First Experiences & First Lessons

Event professionals always say that to work in the event industry one has to be flexible, that the first lesson to be learned is that it doesn’t matter how well planned an event is, there are always last minute problems or changes to face on the day. Our first experience on site proved this once again.

Before I get into it, please meet me. My name is Silvia and I recently joined the team as an intern and Events Assistant here at Proud Events, along with Nuno, Project Assistant for Live Stock Brands. We’re both students at B|MM London and, even if we happen to be in the same class, this is the first time we get to work together.

Our first event experience with Proud was in collaboration with Adidas Football at their Tango League event held in Shoreditch on Wednesday the 22nd of February.

From a day spent in a warehouse sorting boxes to the big event on Wednesday, working with Adidas has been an incredible and invaluable experience. Not only because we had the chance to work with one of the coolest brands in the world but also because it was our very first experience working together as a team.

In short, our job was to organise small boxes – football boots – into larger boxes as prizes for each team playing at the event.

If this sounds simple to you, just try and imagine this: different boxes with different numbers and letters that all look surprisingly identical; add more numbers for the shoe sizes; add that you’ve been instructed to give the same model boots to all the players in a team with the correct sizes; add that you didn’t receive all the size info from the players and, finally, add the fact that the stock, although it appears endless in your eyes, is actually somehow very limited. To us, it felt like we were trying to crack the most complex code. But we did it, we planned and organised everything as best as we could and it turned out to be a lot more fun than either of us expected. In our heads, the job was over and done with perfect planning.

Right. Now, do you remember the beginning of this post? First lesson: last minute problems and changes. The next day, we arrived at the event to find out that some rules had changed and, as a consequence, part of that hard work became somewhat useless. Although some of the previous work paid off as it made the process a lot quicker, we had to crack that same code and organise the stock all over again.

So, this is for all the people taking their first steps in the event industry. Even when you think you’ve done your absolute best and organised everything ‘perfectly’, remind yourself that great planning doesn’t necessarily mean perfect event. And always, always, listen to other event professionals because – believe it or not – they kinda know what they’re talking about! J

Finally, I’ll leave you with a conclusive note on something else I personally learned from this experience. Although being organised and focused is great skill, being able to communicate and trust the people you work with is what will ultimately determine your success.

Until we meet again.

Silvia

Better Together

January is a great time of year for a business and even more so for an outdoor events business like ours. It’s a time of year you can review the old and plan for the future, reach out to new clients or simply make that change to your operations you have been putting off for the last 4 months since the summer season ended.

After a successful, yet somewhat challenging, first year we welcomed in the New Year, a time to regroup and review our plans for 2017. However, that very quickly turned into a very busy with a new event, numerous tenders and an exciting new partnership with colleagues and friends Ice Blue Medical. Whilst all great news also challenging with a never-ending task list and new hurdles to overcome. We had to rely on each other’s skills and ability to share workload. Then it came to me, we’re better together.

Successful business is only successful when we work together. Our colleagues and partners, suppliers and clients and this is a policy we whole heartedly practice at Proud Events. We share each other’s opinions and knowledge to identify the best outcome, when one of the team is too busy we help them by offloading their workload. Now don’t get me wrong this is not always smiles and rainbows. Sometimes it is hard to take on extra work to help others. Sometimes it is hard to hear opinions that differ to your own. Ultimately thought we know this it is what makes us stronger.

This transfers into how we plan our events. At Proud we know what we are good at and that’s event management. Seeing the big picture and putting together the pieces to deliver experiences for our clients that are true to their vision. But what about the detail of the individual parts? The tech specs for the stage, the power requirements of the traders, the health & safety regulations. The list goes on. The truth is all the parts are equally important, not one person can do it alone and that’s why we collaborate. By working together we become stronger and it empowers all of us to deliver great events we feel part of. That’s what’s special about working in events, why else would we give up our summer to live in fields for 4 months?!

Here at Proud HQ we continue to develop projects that centre around this approach, our collaboration model still ticks on in the background and we are looking at an exciting new project with the UK Pride Organisers Network where we, Proud Events, are building a Pride Buyer’s Club. A platform where Pride organisations can come to us with their event management requirements and we can match them to quality suppliers who deliver, whilst passing back savings through economy of scale of the club and its members. Whilst in its early infancy it is an exciting development in the Proud journey, one that we feel passionate about, being able to give back to the Pride movement.

