For our latest edition of HeadBox Life, we caught up with our Senior Event Manager Sheridan Roberts.
Sheridan joined the HeadBox team at the start of August, bringing with her over 9 years of experience in corporate event planning. Here, Sheridan tells us all about her journey as an event planner and what she believes is the key to planning a successful event.
What does a typical day look like for the Senior Event Manager at HeadBox?
SR: My role at HeadBox is to help our HeadBox Business clients create brilliant, large-scale events, finding the best possible solutions for the best possible price.
A typical day for me involves talking to our clients about new large event briefs, helping them to piece together all the ideas they have and bring them to life.
Following an initial discovery of the event brief, I will often go on to discuss ideas and brainstorm with the client and any relevant suppliers and contractors that will help make the event a success.
As the proposal starts to come together, I’ll attend site visits with my clients at venues I think they’ll love, and tasting sessions with caterers, as well as planning a lot of other logistics that will need to happen in the background.
On the day of the event, I’ll be on the ground to make sure that the event runs exactly as planned and to support in the event of any unforeseen changes to the plan.
Can you tell us a little about your experience before joining HeadBox?
SR: Before joining HeadBox I worked at a leading corporate event provider for 9 years.
I started out as an Event Executive and worked my way up to become their Head of Events in 2017.
While I was there I had the opportunity to manage events for global companies in lots of different verticals, including retail, automotive, professional services, banking, pharmaceutical, and travel.
I have experience managing all kinds of events, including brand activations, learning and development events, product launches, Christmas parties and summer parties, conferences, team-building events and away days.
What is the most complex event you’ve ever managed?
SR: The most complex event I have ever managed was a product launch for a global travel brand. The product itself was a cruise ship, and the launch took place on the cruise ship. There were 900 Guests all shipped out to sea!
This was a multi-day event with a gamified treasure hunt which we created from scratch. The treasure hunt was designed to get the Guests to interact with every element of the ship so they could sell it to their customers.
We used iPads, image recognition, augmented reality and virtual reality to create the game. Being heavily reliant on technology, the biggest hurdle was the almost complete lack of reliable internet service on board due to being out to sea through the final stages of the build.
This event finished with a huge launch party with stars such as Craig David, Nick Grimshaw and Fleur East, sailing the ship out to sea for fireworks.
As always, problems arise that are beyond control, such as a Guest star demanding a change of lodgings at the last minute. I had to amend the accommodation for 900 Guests with no internet!
This was by far the most complex and stressful event I’ve ever managed, but also the most enjoyable.
What is your favourite thing about working in the events industry?
SR: I love the variety. No two event briefs are ever the same, which makes every day exciting! I also love that my job allows me to be creative, both in my approach to solving problems and in making the wildest of ideas a reality.
One day I’ll be planning a large corporate conference with a guest list of 10,000, and the next I’ll be managing an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party for a more intimate 500 Guests.
It can be stressful but I love when it all comes together on the day.
What do you believe is the secret to a successful event?
SR: It all comes down to attention to detail. It’s the small things that make the biggest difference.
By paying very close attention to the brand, including the look and feel and tone of voice, I’ll often have little ideas that could easily be dismissed as not worth the effort.
For instance, when planning an event for a luxury brand, a subtle approach can sometimes be more impactful. Instead of pasting the company logo onto everything in sight, luxury brands might appreciate a more understated, personal touch.
I’ve learned that these small touches can often be what takes an event to the next level.
If you are working on a large event brief over £10,000, you may be eligible for our corporate account management service. Send us your event brief to find out more.