How long have you been in corporate hospitality?
I had worked in the hospitality industry for 7 years, from 2005 to 2012. I was a supplier to most venues in the North East, rather than working at a single venue. But I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes during that time.
What drew you to corporate hospitality?
To be honest, I fell into the sector by chance. I took a job with an events company and was tasked with providing a linen hire service to all hotels and venues within the region. I quickly developed excellent relationships with the venues and began supplying them with our full event services (not just linen). It is a very friendly and sociable industry, which I enjoyed, and it gave me great job satisfaction knowing that both my clients and the venues were impressed.
What is the first thing you’d advise anyone who is thinking of putting on a business event?
Planning is key! Allow enough time to properly plan the event and cover all bases. Also, factor in a contingency plan, as things don’t always run perfectly. You need to be clear on both the objectives of the event and what you want to get out of it.
There is also a need to have an event budget. This will help you to make certain decisions about the event and what you can afford to include.
Finally, think about timings! This will help you determine a structure and who you may need to involve to help make the event a success. Put yourself in the shoes of your guests and imagine what their expectations would be if attending.
What made you decide to work for Ellingham Hall?
I worked with Ellingham Hall previously supplying event planning services for weddings and events. I developed very good relationships with the team and had a good knowledge of the venue. I had great memories and that, coupled with my love for the venue and great working relationship, encouraged me to go join Ellingham when I was offered the post. I had been out of the industry for 6 years, but during that time I had gained more transferrable skills, particularly in corporate sales development.
What is your favourite room at Ellingham?
This is a difficult one because I’ve seen significant improvements to the venue since returning last year. However, I think I would say the Chapel because this I feel is the biggest major change. Not only does the restored chapel still retain the major historic features, but it also now has a modern look and feel, which makes it more appealing to prospective clients. It is clever how the team made the best use of this space by adding a quirky mezzanine level, which leads out onto a rooftop terrace with stunning views. You could not access that area before the renovation and its added two extra spaces perfect for use for all occasions.
What do you like about working at Ellingham Hall?
It has to be the happy, relaxed working environment, which is key to getting the best out of people. The team constantly strives to improve the venue and the service levels offered. You can’t ask for more! You get a feeling that you’re a very important part of the team, no matter which position you have.