So instead of doing more exercise or giving up chocolate this new year why not adopt our approach to events and let’s work together, after all it’s better right? If you are interested in hearing more about the Buyer’s club and would like to be part of it get in touch at harry@proudevents.co.uk and let’s do business together for a cause that’s worth contributing to.

The Proud Team x 

#Trump & #Brexit = End of #Events? Never!

All our social media and news feeds are filled with gloomy news about the impacts of the US election and the UK referendum. Currency and financial markets haven't reacted well and we could be in for uncertain times ahead.

For those of us operating across the UK and Europe, and those with an international profile, we're all looking for that crystal ball.

In fact now is probably a great time to look to the past and learn the lessons of those businesses who not only survived but prospered in previous challenging times.

What are our event attendees thinking? Is my job secure? What's going to happen to interest rates? What will rising inflation do to my spending habits?

There's certainly a lot of insecurity and that drives a behaviour that can be more cautious. But does it mean people will cut back on their leisure activities or things that give them some fun 'time out'?

Turn the telescope around. If the £ is worth less against the $ then maybe the 'staycation' will be a strong trend. Value for money could mean spending on great events with great experiences rather than not spending. Payment plans may win out over big one of ticket purchases. Free events may become even more popular with scope to make reasonable returns through concessions.

In previous economic downturns the events and entertainment industries didn't disappear. Audiences became more discerning, chose carefully and spent wisely. Those promoters and event organisers who planned ahead and thought about the challenges their audiences would face actually did pretty well. 

That's not to say there weren't tough times and many businesses and their associated suppliers didn't survive. But common to many of these was carrying on as before. Not preparing for a smaller, more discerning market. And forgetting that currency changes can matter!

We also learned that people needed their break from the challenges and uncertainties. As a proportion of their overall spend, disposable income, spent on activities faired pretty well. People wanted to reward themselves for working harder, cutting back and making the savings. 

They wanted to go out and have a really amazing time and they didn't mind investing wisely to achieve it. But the event had to be good, great even, and not outside their budgets.

So what's the lesson? Don't live in a bubble and keep going as if nothing around you is changing. Model your future events around future uncertainty and a downturn in spending. Is £6 for a pint and £8 for a burger sustainable? Can you justify putting your ticket price up 5% if everyone's wages are reducing by 2% with inflation?

Taking the time to do this now puts you ahead of the game. Even better why not talk to your audience. Find out what they're thinking and try and test that against your own assumptions. 

Here at Proud Events we've been looking to the future. We've been modelling our business for long term sustainability. Looking at EaaS (Events as a Service), commoditising events and collaboration. Why not speak to us

We've also been supporting our clients with their own future planning and taking a 'big picture' view about the future. We've got lots of consulting expertise. Give us a shout

All Good Things Come To An End

It is said that all good things come to an end, and this time it is my work here at Proud that is ending. It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I leave, a mix of sadness, gratitude, but also a lot of excitement for the future!

 

During my time here at Proud, a period of almost 6 months, I have been thrown into the hectic, energetic and oh so inspiring world of events with my head first. My experiences have contained a fair share of everything from volunteering at this year’s AMP Lost & Found in sunny Malta, to hours on the phone in London, to doing event logging in a small cabin in a rainy Tatton.

 

Being part of the Proud Events team has been fun, challenging, stressful and awarding.

 

I have acquired valuable knowledge (such as: when the Production Manager calls in to Event Control asking for the cherry picker to be moved, he is most likely not talking about a man picking cherries), mastered the underrated craft of laminating, and I have overcome my imaginary fear of phones (or making phone calls more precisely).

 

There have been moments when I wanted to rip my hair off in total frustration (when my volunteers decided to pull out in the last minute), there have been moments of complete confusion (like my first day ever in Event control), but most of all it has been a fantastic learning experience.

 

So yes, of course I am sad to leave. This work placement has been much more than I ever imagined it would be, and Harry and Ben has been the best bosses I could have ever wished for. Working for Proud has been a privilege and I am so thankful for my time at this company.

 

However, as I mentioned earlier, sadness is only one of the many feelings I feel towards moving on. My time here at Proud Events might be coming to an end, but this does not mean that I am done with events.

 

To me, the world of events is like a never ending roller coaster with its ups and downs and unexpected turns. Scary at times, exhausting at others, but most of all thrilling in a way that just makes you want to keep on going.

 

So, instead of saying farewell, I just say goodbye for now, hoping that it will not be long until I am out on the road again. Until then, I feel more than ready to continue my studies in Music Business at BIMM London this fall.

