Industry Insider

Microphone at conference hall. Dynamic microphone against the background of convention center. Real photo.

A better look inside the industry of events management; interviews, day in the lifes and insights from career professionals and aspiring students in the field. See what those already active in their event careers have to say about the industry and much more.

Event Space: Bulgari Hotel London

London’s Most Sought After and Luxurious Event Spaces.

Whilst in London for the UK Blog Awards I definitely made the most of my trip! For most events professionals London is seen as “the place to be!” offering a range of stunning locations, versatile floor spaces and a lot of event planning opportunity. An event trend that’s been increasingly popular in 2016 is private dinners and that’s what I have been seeking out in London, these smaller more intimate event spaces.

Bulgari Hotel London ballroomdiningsetup

Located in Knightsbridge, the Bulgari Hotel stood out to me because of its unique appeal being a famous fine gemstone jewellery and luxury watches brand, which appeals to the intimate private dinning events. From the outside of Bulgari London, the very sophisticated contemporary architecture is the outer layer covering the very cosy and beautifully laid out interior. I felt very comfortable and that’s a plus as with some luxurious venues guest sometimes may fell uncomfortable and this is something to bear in mind when event planning “your guest experience on arrival”.

I was greeted by PR Manager Astrid who gave me the grand tour! We made our way through the hotel leading to the purposely build event spaces. The rooms where very flexible and equipped with the latest technologies. The Private dinner rooms gave guest the options to have a more glamorous dinner with lovely drapes or a more cooperate board meeting dinner atmosphere with oak finished walls.  Their Ballroom and pre-event reception foyer area can cater for up to 140 guests with its own private bar. I have a thing for lighting and chandlers if you share this passion you will definitely be amazed with the Ballroom ceiling!

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6 things they don’t tell you about the “Real World” or “being a grownup” listen up Graduates!

It’s that time of year when thousands of students across the UK will be handing in their final dissertations and taking those all-important #finalsubmission selfies … I know I have my photo to tell the tale as well. But for a lot of graduates what awaits them is far from the student nights’ life they have grown accustomed to. After spending most of our lives in education and majority of the time with friends and around people who make read chapters or do homework. The time for the evil “P” word is over goodbye procrastination… Hello Real World! If you’re a recent graduate and cannot relate to at least three of these then I know someone who would like your life!

  1. There is no such thing “Free Money” Monopoly Man

Unless you’ve landed that dream graduate role earning over £25000 straight out of university or have very generous parents who offer to support you financially -  then you will definitely now the broke feeling. And if you received student loans and grants for three years you will defiantly feel like crying when you can’t afford luxury cinema nights accompanied by the large diet coke and nachos or the shopping sprees at the mall on things you really didn’t need. The only remedy to these issues is to get a job and save throughout your studies so when you finally finish university you can financially support yourself. Or even better start your job searches before you finish university, get proactive!

  1. A sense of emptiness and belonging Channing-Tatum-Confused

After three to four years of university you would have made a lot of new good friends and form bounds that at that time you thought were unbreakable. However, for a lot of graduates this fantasy life being exactly the same will soon become lost when after your final exams everyone moves back to their home towns, many back to their parents and for a lot of people because of new jobs and location most of these close friends soon become distant. For a lot of graduates this period in your life is the most challenging you’ll ever be as you will have a lot of time over the summer where you question all your actions, you question your career choices and you question your future. One thought to bear in mind and will keep your sanity is you’re not the only one!  Stay positive and try your best to keep in contact with friends and not isolate yourself.

  1. Recent Grad to Grad Conversation about finances: how much do you earn? Errm in on £21k you? Im on £23k…. both grads are actually earning £13k.anigif_enhanced-buzz-10792-1377116373-11

Prospective employers will basically offer you wounding salaries and benefits knowing there isn’t a lot of jobs going and you’re 99.9% going to accept. We all have to start somewhere but remember your dream and always think of your next step up. And if your renting as a recent grad you know you’re not immune from council tax or your monthly living bills. So when you open your pay check and it seems like your rich! Don’t blow it. Don’t worry though many of those low paying jobs are accompanied with great development and promotion prospects.

  1. You’ve got to get out of bed!cat in bed

Yes! You’ve got to actually get up and go to work if you’ve got a job or get up to go job hunting. The real world isn’t a lecture or seminar you can just skip because you really couldn’t be arsed, you’ve got real responsibilities and co-workers depending on you. I know for a lot of gradates this will be a challenge but eventually you’ll get there! Don’t get me wrong even if you’ve graduated ten years ago you will still have those days when gravity just won’t release you from your bed, everyone has those days.

