Meet the Strategic Events team
This month we managed to catch up with the Strategic Events team from Marketing and Communications, in yet another busy period for them on and off campus.
Can you introduce us to your team?
There are 6 of us in the Strategic Events team. Mamoona Shah heads up the strategy, development and marketing side of the events and I (Karyn Wild) manage the delivery team of Charlotte Wilson, Monique Currin, Chelsea Roberts and our newest addition to the team, Ruth Pullinger. Between us we have a combined total of 47 years of experience in the events industry!
What does the Strategic Events team do?
Our main objective is to create and deliver world class events that reflect the international brand, intellectual prowess and values of London Business School. As well as generating our own events such as the Leading Minds series, we also work with other departments around the School on the delivery of high profile events including Reunion, Congregation and Research Centre events.
What are the best bits about the job?
MC: "I think that the best part about working in events is the end result. All the long hours in pulling together a quality event and even dreaming about the big ones is pretty satisfying especially when you see how successful it all is at the end. Almost always, something goes wrong but I really enjoy the challenges and finding quick solutions. Perhaps we’re adrenaline junkies!"
CW: "Getting exclusive access to some amazing venues around London and seeing places that I would never have seen otherwise. Going to the top of the BT tower, a private viewing of the crown jewels in the Tower of London and standing at the top of the stairs at the Natural History Museum with not another soul in the room – just me and Dippy!"
KW: "Working with such a talented and professional events team makes the job that much more enjoyable."
CR: "Working with amazing venues around London, each with their different quirks"
RP: "Working closely as part of a team and with a good group of people, you get a great sense of achievement when everything comes together. And of course the copious amounts of Prosecco and canapes!"
What are your biggest challenges?
MS: “Nothing is a challenge and everything is an opportunity (well that’s what I keep telling myself!). There is always the dread of a speaker dropping out at the last minute. It’s happened a couple of times and well it wasn’t the end of the world. Oh and a last minute Head of State visit… that was very challenging!”
KW: “Sometimes it is a challenge to keep smiling when the hours are long and the work is stressful (trust me, working in events is not always the glamorous profession that many seem to think it is!) so to work in events full-time you have to really love what you do.”
RP: “Always certain aspects that are out of your control, whether it’s working with outside companies, or not knowing how many people are actually going to show up! No matter how much you plan there is always an element of spontaneity on the day (which is also what keeps things exciting!)”
What are your proudest moments or biggest successes?
KW: “I have really enjoyed working on all the Global Leadership Summits; the highlight being the 2015 event where I got to unleash my inner geek and bring in a 15m wide LED screen as a set backdrop!”
CW: “The Natural History Museum 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration. I got to work in an amazing venue, produced an excellent programme for the evening with music and entertainment (and who can forget Andrew’s jacket!). We had great food, cocktails and production. I was jumping up and down with joy when the confetti cannons worked! Definitely a highlight of my career so far and hopefully one that will go down in the School’s history.”
CR: “The Alumni Reunion party at the Natural History Museum because I got to meet Dippy!”
We get quite a few big names at the School, who has been the most impressive?
CW: “Sir Ranulph Fiennes – I was pretty much in awe of him the whole time I was with him. I assisted him with his book signing and he was one of the most humble, amazingly interesting men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
KW: “Meeting Ferran Adrià, who is known as one of the best chefs in the world, was quite an honour. Also Ursula Burns, the first female African-American CEO to head a Fortune 500 company (Xerox) was very inspiring. Also, the President of Iceland who spoke at the 2014 GLS; he stayed around all day at the event and was just very nice and unassuming.”
MS: “Again so many! All inspiring and personal heroes but also all very nice people. The President of Iceland, Jasmin Whitbread, Save the Children; Tim Smit of the Eden Project; Sir Jeremy Greenstock; Senator George Mitchell; Ferran Adrià and most recently Sir Alex Ferguson.”
The Events team manages a wide range of events, you must have a few funny stories. Can you share any?
KW: “One that springs to mind is taking a famous US-based sports professor for a kebab on the Edgware Road after one of our events. It was a very unique cultural experience for him. Also, on a site visit to City Hall we got locked behind a door that happened to be outside Boris’s office. After rescuing us he introduced himself and then invited us to join him for some goat curry!”
CW: “The Gene Simmons event was hilarious from start to finish, from his son heckling him on stage at RCOG to a student asking his permission to take his daughter out on a date; it was a very surreal evening!”
MS: “Lots but I don’t think I can share so publically. Also … you had to be there. ;)”