Monthly Archives: November 2015

So you think you can plan?

A Newcomers Guide To Joining The Events Industry

When I tell people I work in events, they look at me enviously and tell me how much fun I must have; they imagine I spend my days eating macarons, sniffing peonies and sipping champagne, all at fabulous venues of course. There is some truth behind this; I couldn’t work this hard if there weren’t a few perks along the way to sweeten me up, but of course there is another side to event planning…. The reality is spreadsheets, piles of data and directing suppliers out of muddy fields at 12am in wellies and rain, (me circa Saturday night).  Not so glamourous right?

With the dreamy perception of a planner’s daily routine, I can fully understand why I receive so many emails from bright eyed hopeful event planners hoping to break into the exciting world of events.  It can be heavenly at times and we do tend to only include the super fun parts on our hashtag lifeofaplanner intsa feeds…oopsy.

So I have put together a little advice for anyone who may be mulling over a career change into the glitzy/greasy world of events…

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Is this the right career for you?

I don’t enjoy my job 100% of the time. I work insane hours and on event weeks, I might work between 14-18 hours a day for three days with barely time for a bathroom break, let alone a break, break. Unless you are working in the Corporate Events world, you can also forget your relaxing weekends. ‘It’s Friyay”…. no, no, no. Friday means work is just beginning and ‘Saturyay’ is going to be filled with your colleagues rather than loved ones, sore feet, huge amounts of pressure and an M&S sandwich if you’re lucky. So my point is, unless you are a super hard worker and don’t mind working unsociable hours, then don’t even try to persuade yourself this is your ideal career.

 

What is the right event route for you?

Decide what it is that makes you yearn to be involved with events:  food, design, brides, hotels, fashion, corporate, launches, charity, luxury, multi-day conferences etc.  There are so many different types of events so try and be clear from the start what it is that you are going to enjoy working on every day.

Contact a few companies that you admire and offer to work on an event as an assistant (don’t expect to be paid – we do because we’re lovely, but many don’t).  Working on an event is the best way to see if you really enjoy it, rather than signing up to lots of expensive courses and taking the chance if it is not for you. If you do gain some work experience then ask if they would write a reference for you to show to a future employer.

Also keep in contact with them, as they may have positions available in the future. When my current Director of Weddings contacted me about working with Goose & Berry I had no openings, however she kept in contact and when we had a new role available the job was hers.

 

Social Media Savvy

For me, the thought of having to text back friends is a chore itself, let alone constantly networking with businesses, however you must learn to deal with it. We have created many fabulous relationships and generated masses of new business from social networking.  There are so many wonderful people in this industry and following what they’re up to fills you with creativity and excitement.  If you don’t have Instagram and Twitter, you should do; you must be on top of your social media game. Start following everyone that you admire – brands, marketing, events, caterers, wedding planners, venues, PR – anything relevant or inspiring.  Interact with them as much as you can and don’t be afraid to congratulate and take inspiration.  There are some wonderful blogs with fresh content to keep you excited (I’ve heard the Goose & Berry Blog is pretty awesome).  There are also some great magazines you can read to keep you in the knowledge of what’s current and a great insight into the trade to keep you business savvy.

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You’ll be surprised how much companies check out potential employees on social media and coming across as passionate, interested and knowledgable will work wonders for your credibility.

 

Build your CV

So you’ve decided this industry is right for you? Great, time to start looking attractive to potential employees. Compiling a creative CV is crucial to getting you spotted.  Think of your CV as more of a portfolio of what you have accomplished and what you are capable of accomplishing.  I’m impressed with straight A*’s, but more impressed by experience, skills, and creativity.

A few ideas to get you started…

  • Include images of any work that you may have already created.
  • Create a mood board and event plan for an event you would love to create.
  • Offer to help any friends and family with events they might have coming up and get lots of good photos from these events. Style the christmas table, offer to help make invites for a friends wedding, organise a friends baby shower dessert table and so on.
  • If you have a niche then work on it – flower arranging, designing invites, styling, beauty, baking, hair etc. Create little projects for yourself and get as many fabulous images as you can. If employees can see that you have a creative talent, then they will appreciate your skills may be transferable.
  • We spend 90% of our time behind a desk, so great computer skills are a must. Specialist applications will set you out from the rest – spreadsheets, a whizz on photoshop, design packages – anything creative or organisational based will be a huge draw for event companies.

If you approach a company with experience or a portfolio of what you are capable of, they are more likely to be interested rather than approaching companies stating you are  ‘hoping to get into events’.  I have emails from people all the time writing this and it makes me concerned that they have no experience, they will need to be taught everything from scratch and if I do give them a chance and invest time into training them, then they may change their mind and decide the events industry is not for them.

 

First Jobs and Internships

Contact any companies you admire and ask if they might have any part time, full time or internship rolls available.  It might not be in a position you want but once you get your foot in the door you can commence the dazzling process.  Be careful about accepting a non-paid internship for a non-established company; make sure it is one that you really admire and appreciate their work.

