Not too long ago we welcomed a new General Manager to Eventa – Kate Packham. She comes from a fantastic events background and now that’s she’s settled in quite nicely. We thought it was only right to introduce her…
Welcome to Eventa Kate! How does it feel to be part of the Eventa family?
I’ve been in the role just a month and yet I feel like I’ve been welcomed into the family with open arms. I’m lucky to have inherited a really strong team in the Eventa corporate events arm of the group, and the solidarity between the brands and shared departments has been really reassuring.
What is your background and experience in the events sector?
Where do I start?! I’ve done everything from weddings, catering events, parties & club nights, charity functions and local festivals! However a huge proportion of my experience is in corporate events, meetings and teambuilding. I’ve always been very hands on and thrived on the client facing, onsite delivery of a carefully planned event, so this new more strategic management role is an exciting new path for me and my team. You won’t just see me at my desk though; I’ll be out and about alongside the events team delivering events whenever I can!
How did you get into the events industry?
My degree was in Business and Marketing so I initially went into marketing. However it was always the events side of my marketing roles I really felt at home with. The exhibitions, PR events, product launches and networking, so it was a natural redirection for me. The Eventa Group has a great marketing department though, so I’m hoping we can work very closely together to help drive Eventa forward in the corporate market.
And what would you suggest to those out there who are looking to get into the events industry?
I’d say it’s so useful to understand as many elements of event management as possible, and that work experience, volunteering and internships are invaluable to prove you are serious about a role. It’s a competitive industry and when starting out it could stand you out from the crowd. I still volunteer for a local charity and run festivals for the community in my spare time!
Now for some easier questions; what is your favourite drink?
Oh come on, that’s still tough! It’d be Rioja with dinner, Espresso Martini out with the girls, or a Bloody Mary with my Sunday Roast. Just one? Oh, water, you must keep rehydrated running events!
What about your favourite canapé?
Well, being a cook and a bit of a foodie I love both cooking and eating most canapés. But my most recent memorable one I’ve tried was at Dirty Blonde in Brighton. Kensington Roof Gardens event team took us there and one of the canapés blew us all away… Deep fried Macaroni Cheese cubes. Oh my god, so naughty but so good!
What are your three top tips to ensure a successful event?
1. Know your client and their needs
2. Careful venue and supplier selection in your detailed planning stage
3. Deliver your event with energy and passion – your enthusiasm and attention to detail will go a long way!
Finally, what are the best and worst secret Santa gifts you’ve received? (No naming and shaming please!)
Well the worst one I can remember is actually one I gave. I made handmade chocolate truffles for a colleague, which was the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever given. However it backfired, because they melted under the tree lights and ended up as a pile of brown sludge in a box! Very embarrassing!
The best secret Santa I received was a Vietnamese phrase book: I was off travelling for a month across Indo-China. Not that my pronunciation got me far… but still it was a useful present none-the-less!