I started working for Grapevine Event Management on the 10th October 2016. How has it been a year already!?!
Because of this, I’ve decided to do a look back at my first year and all the events I have been involved with.
When I started working on Cardiff Business Club events I remember being slightly overwhelmed with the gravatas the Club and its members had. Understanding the process of putting Club events on; dealing with the speaker, sponsors, our guests, the venue etc. took a while and a lot of questions to get used to. A year later, having put on many events for the Club, it is one of the events I am most comfortable with.
I have learned that it is never too early to start organising Club events. As we publish the full calendar of events at the beginning of the season we have to be able to tell our members who will be speaking, where and when. It is also important to have a good relationship with the venues we are using, this makes last minute changes much easier to do.
I have been involved with the Caerphilly Business Forum for a while, as Grapevine have organised their Annual Awards ceremony for the last 4 years. However, this year Grapevine was asked to become the new coordinators of the Forum. This meant organising a brand new calendar of events, creating a new website and managing the members and board. This was exciting as I got to be part of the project right from the beginning. We have now held six events for the Forum, one of which I managed on my own and we have a whole calendar of events to look forward to.
Grapevine also specialises in Award ceremonies. I really enjoy working on these as they are all different and my role is quite different for each.
Grapevine founded both The Cardiff Business Awards and Wales Start-up Awards so I am involved from the beginning of the planning of these annual events. We have to do everything from finding sponsors, organising guests, finding the entertainment, and managing the event on the night.
The Wales Start-up Awards are one of my favourites as I like how it gets away from the norm of black tie event. Having worked primarily on black tie award ceremonies, working on this was a welcome change. Not holding the event in a hotel and not having a sit down meal can really change the tone of an Awards night. On the night of the Awards it is my job to look after a team who greet guest and sponsors, make sure the award presenters know what they have to do, liaise with the venue to rectify any problems and hand out the right trophies in the right order.
The Fast Growth 50 awards have been run for the past 19 years and It is great to be involved with such a high profile event. My role on the night includes; making sure the room is set-up correctly, checking the venue and client are happy, and welcoming guests and ensuring the trophies are ready to be given out.
I have always enjoyed the stress of events and when ‘showtime’ comes around it always surprises me how quick events are over; after months of planning, seeing something finish after a couple of hours is not only a relief but a real joy, especially when the event has run smoothly.
My favourite part of events (other than having happy clients): Menu tastings
My least favourite part of events: Last minute bookings
Things I have learned:
- Social media is large part of the job
- Don’t be afraid to ask a questions if you don’t understand something
- Get to know people
- Practise makes perfect
- Admit when you’ve made a mistake
- Keep hydrated
I have been involved with developing a client website, met a Lion, got my own business card, managed an event on my own from beginning to end and been asked to join a panel of eventprofs who have been in the industry less than five years.
The past year has been very exciting and a learning curve after university and I am looking forward to see all the things I get up to in the next year.
Written by Zoe Jagoe-Williams.