Charlotte Wilson, Strategic Events ManagerBy Lauren French
Charlotte (or Charli to those in the know) is a Strategic Events Manager. Along with our incredible Strategic Events Team, she masterminds many of the School's events - the most recent being London Business School's flagship alumni event of the year - the Worldwide Alumni Celebration (WAC). Charli started at London Business School 9 years ago as an Events Assistant and liked it so much she's remained in the team ever since.
1. For those that don’t know, could you explain the Worldwide Alumni Celebration (and what was special about this year?)
The Worldwide Alumni Celebration or ‘WAC’ is the event where we celebrate our global alumni network. Alumni volunteers organise their own celebrations and events (of which there were 90 this year - a record!) This year we also celebrated reaching - and surpassing - our Campaign target so six special events were added all around the world to thank our alumni for their enormous generosity. The team organised events in Sao Paulo, New York, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Sydney; plus hosting our London event at the spectacular Victoria and Albert museum.
2. What was your favourite part of the entire WAC celebration?
This is such a hard question to answer as there are so many favourites! The set-up for the London event was so exciting, we had an hour for the ‘get-in’; seeing everything come together so quickly was amazing, we had over 100 production and catering staff buzzing around the museum working hard to get it set in time.
Seeing the stage and set for the first time in the Raphael Gallery was a special moment also.
A personal real 'stand-out moment' was going back to the Maritime Museum in Hong Kong and seeing it for the first time since my initial visit in March. I had walked through an extremely hot Hong Kong city centre to the waterfront; walking along the bank, the museum appeared and it was a weird sense of excitement and sadness; the thought that the event that I’d been working on for so long was going to happen and also coming to an end. I took a snap shot to remember how stunning the scene was.
3. How do your team work together to ensure events run smoothly?
In essence we are a well-oiled, experienced machine and trust each other immensely! We create a very detailed events schedule and rota so that we all know our roles and where each team member is at any individual moment, plus we use our team meetings to give a full brief about the event. I’m so lucky to work with a team who are so incredibly talented and care as much as I do about the events that we run…it just works!
4. What’s the most exciting event you’ve ever organised and why?
For pure anticipation and excitement, our live Q&A with Col Tim Kopra from International Space Station is up there with one of my best. It was a once in a lifetime, incredible experience to be a part of this event!
5. What keeps you motivated?
Knowing that there are so many more boundaries to push and creative ideas to explore with our events here at LBS. I am bursting with new ideas for events and get excited about the possibilities of what myself and the team can achieve.
6. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
My cat Clarence decided to bring me a ‘present’ of a live mouse a couple of weeks ago. The mouse got loose and I spent 2 hours locked in my bathroom with it trying to coax it out from behind the loo with peanut butter. I had to cancel my plans that eve as there was no way I was leaving my flat with a mouse on the loose!
7. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
The Queen. Purely for her wealth of life experience, to hear stories of all the iconic people she has met. She’s epitome of the strong woman... and she’s thrown some absolutely legendary events!
8. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I’m really scared of moths and the other day a huge one (I’d say it was roughly the size of an albatross!) flew in to my living room and was bouncing all over the place. I live on my own so had no choice but to get rid of it by myself! Literally the most scariest, hardest 20 minutes of my life….!!
9. Where is your favourite spot on campus?
The front lawn. Even after being here for nearly nine years I’m never not struck by how stunning it is.
10. Tell us something surprising about you.
I used to be an Irish dancer and competed in feis’s (or competitions) when I was younger. Even now, watching River Dance still gives me goosebumps!