 

Until the next time.

Lisa

Event planning - Glamour can only give you so much

‘People always think that our job is so glamorous, and it’s just really not’ my colleague said after another late night on site, back in our hotel room out in the middle of nowhere (also known as Barrow-in-Furness).

 

Earlier that evening she, and the rest of my colleagues, had been sitting comparing their diaries for the next couple of months, searching for those odd days of liberty – which were almost impossible to find. With the festival season gong into full bloom, meaning fun and games for most, Proud and all its partners are busier than ever before. The 8th of June the company hit a new milestone when being live at five sites at the same time, and although that means a lot of hard work we also couldn’t be prouder!

 

However, while the rest of the team is out on the road I am still left in London. My first year at BIMM London is coming to its end and I am wrapping up my last assignments of the year before leaving the city for new adventures.

 

These past months have been hectic at times, rewarding at others and very educational for the most. Yet, my colleague is right, it has rarely been glamorous. Live events require huge amounts of hard work, time and planning.

 

As I mentioned in my last blog this job has really made me realise how much planning there goes into every live event, and if I thought I had a greater understanding of that after AMP Lost & Found, it is nothing compared with the knowledge I have now, several months later.

 

Take staffing for example – what a process! When Harry, one of the directors, told me, a couple of months ago, that I would take on responsibility for the staffing process for this year’s festivals I was terrified. Not only because little old me would suddenly be in charge of something this important, but because I was convinced I had telephobia (the fear of making or receiving phone calls) and I would now have to conduct hundreds of phone interviews.

 

Needless to say my imaginary fear was of course completely irrational and it didn’t take long until making those phone calls went from being dreaded to just a part of my everyday routine.

 

Since April, every day has been a constant puzzle trying to fill the spaces in the rota for our sister company Live Stock Brands’ first ever festival – Parklife 2016. It has been a time consuming task, with last minute changes up until the very day of the festival.

 

Although Parklife may be over for this year, the staffing process is far from over and now continues the work with finding appropriate staff and volunteers for festivals such as Hideout Festival, Kendal Calling and Bluedot (why not apply if you haven’t already?).

 

Alongside my staffing duties I’ve been in charge for everything between laminating signage and putting together the most cost effective site kits, to booking accommodation and travel for our staff on site.

 

Once again, these tasks won’t particularly make any of you jealous, but these tasks are still important pieces of the overall planning, and if not properly done they may lead to your boss being booked in the ‘crack den’ that ‘should be avoided like the plague’ that you mistook for a hotel…

 

In May I’ve been on site twice, first at Wirral Rocks and then at Cartmel Racecourse, getting a first taste of this coming summer and my new role as event logger. This role, a role I hardly knew existed a month back, has showed me a whole new side of live events.

 

This time around I get to see the big picture, almost as from a bird’s perspective, seeing how all the different teams (production, security, site, medical, etc.) work together to make these events possible.

 

It is truly inspiring to see all that hard work and planning pay off with your own eyes, but it is almost more inspiring to see what happens those few times when a plan fails and our amazing team needs to create a new solution.

 

No, working with events may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but putting the laminating aside, it’s certainly never dull. Although a lot of the planning stages contain long office hours and paperwork, there is still such a thrill attached to being part of the live event creation that an ordinary 9-5 job just won’t give you. Glamour can only give you so much, but on that thrill you can live forever!

Until next time: stay up to date with all the exciting things happening on site, by following us on our social media or get in touch by contacting info@proudevents.co.uk

AMP Lost & Found – When you have fun together you work well together!

It may only be April, but for us at Proud Events the festival season is already kicking off! Last week we came back home from our first mission this year – the 2016’s AMP Lost & found in Malta. For a little more than a week our amazing team of staff and volunteers exchanged British rain for Maltese sun and got off to a brilliant start to this year’s outdoor events.

As Proud Events’ new Events Assistant this was my first time working on site and I could not have asked for a better introduction to the job. Being directly thrown into action as part of the volunteer team, working on tasks such as accreditation and merchandise, was a fun way of getting started and has filled me with loads of new knowledge, energy and motivation for our future events.

Normally I study Music Business at BIMM London, so it felt really good to finally get some hands-on experience and an understanding of what all those months of planning finally lead up to. When leaning over a book of event management theory it’s hard to get a grip of just how important the attention to detail is when you plan an event, but after following the work on site I now see clearly how those little details make a huge difference on the overall outcome.