  1. Sorry your student card is expired! free stuff

No student discounts! You won’t be frequenting the bars and retail shops as often as for a lot of recent grads the pain of paying full price for a rum and coke or that new dress from ASOS is a hard pill to swallow. Obviously not the case in January when you’re rolling in “Free Cash” and student discount cards…. I wonder why students are often more liberally minded than the working public?

  1. The New You! new me

For a lot of recent graduates, you will have a real passion for success and eager to showcase the new you! Make your parent, tutors and friends proud of your achievements and new career prospects. My advice go for it! Why not? It’s been a long anticipated moment.

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Meet: Vevina Quigley - Liverpool John Moores University Events Student on Placement

What university did you attend and what was your full course of study?

I attended Liverpool John Moores University and studied Events Managementvpost

What is your current role and what does it entail?

My current role of employment is Events coordinator and fundraiser for Radio City’s Cash for Kids in Liverpool. This job entails organising events to raise funds for the charity as well as keeping on top of the office work. As it is part of the radio station I need to working along with the content team to ensure they have all the information they need during any station led charity campaigns.

How long did it take you to find an event related job as a student?

I have been given a part time job which has come from taking my placement year and I am hoping it will open a lot of doors for me when I do graduate.

What was your most memorable time whilst on the course?

My most memorable time the course is a bit of a strange one, but during my first year I was juggling the course itself and 4 part time jobs. The reason being is that I didn’t get much financial support therefore in order to stay in Liverpool and study I needed more jobs than the normal student. But during this busy stage I handed in one of my reports which later came back with a first class grade. Upon receiving my marks I realised that if I can juggle university and four jobs then I can do pretty much anything that the events industry throws at me as everyone knows the one of the main skills needed to be an events manager is Multitasking.

Tell me more about your placement experience?

I carried out my placement year for a charity called Radio City’s Cash for Kids in Liverpool. I did part time work for the radio station during my first two years at university which introduced me to the charity and resulted in my placement year offer to cover maternity leave as the Senior Charity Fundraiser. The experience I gained from working for the Charity has been invaluable and overall surprising. I always believed charity work would consist of bag packs and bucket collections but Radio City’s Cash for Kids are an event heavy charity which allowed me to gain experience in organising and running events such as Ladies Lunches, Sportsman Dinners, and Charity football matches. Our larger events have been in conjunction with some of the largest organisations in Liverpool including Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Alder Hey, and Aintree Racecourse to name a few.

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After visiting Confex International and the Event Production Show in London Town I have been back in Cheshire and very Busy!!

Wine Tasting and Bespoke Jewellery

I recently hosted an event at Alderley Edge Hotel called Wine and Sparkle which was a very elegant and sparkly event. This event was very different to my usual because it boasted a lot of fine wines and champagnes! The menu was carefully selected and paired with the different wines. That was delightful!


I really enjoy seminar events because they’re usually full day events which are not only work-intensive but also the very chance for a lot of networking and mingling. From brainstorming themes, selecting venues, scheduling speakers, sourcing materials, deciding menus, it’s a lot of work but FUN! I am required to do a lot of travelling so one seminar could be in Mottram and the other in Chester but I like getting out and being at the different venues.  With all the animated debate surrounding England and the EU (to stay or not to stay!), I am in the process of organising a debate complete with local ministers and economists on the panel.

JCI – Junior Camber International

Recently, I attended JCI Manchester’s New Members Evening at Suburbia Manchester which was really refreshing; got to mingle with a lot of young professionals in a very lovely venue in central Manchester. Will definitely be attending the public speaking event later on this month as I think this event will benefit me especially with my work life.

Barnaby is Back!

Barnaby Festival takes place every other year in Macclesfield, and is a community event which showcases local art and talent. This year’s theme is “Space”, the story of La Lune. The festival runs from 17-26 June 2016 with 250 artists and performers, 100 events and 30 venues! This year I am the Space School Project Coordinator. The Space School will run over two days with hands on space activities for families with young children. I’m very excited to be working on this project and being a part of the Barnaby Team. Can hardly wait!

Great Northern Exhibition

Living in Cheshire, I always visited London for the big events exhibitions, however, I believe the northern events professionals—myself included—were very pleased to have a local Expo. I had never been to Bolton and so it was great going out to a new place. The Exhibition took place at the Bolton Wanderers FC. I was impressed with the exhibitors; their stands were very welcoming. Most importantly, I did get some inspiration for future events (my main purpose for attending!).