There are so many styled shoots happening at the moment so why not contact Wedding Planners and ask if you can assist on the day. You may be making cups of tea or carrying a brolly to shelter a model, but sometimes there are up to 10 suppliers working on these shoots so this would be an invaluable opportunity to network.

You could also try venues – there are so many luxury hotels that often hire wedding coordinators or events and banqueting assistants, even bar and waitressing jobs – these are great roles to begin with so you can gain some great experience. Experience at a luxury venue will add prestige and weight to your CV.

Look at planning and/or design courses that you might want to attend. There are so many different courses so be choosy about what you sign up for. You want a course that offers a ‘ hands on’ element. You can’t learn how to deal with clients, win business or problem solve from a text book.

 

Lastly

Working in the Event and Hospitality Industry is not for the faint hearted, so make sure that whatever event route you take* it’s one that you enjoy.

Words by Hannah Martin

* always ALWAYS wear flats on event days.

Goose & Berry are a Luxury Catering, Wedding & Event company who specialise in Weddings, Social and Corporate Events.  We are based in Marlow & London and cover London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Home Counties.

www.gooseandberry.co.uk

Did you know we also Plan and Design Weddings and Events

http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk/weddings-goose-and-berry

http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk/events-gooseberry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gooseandberry / www.twitter.com/gooseberrywed

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gooseandberry 

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gooseandberry

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Filed under Bar, Bridal, caterer, caterer corporate events, Catering, corporate events, Event Planning, eventprofs, Events, Food, food and drink, Grooms, oxfordshire, partyplanning, Photography, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding planning, wedding styling

GC Couture – Seasons of Sugar Launch, 2016 Collection

We had the privilege of being one of a select few to attend the recent launch of luxury wedding cake designers and one of our preferred suppliers, GC Couture’s 2016 collection – ‘Seasons of Sugar’, organised by the fantastic Cranberry Blue Weddings, held at The Lanesborough – and what an event it was!

Press, planners and key representatives from the wedding industry were in attendance and got to enjoy a totally scrummy afternoon tea, with a talk on etiquette by Nadia Rae, all whilst perusing and sampling some of the new collections cakes, paired with cocktails, all set in a magical setting courtesy of Light Motif, Twilight Trees, Great Hire, Wildabout Flowers and Design in Scent. Other partners on the day were Sternberg Clarke, John Nassari, Amara Weddings, Rupa Photography and Lovicci.

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Propose PR who represent GC Couture have said: “The classic yet ornate and impressive Seasons of Sugar Collection is the result of a long, collaborative creative process involving many of the production team’s ideas and incorporating GC Couture’s trend predictions for 2016. The creation of the collection has been conducted in four stages by Director Marie Sinclair.”

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Marie explains: “We began with an initial ideas meeting involving our full production team, where we put forward our inspiration for the upcoming collection, based on trends, patterns and sketches. In this way, we like to think that we are creating trends in the world of cake design, which is really exciting creatively.”

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She continues: “While this year’s collection is quite eclectic in style, we wanted to maintain a unifying element of timeless, classic beauty. Many couples, while enjoying the unique statement element of our couture cakes, are very drawn to traditional shapes and designs. Our cakes our designed so that in years to come couples perusing old magazines will still gasp and say ‘that’s the one!’”

Marie also comments: “Height is a big feature of the Seasons of Sugar Collection, simply because it creates more impact and ‘wow’ factor. We have created a signature look of sugar flowers cascading in a waterfall effect.

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While the cakes will be available in any of GC Couture’s 50-plus tantalising flavours, the production team has paired up perfect flavour recommendations for each season. For wintery creations, GC Couture favourite, Fruitcake Without the Bits; for the essence of autumn, Cinnamon; spring cakes are best served with a hint of Pear and Summer Fruits make the perfect flavour for the collection’s summer cakes.

Photos by John Nassari.

For more information on GC Couture please contact Marie Sinclair:

W: www.gccouture.co.uk

A: GC Couture
411 Uxbridge Road
Hatch End
Middlesex
HA5 4JR

T: 020 8428 8585

For PR enquiries, please contact Nicola Russill-Roy at Propose PR:

W: www.proposepr.com E: Nicola@proposepr.com T: 07834 470117

Goose & Berry are a Luxury Boutique Catering, Wedding, Event & Brand Experience Planning & Design company who specialise in Weddings, Social and Corporate Events.  We are based in Marlow & London and cover London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Home Counties.

www.gooseandberry.co.uk

Did you know we also Plan and Design Weddings and Events!

http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk/weddings-goose-and-berry

http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk/events-gooseberry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gooseandberry / www.twitter.com/gooseberrywed

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gooseandberry 

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gooseandberry

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gooseandberry / www.instagram.com/gooseandberryweddings

Google +: https://plus.google.com/106611460730365369102/posts

The couture collection, available to view and order from 1st November 2015, will feature decadent and delicate designs to create the perfect standout centrepieces for spring, summer, autumn and winter weddings.

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Filed under cake, Catering, wedding cake, wedding food, wedding planning, weddings