It is easy to forget simple things such as scheduling coffee breaks for the staff or making sure that there’s that extra stock of merchandise ready when the old stock runs out, but if those things are already in your plan you’re more likely to get it right the first time around. This newfound understanding is definitely something that I will take with me both in my studies, as well as in future projects here at Proud Events.

Of course everything has its ups and downs, and I would lie if I didn’t say that working at a festival isn’t challenging at times.

Somehow there always seems to be more VIPs than there are names on the guest list and if I got a penny for every time someone realised that they’d forgotten their ID at home when they finally had reached the end of the line to the accreditation tent, I’d be a rich girl by now. Long shifts continuing into the early morning hours, mean winds sneaking in under every possible layer of clothing and hectic periods with never ending queues were some of the tough elements that we had to endure.

However, when I look back at AMP Lost & Found and Malta I don’t remember it as stressful or tiring, but rather as week filled with laughter and new encounters.

What I remember more than anything, more than any of the DJ sets or the Castle raves, more than the wind or my aching feet, is the amazing team.

I remember the silliness in the accreditation tent at slow periods, I remember making friends with the security and how they gave us coffee and Maltese pastries to pull through our shift, and I remember all of the AMP Lost & Found staff dancing together in the sunset at the well deserved staff party at the end of the festival.

As a team we worked hard by taking on new challenges and supporting each other through it all – from our first shift together to the long bus journey home from Leeds airport.

It’s said that when you have fun together you work well together and I really believe that to be true.

Back in London, I just can’t wait to get on site again, but as I’ve learnt recently planning is more important then one thinks.

So, now we’re back in the office preparing for our next event, hoping that it will turn out even better than the last one by taking with us all we learnt at this year’s AMP Lost & Found.  

Make sure to follow us so that you don’t miss out on any of our exciting upcoming events, and please get in touch with us at info@proudevents.co.uk

If you want to join our team on our next events click here

Pump Up the Volume! – Bring on 2016!

We’re ramping up for 2016, making significant new investment in Proud Events as we prepare to expand our operations and add a series of new events to the portfolio in the UK, Europe and potentially internationally.

2016 should see some new faces and great new talent on the team as we build our capacity. And we’re really excited to be starting work from our new base and spiritual home in Brixton adding to our base in the Northern powerhouse that is Hull!

Collaboration, opportunity and potential will be our key themes for 2016.

Even as a small business we want to create opportunities to nurture emerging talent and will be developing our work placement and internship programme this year. We’ll be creating opportunities for people, wanting to change their lives, to experience the exciting world of events.

We’re going to need a lot of people to help deliver our various projects in 2016 and will be promoting loads of volunteer and paid roles through our social media channels. We’ll be collaborating with our clients to promote some brilliant opportunities and incredible events.

Collaboration remains a major focus for us in 2016. We’ll be looking to bring event organisers and suppliers together to create opportunities to pool knowledge, skills and resources. We hope this will enable smaller events to get the quality suppliers they aspire to engage and suppliers to have the stability and volume of business they need to ensure business continuity.

Do you find this as exciting as us? Why not get in touch business@proudevents.co.uk and lets see how we can make 2016 and incredible year together! Bring it on!

Success - a dish best served hot!

Do we celebrate our successes enough?

It's awards time! 2015 has been a year of amazing achievements. Some of the best festivals ever, beautiful design, innovative production, accessible tech and loos to be proud of. All deserve their recognition.

But what about all the little things that we achieve all the time. Is there a strong culture of marking these achievements in our industry? 

Let's face it most of the year can be pretty relentless. All these achievements are built on hard graft and a fair few knock backs. We all know them: The proposals you worked on for days that didn't hit the mark; the new client you nurtured for months who went with someone else; the budget getting cut; the supplier letting you down.

But amongst all this there are many little successes: The new commission, recommendation, new client; extended budget. Or it may be that one Twitter comment after an event saying 'we had an amazing time'. They are the food that keeps us going through the tough times.

They don't require much recognition, may be a 'well done' or a pint or celebratory meal. But it's all too easy to let them slip by and once the moment's gone it's gone. 

At Proud Events we like to think we've got the balance right. Lots of hard work but lots of recognition of all the small things that get achieved. Come and be part of a positive culture. Why not Talk to Us and let us celebrate success together!

