A whole year?! That flew by! To celebrate the first anniversary of Eventify Ltd I’ve cornered the founders and directors Rebecca Thomas and Samantha Burton, better known as Beck and Sam, to ask them a few questions. We talk through the highs and lows of starting a business and get an insight into their life in the events industry. If you’re thinking of creating your own start up, read on for some top tips…
- What made you want to start up your own events company?
More than anything it was our passion for delivering amazing events. Having both got to senior management level in our previous jobs we found ourselves managing people, closely watching numbers and delivering presentations to the board as opposed to actually managing events and working with clients. It’s refreshing to make decisions based on gut instinct and be back working closely with clients.
- What was the scariest part of the process?
To us, the scariest part of it all was walking away from the comfort blanket of employment. Going from knowing that you will get paid the same amount every month no matter how the business was performing to not having a clue when your next pay cheque would be was daunting! That’s closely linked to the unknown – you can have all the confidence, passion, determination and drive in the world, but it might just not work. We’ve been so fortunate that we have a core group of dedicated clients that work with us on regular bookings so we don’t have the worry of the unknown so much anymore.
- Biggest high?
Sam – For me the biggest high is a close contest between getting our first, organic enquiry through our website and securing the celebrity wedding we’re managing. Its one of the most exciting and detailed events I’ve ever planned and something we can really get our teeth into. This was one of the first pieces of business we secured that got the creative juices flowing again!
Beck – My biggest high was confirming a three day conference that took place last month; it included accommodation for 250 guests, drinks receptions, a gala dinner and smaller meetings. The event came around off the back of us pitching our services to an internal events team within a big corporate organisation, it was nice to see the work we put in at the start of this journey paying off! I also have to agree with Sam – that first website enquiry was very exciting!
- Biggest low?
Sam – For me the biggest low was losing a huge global conference booking just because the event was no longer happening. It was one of the first pieces of business we’d lost and although there was nothing we could have done about it, it felt like a personal blow! I’ve learnt not to take things so personally now!
Beck – There’s been a few! Whenever an event’s not gone ahead I find it hard to let it go even though the reason has always been out of our control. I would say I’m quite hard on myself, especially when it comes to work, so I really read in to those situations and question why! The highs have definitely outweighed the lows and I’m starting to realise that not everything works out, and that’s ok!
- What would you say to anyone thinking of starting up their own business?
DO IT! What’s the worst that can happen? You need to consider your funding and make sure you can survive without knowing where your next salary is coming from for a few months (at least!) but honestly the risk is worth it. If it doesn’t succeed, you’ll still be employable and at least you’ve tried! And you never know it might just work and you’ll never look back!
- Favourite event to date?
Sam – I think my favourite event to date is probably the company away day we managed for a client at Wisley Gardens. It was so unique with team building activities happening throughout the grounds and using golf buggies to get the guests from one place to another. It was most definitely an unusual event!
Beck – A charity event I managed a few months back at the Hilton London Tower Bridge. It was impressive to see how much could be achieved with a minimal budget! I met some amazing people along the way and it was also the first event an intern has worked with us on, it was great to be able to give someone an insight into the industry!
7. Favourite venue to have come across in the last year?
Sam – My fave venue that we’ve discovered in the last year is probably the St Pancras Renaissance hotel. Steeped in history with amazing architecture, a hidden outside terrace and the famous Spice Girls, Wannabe staircase what more could you want? The Ladies Smoking Room is just stunning!
Beck – That’s a tricky one! I think I’d have to say the events spaces at Sea Containers. The venue has a real buzz, it’s location is ideal and the food served in the Cucumber restaurant is divine! They have an amphitheatre with staging that’s perfect for informal presentations or private screenings, and their roof terrace is such a hidden gem… the view is unreal!
- What’s ahead for Eventify in its next year?
Eventify has its sights firmly set on continuing growth in the next year. We couldn’t have asked for a better start and our first year has been amazing, so much of the same with a focus on making a bigger stamp on the industry and building a developing relationships with both current and new clients.
So that’s a small insight into Beck and Sam’s journey over the last year, since launching Eventify. Eventify are an event management company that offer event support and a free venue-finding service. Are you a business owner or part of a start up? What would your biggest piece of advice be to someone looking to do the same?