UCL Career Frameworks


Senior Events Manager (Live Events)

Sonia Abrams, Senior Events Manager (Live Events), Office of the Vice-Provost Advancement (OVPA)

Sonia Abrams
My job title is Senior Events Manager (Live Events)in the Office of the Vice-Provost Advancement (OVPA). UCL is currently in campaign, entitled ‘It’s All Academic’ and my role entails designing, coordinating and executing a range of events including large-scale campaign-themed events for our offices key audiences (alumni, donors, supporters, students) whilst working closely with the events and fundraising teams. The OVPA Events Team also manages a range of flagship events included in our ‘business as usual’ (BAU) event portfolio such as the annual Scholarships Reception. My role falls within the OVPA Supporter Communication teams, made up of event and communications professionals. My role falls under the Events Management job family.

I really enjoy my current role and it has exceeded my expectations. I enjoy the range of events I am involved in planning and feel encouraged to be creative and plan engaging quality events. The added bonus for me is knowing that the events we deliver can lead to crucial financial gifts, supporting our projects to achieve UCL’s 2034 strategy and making a positive impact on the wider world. Working with a group of passionate, focused and professionals has made the difference to me and I’m happy to build my events career here at UCL. I’m already looking forward to UCL’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2026 and the impactful events to be planned.

I had only planned to be at UCL for six months but four and a half years later I’m still here. I joined as an Event Manager in Communication and Marketing (CAM) on a short term contract and then successfully applied for the permanent role. In 2016 I was seconded to what was known then as DARO for one year as Senior Events Manager (Campaign) to work with the Events Team to deliver an ambitious campaign launch event programme. This was a very exciting opportunity, as I wanted the chance to be more creative and experience working on international events. I have fulfilled that career goal and have now planned a number of international events in America, Hong Kong and China. I am now a permanent member of the team.

I have worked in events for over 12 years, firstly running my own business, as an in-house event manager at a luxury hotel and a bespoke event planner for high net worth individuals. To be a successful event professional, I think experience of working with a variety of environments is useful as you learn how to work and negotiate with a range of suppliers and clients. Having good project management skills and keeping up-to-date on event industry news, trends, technologies and attending wider event exhibitions will enhance and provide inspiration for your events.

Top tip, try to collaborate and network. Both within UCL via the Events Management Communities of Practice by speaking to others in a similar role to you.