Festival Reflections

We’ve been immersing ourselves in all things Festival for the last part of this year’s summer season. It’s all great preparation for Scarborough Fair Festival taking place next May Bank Holiday weekend. Ben’s been appointed as Festival Manager and preparations are in full swing.

We were fortunate to be asked to work with the amazing Festival No 6 in beautiful Portmerion. What an incredible experience, not just getting the opportunity to work at the event, but we learnt so much about how to deliver a great festival experience.

No sooner had we finished at Festival No 6 than we were off to the Isle of Wight for Bestival. A whole different scale but again such an incredible experience. Don’t get us wrong we’ve been dong the festival circuit for decades but there’s so much more to focus on when you’ve got one of your own to deliver!

It’s easy to forget that your attendees give up to five days of their time for you to fill with fun, entertainment and the basic necessities of life, sleeping, washing and going to the loo! Both festivals worked so hard to ensure a great ‘customer experience’ and in so many different ways.

The ‘customer journey’ has always been at the centre of our events. Well designed sites, a stonking programme to keep people entertained, food and drink to keep people fed and watered are all essentials. But it’s those little details that can sometime really make the difference. Turning a bit of woodland into a crazy set of unexpected surprises or dressing an area with a strong theme really enhances people’s experience.

We’re building the team for Scarborough Fair Festival over the coming weeks. We have our first big supplier day soon and we’re looking for not just quality but for innovation and creativity. We think it’s going to be amazing and we’ll be letting you follow the story here and through our Twitter and Facebook feeds

2015 has been Proud Events first full year. It’s had its moments, some amazing and some challenging. Despite our years of experience every day has brought something new. We’ve done more than we had ever dreamed was possible, pushed ourselves to the limits and we’re still laughing and smiling (well just about anyway)! Follow our continuing story and get in touch info@prouudevents.co.uk

Fun in the Sun

The festival season is in full swing and finally the sun is shining. The Proud Events team are on their travels round the UK delivering and supporting a variety of events.

We've been musing over how amazing it is that you bring together crews from so many different disciplines and suppliers to deliver amazing events.

There's something quite special about the events industry and the people who work in it, that bales us to come together and create these amazing experiences with so little time and with such cohesion. Collaboration in action.

Isn't it amazing how people are willing to just muck in and get stuff done, from sorting out overflowing bins, managing queuing cars in car parks, painting fencing to dealing with lost children and overly jolly adults!

However, we all know that what makes this all come together isn't just amazing people, it's good planning, good management and a collaborative approach, supporting both event organisers and event staff.

At Proud Events we're all about great planning, good management and all done collaboratively. It's at the centre of our company ethos and we wouldn't have it any other way.

If you're thinking about a new event of wanting to have a chat about building on your current event then why not get in touch? Contact us here 

 

Inspirational creativity on a budget

Many of the Proud team earned our event wellies working on smaller community events. The dedication of all those 1,000s of volunteers up and down the UK setting aside their spare time to do something creative and meaningful in their community still inspires us. We always wanted to make sure that Proud never lost its connection to community events and they make up a good chunk of our business. 

The challenges are many but 'bugger all money' and 'bugger all time' tend to be big issues for community event organisers. So how do you make a little go a long way?

Here at Proud we're been developing our 3 Cs approach

Collaborate - We bring together event organisers and suppliers to work together with us to achieve economies of scale. Why contract one stage at a time when you can contract with one super for three stages for three events? Everyone's a winner! Supplier gets a pipeline of business and discounts. Event organisers get a better deal and better quality.

Commercialisation - Getting the most out of your event space and increasing your revenue is often something people neglect. And that's especially true of community events. Whether it be finding ways that sponsors can get involved or tendering a bar pitch instead of giving it to the local pub who don't really support you the rest of the year or redesigning a food concession area to improve footfall and spend, we've got lots of experience and ideas.

Creativity - The events industry is buzzing with talk about attendee experience. We've always wanted people to have an amazing time but the pressure is really on these days to be creative and different. The solutions are often simple, inexpensive and sometimes free. Ever walked on site to find loads of people with their faces painted or dressed up in fancy dress? Sometimes it's no more complex that asking your attendees to do something. But there's other great solutions too like reorientation your site, flags, bunting or a bit of additional stage dressing.

Here at Proud Events we've got loads of ideas and solutions and we're always willing to share them with you regardless of the size of scale of your event. Why not get in touch 

Ice Rink Anyone? It's 24c Outside!