This Time Last Year!

It’s starting to sink in that in two months it will be exactly one year since I completed my Bachelors of Science at Sheffield Hallam University. I have done so much in such a short time and I don’t see me slowing down any time soon. In the midst of all this, I have found the time to sign up to a 5k run which I’m really excited about… so have been training in the gym! But this has been my month of March and I’m looking forward to a great Spring and more Events!

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I first met David Jamilly last year whilst on a final year events management trip to London and I was amazed at how David managed to grow and transform his company from humble beginnings to now one of London’s most known events companies! This interview I must say came about via twitter! Yes, I tweeted asking for an interview and got one, thanks David! After reading "Party People, how we make millions from having fun" by David and Tammy I was really inspired; mostly at how a brother and sister can successfully work together without driving each other mad! but truly I did pick up a few tips which I will definitely use in my events career, my personal favourite - “DON’T go over the top – big is beautiful but beware of scale.”

Meet: David Jamilly - CEO of Theme Traders Ltd and Events Management Author

What is your current position and business name?

David Jamilly, CEO of Theme Traders Ltd.david-amilly

What does your day to day job role entail? 

Running a team of 40 staff across multiple departments: Projects, Operations, Props and Costumes.

How did you get into events management? 

Twenty years ago Events Management didn’t exist; it was known only as “party planning”. I actually started in the industry performing as a clown at Harvester restaurants; from there I undertook more children’s entertainment and themed party requests working in partnership with my Theme Traders co-founder Kim Einhorn. It then grew into a wider range of events and clients as we have over time built the business into what Theme Traders is now, a full scale in-house event production service dealing in all markets of the event industry and with a varied and expanded client base.

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International Confex & The Events Production Show 2016: My London Trip

I have attended International Confex for over three years now and every year has brought a different experience for me from being an events management student to now an event professional in industry.  This year I must say was the best! Having my event blog has definitely opened my eyes to the world of #eventprofs and it was very refreshing to experience. Usually I would attend both days of the exhibition however being in industry I actually had an event in Chester on the first day of the exhibition so could only make the last day, which from past experience is more student orientated.

Previously the exhibition was hosted at the huge venue, Excel London, but now has found a new home in west London’s Olympia. Personally I do prefer the historic Olympia mainly because it cuts the extra commuting time which is always a plus in London, especially when travelling from Cheshire!

On arrival getting signed in was a breeze; controlled by LiveBuzz, whose event registration platform shone on the day. The Exhibition venue was split into two sections half dedicated to the Event Production Show and the other, International Confex. I began my visit strolling through Confex Exhibition and being a Top Gear Fan was pleasantly surprised to see The Stig at the BBC TopGear Track Experience! 12825684_10209049993353504_2138226600_nSuch a great idea to open up the track and I have no doubt they will attract a lot of corporate business. Studio Souffle was a part of the Event Production exhibition and I was stopped in my tack by their inflated colourful structure… I thought this would look nice at my 25th birthday party…if I was planning one! I found their structures very creative, fun and engaging; they can be used for experimental marketing events, break out spaces, brand activation - basically whatever your project requires.

Venues on Exhibition

I am always excited when I come across new unique venues; this year definitely wet my appetite. I came across The Monastery Manchester, located in my neck of the woods Cheshire… very exciting! This venue is absolutely stunning ideal of large celebrations, gala dinners and balls. They also have smaller rooms for meetings and seminars.

The highlight London venue for me was The Shard London’s Highest Event Space! Built around a central core with 360 degrees’ view of London; what a spectacular venue and versatile space. Definitely on my list of venues to visit in London. Shaka Zulu also stood out for me as a very immersive venue from the décor and South Africa flavour it’s fun and a venue your guests will definitely remember.

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National Outdoor Events Association: Student Conference


Sheffield Hallam University is proud to be hosting the 2016 NOEA (National Outdoor Events Association) Student Conference on Tuesday 15th March 2015 9.30am to 4pm at Sheffield Hallam University, Cantor Building.

If you are studying Events Management or Outdoor related degree and outdoor events fascinate you, this is the conference for you! Any student at any level of study at a UK University is welcome.

This is an excellent opportunity to hear from and network with industry experts, hear what it is really like to work in this exciting arena, take part in Q&A employability sessions and a brilliant chance for students to showcase their work! If you are completing a final year project or dissertation, or would like to tell us about your experiences working at outdoor events, this is an ideal platform to gain experience of public speaking, in one of our short talk sessions.

