The Real State of the Job Market in the Events, Exhibitions and Experiential Industry

12th October 2023

mustard jobs XP Divisional Lead, Jamie Rogers, outlines how 2023 is going for the job market across the sector.

Over the last year, mustard jobs have seen a surge in activity within the events industry across the UK. With Brexit, Covid and the Cost of Living Crisis significantly affecting the rate of movement within the industry in recent times. We’re breaking down the current trends, salary expectations, candidate availability and industry growth of the events sector.

At the beginning of the year we saw various external factors make candidates more hesitant about moving roles. Even though the cost of living remains high, the UK hasn’t plunged into a recession yet so candidates are maneuvering in the market again.

Industry Growth

The events industry is booming across the UK, and Brand Experience within London remains a particularly busy sector for the mustard team for permanent and contract roles.

Covid-19 has become a memory of the past and as a result the Tradeshow Exhibition industry is back and better than ever. Virtual Broadcast has maintained popularity within the corporate space as streaming functionality is more accessible than ever. This has provided continued success for global brands looking to improve sustainability, reducing flights and event waste.

Whilst London still remains the hub of the event sector, other areas such as Manchester, Leeds and Bristol are seeing sharp growth, fueled by increased flexibility to work from home post pandemic. As a result, we’re seeing top talent move away from London.

The majority of Candidates within the industry are looking for two key factors.

Firstly, Sustainability. Eco washing has become a prevalent issue across the industry, with brands implying sustainability rather than working on making real positive change. As more candidates in the industry are looking to work within an actively sustainable organisation, being certified as B-Corp or part of an industry specific sustainability group such as Isla, will ignite candidate attraction.

Next up, Flexibility. As a lot of employees within the sector devote their weekends and evenings to meet the demand of the job, working the ‘allotted’ 9-5 are becoming increasingly difficult to adhere to whilst maintaining a work-life balance. As a result, there is increased pressure on employers to offer flexible hours to align with this.

Desired Skills

The digital age has taken events to the next level. Consequently, employers are looking for event professionals with a mix of digital skills, the more digital integration the better. AR and VR offer interactivity that will engage audiences across the entire industry and showcasing any digital skills will give your CV the edge. This could include anything from working on virtual events, website registrations, video content, motion graphics, graphic design, animation and 360 photography.


Salaries have gone up drastically when comparing the mustard XP salary guide from 2021 to 2023. As an example, a Mid-weight 2D Designer working in London in 2021 would be earning around £28,000 – £36,000 but in 2023 they’re more likely £40,000 – £50,000.

This could be because a lot of candidates left industry during the Covid-19 lockdown period for job security elsewhere so there is smaller pool of candidates, as a result employers are battling for the top candidates, offering higher salaries to entice them into their role. As the industry has bounced back in full force the demand for skilled candidates has increased.

“The Experiential, Events and Exhibitions industries have fluctuated dramatically within my five years as a recruiter in this space. We’ve seen various highs and lows across the industry over the last few years, but now is such an exciting time to be expanding your business or to move into a new role.”

– Jamie Rogers, XP Divisional Lead at mustard jobs.


About mustard jobs

mustard jobs are a specialist creative recruitment agency based in Bristol, London & Hong Kong. Working with a range of creative studios, agencies and well known brands.

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