As summer approaches and as the sun gets it's hat on here at Proud Events we're waking up the elves and grooming the reindeer. Christmas is a'coming!

Gone are the days when October heralded the end of the summer season and it was time to heal the blisters and take some well needed time off. Now summer festivals lead to winter wonderlands. The pace in the industry is relentless.

This year we hope to be adding temporary ice rinks to our portfolio of events (and yes Ben is still looking for someone to commission us to provide a dogem!).

If you're a local authority on the outskirts of a major city how depressing is it to see all you Christmas shoppers piling on to day trip coaches, taking their hard saved credit cards with them to spend in the big city? How do you keep that cash circulating in your local economy? 

You build yourself your own Christmas spectacular that's how! And while you're at why not give Proud Events a call and talk to us about helping you realise that dream?

But are ice rinks only for Christmas? Granted it makes keeping them icy easier, but with the systems we have access to it's possible to look at options throughout the year. They're also not just for long term Christmas events. Some of the systems can be set up for much shorter periods which makes them a viable option for shorter term sites.

So while you're out sunning yourselves spare a thought for what you may be wanting to do this Christmas. It's really not that long away!

Get in touch with us info@proudevents.co.uk 

Earn Cash Now - Thinking Differently About Building the Business

Getting the balance between sales, marketing, product development and actually doing the business can be a constant battle for time and resources. Doing more of one almost always means doing less of another and at a time when you need to be doing more of everything.

At Proud we’ve been looking for a little inspiration, involving some innovation and of course collaboration (see what we did there?)

On a more serious note we’ve been looking at how to expand our sales and marketing resources. We’re keen to do this in a way that is sustainable for us as a new and developing business, while tapping into new networks and creating opportunities for people we believe in and value (hence the inspiration, innovation and collaboration!).

We’ve been looking outside the events industry for inspiration. How do we promote our business with our ethos of collaboration without diluting the brand?

How do we build our business networks and intelligence in a massive and busy market sector where we are interested in a number of relative niche areas?

How do we incentivise sourcing appropriate events and brining them to Proud as viable and deliverable business leads?

We’ve drawn on a range of interesting and diverse examples to help us develop the model we’re in the process of launching.

Peer to peer sales and marketing is really at the heart of the model. Good people you trust who know good people that trust them who can act as brokers.

However to be an effective broker, when you’re probably already busy with your own priorities, requires a reasonable incentive. 

The solely commissioned based sales models we looked at didn’t seem to either be appropriate when you’re working with trusted friends and networks. There needed to be more ‘skin in the game’ and something that created a more direct relationship to the potential event.

So we’ve gone with a model that combines commission (10% of the production fee of any event secured) plus a primary freelancing role at a good market rate.

We think it’s a different approach for the events industry, but then is anything ever new? And we hope one that will push the business that bit further with the support of people we like to do business with.

If you’re interested in talking to us about joining the team or Proud supporting your event then get in touch business@proudevents.co.uk 

Nice People to do Business With - Collaboration & Partnership

The most powerful collaborations are often the ones closest to home. Proud Events is built on some pretty powerful relationships. We are friends who are passionate about working together and who share a vision to deliver amazing events built on real partnerships. 


Although we’ve all worked in events for years, Proud is a new venture for us. We bring our knowledge, skills and experience to Proud but where collaboration really delivers is on our ability to recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses and fundamentally our support and commitments for each other.


That ethos is central to how we do business at Proud. Our relationships with clients, partners and suppliers are all key to our brand. We want to be ‘nice people to do business with’. 


Don’t get us wrong, we’re not proposing a Proud Love Fest (although if you want us to create one for you, get in touch www.proudevents.co.uk/partner). But collaboration born out of mutual respect and a shared vision really is a powerful delivery tool in a highly competitive and challenging industry.


We’ve built lots of really amazing relationships over the years and gained many friends. What’s been so positive over the last few months is that, as we’ve started work towards filling our programme for 2015 and 2016, just how many of those relationships are already looking like powerful new collaborations.
We hope to be able to announce at least one of a few regional collaborations we’ve been working on later this spring or early summer, bringing together like-minded event producers and suppliers to work collaboratively on events. Hopefully this is the start of something much bigger that will grow and develop with Proud over the coming months and years.


