People often ask how you get into events. While it’s not the case for everyone, for me, it began in my childhood. My Nan and Grandad were known for throwing the best-ever parties. When I was little, my brother and I would love nothing more than dressing up as mini waiting staff and taking drinks’ orders. It was pretty lucrative too; with tips at the end of the night.
I suppose this was my first ever job.
Looking back, I guess that’s when I became hooked. I rolled through senior school organising charity events; my fancy dress three-legged rounders’ match for the first Comic Relief was one of my favourites (always striving to do something different!)
But it wasn’t until University that I realised I was one of ‘them’. A ‘can’t stand on the sidelines’. A ‘this can be done so much better’. Yep, a doer with lots (and lots) of ideas.
Soon after arriving in college, I stood for Entertainments’ Rep and won. Then I volunteered to be on the college summer ball/event committee. The next year, I was President. I was studying Psychology at Cambridge University, so I am sure my Mum pictured me in a Harry Potter-esque library poring over books. In reality, I was squeezing sweaty students into an underground cellar, marketed as a ‘BOP’; trying to sweet talk the Night Porter that the volume of Blur blaring out the sound system wasn’t so loud… and carefully extracting the very drunk before the inevitable projectile … (enough said, hey?).
After graduating (yes, somehow I shoehorned in some study), I met my first recruitment agent. Still young, I believed every word he said. Apparently, I was destined to be in sales. And before I knew it I was the brand new Sales Manager for a printing inks’ company.
I half-liked this grown up job: meeting people was great fun, but I couldn’t be creative (other than in my sales predictions!!). Living with someone who really loved their job and I mean REALLY LOVED their job, I decided I should too. I gave back the keys to my company car and that’s when my event career started.
In 1997, I was part of the Events Division of a Medical Marketing Company. PPSI as it was called then. PAREXEL as it is called today.
And I loved it.
24 years later, I still do.
24 years of working on a huge range of events both style and size; for different industries and in a multitude of destinations has shaped me.
But the child in me is still there. I am a doer. A creative doer who loves the praise at the end of an evening, the end of the event. And I will do everything I possibly can to get an event as close to perfection as possible.
That, in a nutshell, is me.
Emma is the Founding Partner of Warwick Events and VP of Community for MPI UK & Ireland Chapter. In 2010, she started Warwick Events single handedly. She has since grown our team and successfully navigated a way through the pandemic. She champions Regenerative and Sustainable Events and has pledged Warwick Events’ commitment to our future by becoming a B Corporation.