hope that everyone left with a better understanding of the inner workings of the Special Events department and a bit more confident in their networking skills.


Max Counts is from San Luis Obispo, California and graduated from the second cohort of the Concert Career Pathways program. Max is currently the Usher Coordinator at The UC Theatre.