Ben is preparing to head off to Event Buyers Live tonight (@eventbuyerslive) to start building a whole new set of relationships and saying hi to a few old collaborators. It should be a great and exciting time and give us new partners to play with and a few names to promote through the ‘People We Like To Do Business With’ section of our website we’ll be launching shortly.
As ever if you want to collaborate with us get in touch www.proudevents.co.uk/partner or email us business@proudevents.co.uk 

 

 

Celebrating difference in collaboration in Doha

Andy reflects on his amazing time performing in the Souq Waqif

Wow, back in Blighty after an amazing time in Doha!

The weather is obviously the initial bonus, the culture, the people, the architecture, the, “I’m having an amazing time and not a drop of alcohol in sight”  type of event that for many here would be unthinkable. BUT it works! It actually works so well.

For a start I bet everyone remembers the fun time they had in the Souq Waqif and the variety of entertainers brought into Qatar from around the World to make the Spring Festival there the best yet. The team was varied and shared a common purpose.

Working in collaboration with others is such a rewarding way to make a plan for an event a reality. Building relationships that for many easily transpose into friendships is wonderful. There may be barriers of culture, faith and even language but the fun stuff happens when you get together and share a dream and laugh your way through to deliver a quality product.

At Proud Events it’s the way we work, it’s always been the way we work. We need others with different styles, ideas and talents to come along and collaborate. It keeps it fresh and vibrant, it inspires and challenges you. I agree if it’s not broken why try and fix it but on the other hand if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

The time is now! Get in touch because we can help. We’d love to collaborate with you to make your event, festival, gathering, do, the very best that it can be. Are you collaborating enough? Do you need a fresh associate? Drop us a line

 

An International View of Sharing, Caring and Being Local

It's been a busy few weeks for the team at Proud Events. Andy has been perfoming at Spring Festival in the Souq Waqif in Doha. Ben has been off in Paris for a bit of work but mainly some down time after a crazy few months. But we've been keeping up to date with all things Proud and looking for new collaboration opportunities.

Although we've all worked together, Proud Events is our new collabration. We're building our skills and expertise into what we plan to be an amazing events enterprise, both promoting and producing events. We've chosen a very deliberate path though. We want this to be a collabrative effort. Not just between ourselves but also everyone we work with.

We combine our many years of professional events expertise with 1,000s of hours providing voluntary support to a whole range of incredible community events that showcase achievements, challenges and creativity. We never cease to be amazed by the time and resources people are willing to dedicate to create incredible experiences for others.

So many voluntary and professional promoters put so much time and energy into their own events they don't find the time to work together. We've been involved with so many event organisers that are brilliant but have to do so much work on their own. And we know there are other producers in nearby towns and cities doing pretty much the same thing.

Take volunteering as just one example. We know of at least eight events within 80 miles of one another that all rely on volunteers to make them happen, both in the planning and delivery. They happen throughout the summer season and we know that some of the volunteers work on more than one of these events. Many of those volunteers would be happy to work on more if they had the right information.

Imagine the resources for eight recruitment drives, eight training programmes, eight communication campiagns, eight lots of volunteer equipment. With a bit of support from Proud Events we think we could reduce this to one recruitment drive, one training programme, one communications campaign. And each promoter would still be in charge of their volunteers, their messages and their event.

Volunteers are just one area. At Proud Events we bring our experience of years in the public and not for profits sectors delivering just these kind of collaborations with suppliers for all types of crucial goods and services.

We've used it to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and to get better quality. And we've also done it to support small local businesses. Sometimes it's the larger volume and the commitment to regular business that gives small local suppliers the confidence to get on board. We aim to keep the bidding process simple and transparent and seek to build log term relationships with promoters, producers and suppliers.

Why not get in touch to see what we can do for you? We're always happy to talk info@proudevents.co.uk  

Collaboration, Trust & Volunteering

We've focussed on collaboration in our last couple of blogs. Here at Proud Events we believe collaboration is the way ahead.

We're actively seeking event organisers and promoters who are willing to work with us to form new, innovative collaborations. We're also looking for suppliers who are willing to collaborate across events, driving up quality and down on costs.

'Buying clubs' and 'supplier frameworks' are not new concepts. They work well in many sectors, not least the public sector where we have a lot of experience. However, it's not a widespread approach in the events industry. We think that may be due to a number of factors including time, resources, capacity and knowledge.

We also think that trust is a key factor. Promoters, organisers and suppliers alike worry about their commercial interests and control. Sponsorship agreements often contribute to this with confidentiality criteria and exclusivity clauses.

So how do you establish trust and build confidence? We think in two ways: Provide evidence it works; start small and build reputation.

