What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Officially...Managing Director/Co-Head of Events at New Era Events
Unofficially... CEO, COO, Director of Bean Counting, Social Media Guru, Website Manager, Creative Director, IT Support, VP of all Miscellaneous Stuff, and Chief People Pleasers - it’s just us, so we do it all!
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
Alex: I wanted to own a Nightclub or be a Hotel Manager. I got my dream job organising and running events in luxury 5-star hotels all over the world when I was just 19, and the rest is history! I got the bug for event management early on and haven’t looked back since.
Emma: All sorts! From being a vet, to working with children, to joining the Army. In later years I decided I’d quite like to run my own business one day but never really knew what that would be. In the end, following a helpful nudge from my sister, I started work at a large corporate real estate company to see what opportunities it may bring. Over the course of 7 years I worked my way up the ranks from Receptionist to Event Manager (and a few roles in between). I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and I’m now happy and experienced doing the job I love (and that I’m actually pretty good at!).
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Alex: When I worked at the Lanesborough Hotel we were encouraged to present ourselves as if we were ‘on stage’. Very valuable advice for an event manager as I learnt my skills to be helpful, friendly and to treat everyone as an equal no matter their position. Above all else, do everything with a smile on your face.
Emma: My parents always said, ‘you can be anything you want to be.’ Of course, that sounds like cliché advice that all loving parents give, right? Well, they were right, and I truly believe that you should do what you feel passionately about, as you are much more likely to be successful doing something you enjoy!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Both: The freedom to be flexible and creative. That’s what attracted us to starting our business in the first place. And the fact we can sometimes put the washing on in the middle of the day... It all helps to make weekends a little more relaxing, so we have time to catch up with family and friends.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Both: Hopefully balancing a happy family and home life, along with running an awesome, successful and creative event management company. We aspire to be well renowned and respected in the industry.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Alex: The Evelina Children’s Hospital who went above and beyond for Amelie in the intensive care unit when she was born.
Emma: The Martletts Hospice who supported our family during the most difficult time and gave my lovely Dad the care and respect he deserved in his final days.
What drives you?
The desire to be successful so we can provide for our families and live a fun and well-balanced life (....and to pay for school fees!)
Any final comments?
Alex: When life gets confusing, there’s only one thing to do...attend a fabulous party!
Emma: Stop waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and light it up yourself!
What does a normal day look like for you?
Alex: Get up, dress and feed a three-year-old, take three-year-old to nursery, have a strong coffee and start the day.
Emma: Get up, debate with self about going for a run, debate over, put the kettle on and start the day.
Both: Each day is completely different, which is why we love the variety of event planning. A day at ‘the office’ starts with our morning phone call (the conversation usually kicking off by convincing each other that today will be different... “We will take regular breaks and we will exercise!”). We talk through our pipeline of upcoming events and then split our tasks appropriately. Generally, 50% of our time is spent with our creative hats on working with our clients and suppliers, planning how we can push the boundaries to make each event stand out and sharing exciting ideas or the latest trend we’ve spotted. Even though New Era is over a year old, every time we receive a new enquiry it feels like a win! You’ve got to celebrate the wins! The other 50% of our time is spent on site running events and dashing between meetings. The day usually starts with an early wake up, jumping on a train to London with our suitcase full of ‘just-in-cases’ (you can never be too prepared!) ready to begin set up with our suppliers. We’ll always find time for a quick catch up with our clients, or to check out the latest new openings in London when we’re on the move.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Alex: Having my beautiful baby girl Amelie. Along with planning some pretty awesome global events!
Emma: Marrying my husband Kane and buying our lovely flat together. The best part of my day is heading home to our little haven. And setting up New Era of course!
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
Alex: Karren Brady. She is hard working, passionate about business and the promotion of women in business in the UK – all whilst being a Mum! And she doesn’t take any BS from the wallies on the Apprentice!
Emma: Katherine Ryan. She’s ballsy, hilarious and a realist. She gives as good as she gets in a historically male dominant industry. She once explained how it had never occurred to her that she would be limited just because she was a woman; that she couldn’t be a scientist, a doctor or anything else she wanted to be... She has invincible self-belief.
Both: Also, we’ve got to mention the Queen B Beyoncé. Because nobody rocked the stage at Glastonbury like she did!
What was your biggest failure?
Alex: Not always taking action where action was needed. Always trust your gut instinct!
Emma: Letting things that are out of my control get me down. If you can’t do anything about it, then what’s the point in worrying!
What do you like most about yourself?
Alex: I’m a happy-go-lucky, party girl, who is hopefully fun to be around!
Emma: I always try to see the best in people, which has served me well so far!
Both: The ability to have fun in everything we do. And to consume wine like its water... cheers to that!
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Give everyone you meet a chance! We all have a unique story to tell and you never know what light you might spark through your kindness and your example.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
A passion to succeed.
Being social butterflies!
Finding joy in every situation.
Keeping calm and composed in a challenging situation.
A work hard, play harder attitude.