Guest speakers from Live Nation, Tramlines Festival, NOEA and experts in the field to be announced soon!

Places are available for £10 including refreshments and lunch. Discount on NOEA Student membership will also be available on this day.no2

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This time last year, Heather applied to MyEvent Vision, it is a project looking to invest in events talent and develop both people and ideas. The competition is aimed at anyone with a great event concept the winner will receive £5,000 cash, a full-time or freelance job offer from leading events agency, Events International Group, investment into the winning event concept and the winning candidate will be part of the experienced team that brings their event vision to life.

The competition has tremendous industry backing with the Final now taking place at The Event Production Show and International Confex as part of UK Events Week next month. The finale of the competition will see on the main stage of the Event Production Show members of the MyEvent.Vision Advisory Board; Kevin Jackson, Director of Ideas & innovation at The Experience is the Marketing; Robert Dunsmore, freelance Creative Director; Jason Allan Scott, Changemaker Enterprises and Hollywood Inc.; and sponsors Eventbrite; will join Heather Varley, as well as finalists from this year, to bring their MyEvent.Vision experience to life.

“This will be a life changing experience for one lucky event professional,” said Chad Lion-Cachet, MD of Events International Group and chair of the MyEvent.Vision judging panel. “We’ve had entries in already from across the UK and from every sector of the events industry. It’s a really strong field so we want all entrants to be at the very top of their game.” “This year we’re looking for something fresh and innovative that will flourish in the competitive world of events.” “We want ideas from everyone and for every type of event. If the idea is right, we’ll help bring it to life.”

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Interview: Final Year Event Student

Like Aggie, I opted out of a placement year because I personally believed I had a wide range of experience in events and just wanted to get into industry. When I started my degree I really wanted to do a placement year, however after my first and second year I had been involved in soo many events from volunteering to paid work I felt my decision to opt out of a placement year was the right decision for me. Curious to find out why other students may opt out of doing a placement I met Aggie, currently in her final year who gave me some insight into her decision and experience.

Meet: Aggie Szilvasi - Currently In Her Final Year, Aggie Talks About Her Events Experience and Why She Opted Out Of A Placement Year


Phoebe: First Question, how are you finding final year at university?

Aggie: I find the workload manageable and I have noticed that the lecturers, supervisors are a lot more cooperative, I do not feel that there is a teacher – student barrier between us, it is more like a partnership.

Phoebe: Why did you decide to study Events Management?

Aggie: To improve my career options, my management style and knowledge.

Phoebe: Did the course offering a placement affect your university decision?

Aggie: Yes, as my original plan was to do a year placement, 6 months in England and 6 months abroad but I decided that I wanted to go straight to my final year. Although other universities offered a sandwich course as well, I have chosen Hallam because of the structure of the teaching and the content of the modules.

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Interview: Creative Director Antigua

Growing up in the Caribbean and attending a few events mainly around the carnival session was really exciting for me. I have always had an interest in travel, tourism and events management however my time in Antigua I was mainly involved with the tourism side of my interest. As this blog is blossoming in the UK and I am conducting more interviews with industry professional I though why not see what’s happening back home with events! I meet Neon, now creative director, a few years ago with nothing much in common back then, but from this interview we both can agree we love events and the industry.

Meet: Neon Briggs - Creative Director & founder of BriggsDesigns AntiguaIMG_2114

Phoebe: What is your current position and business name?

Neon: I am the creative director and founder of BriggsDesigns.

Phoebe: What does your day-to-day job role entail as a creative director?

Neon: Meeting prospective clients

Developing business relationships

Developing creative models and themes for design concepts

Networking with other established local businesses to materialize established concepts

Set creative standards and objectives for other employees

Engage staff in creating design concepts and brainstorming ideas on how to continually improve on quality as a service provider

Phoebe: How did you get into event design?

Neon: A few years ago, I was asked to assist a friend in conceptualizing a design for an introductory cocktail for a national pageant. At the end of the event, I received several commendations and I was encouraged several times to pursue event designing professionally.

In addition, I realized the stark contrast that existed between the standard of the décor and ambiance of regional and international events and that of local events here in Antigua. Thereafter, I felt compelled to start my own events planning and designing company, with the goal of raising the standard of events here in Antigua and allowing locals to experience the ambiance that should be expected of high-profile events. And the rest is history.

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