Ok so we're not asking you to read a bunch of academic papers! You have to 'trust' that we've done that (here's a couple of links if you're interested link 1 and link 2). But it's not rocket science and there's good evidence to support what we're saying.

If you combine 'good personal relationships' with 'competent organisers and suppliers' you get trust. And what does trust lead to? Prizes! And these prizes are 'market growth', 'improved financial performance' and critically 'rising customer satisfaction'. What's not to like about that?

So how do we get there? At Proud Events we're spending 2015 doing two things. Working with organisers and promoters to start to build some buying clubs and collaborative agreements. We're focussing on the South West and North but open to discussions with anyone. We're also building a network of suppliers who want to collaborate. If you're interested get in touch via our Partner? form 

One other area we're starting to explore builds on our experience of training, developing, managing and working with volunteers. Volunteers often love events. It's not uncommon for volunteers to work across a number of events and this continues to grow on the legacy of the 2012 Games Makers.

Providing volunteers with an amazing experience, good training and support and maximising the contribution they make to an event takes time and resources. It strikes us that this is an area with amazing potential for collaboration. We'll be making this the key theme of our next blog.

If you'd like to sign up to our regular blogs or information from Proud Events why not fill in our Contact form and we'll keep you up to date.

Better value and better quality - what's not to like?

At Proud Events we believe greater collaboration is the key to delivering even better quality while keeping costs down.

Take four outdoor events happening across the summer months. They all have a number of requirements in common: Security and stewarding; marquees and market stalls; staging with lighting and sound systems; power; toilets; etc.

With Proud Events planning and managing each of these events it’s possible to combine the requirements for each and offer to the supplier market a more attractive sets of proposals than procuring each individually.

Suppliers’ benefit from only having to bid once instead of four times, a guarantee of business over a period during the summer and crucially a more significant contract value. If we're able to offer this on a longer term agreement that's better still.

In return Proud Events is able to drive considerable efficiencies as we’re only dealing with one procurement process, one set of contracts that makes it more efficient and reduces our costs. We’re also able to drive more significant discounts that we can use to offset our costs, ideally making our involvement cost neutral, and being able to pass back cost savings.

There is the benefit that by putting a larger value proposal out to tender you will also attract better quality. Something we know promoters and event attendees are always looking for.

Collaboration can be tricky. It takes trust and confidence in the process, but crucially event promoters must feel they aren't constrained by the arrangements and that they have flexibility to change their plans and requirements.

This is where Proud Events come into their own. We've been putting these types of collaborative arrangements in place for years across the events industry and also in our time in the public and not for profit sectors.

Are you an event promoter looking to drive greater up quality and efficiency or a supplier interesting in working collaboratively? Why not drop us an email info@proudevents.co.uk and we'll get straight back to you.

 

Collaboration - Our Theme for 2015

As the fireworks fade and many of our fellow event professionals finally get to bed after New Years Eve extravaganzas across the UK we've been talking collaboration.

So many of the small to medium sized events we know are looking for ways to drive up quality and attendee experience while keeping costs as low as possible. We think collaboration is the key.

At Proud we've been looking at some models that we know work well but are not widely used in the events business like preferred supplier frameworks, buying clubs and group contracts to name a few.

Most people seem to assume it's competition and commercial sensitivities that prevent this type of collaboration from happening widely in events. We take a different view. Our experience from promoters and producers we've worked with is it's all about time and confidence.

So many promoters have to spin so many plates to deliver their own events that however much they'd like to collaborate they simply don't have the capacity to do it. That's where Proud plans to provide a solution.

During 2015 we'll be looking for events that have similar requirements, let's face it everyone needs bars, food and toilets, and use our knowledge, skills and experience to bring together a range of contracting arrangements that combine the purchasing power across these events to drive up quality and drive down costs.

If you'd like to talk to us about how we can help you collaborate on your event get in touch using our contact form. If you're a supplier who is willing to discuss collaboration across events use of partner form to get in touch.

Happy 2015 - we look forward to working with you

 

The old, new kid on the block!

2014 was the year we finally took the plunge and created Proud Events. A concept that has been 50 years in the making, taken 2 years building up the courage and is now 3 months old.

It's been a great journey to get here and between us (with the help of our supporters, families and friends) we've been looking back at the wealth of knowledge and experience we have brought together in Proud. And not just from the event world either! We're performers, project managers, teachers, trainers, consultants, volunteers and a whole wealth of skills, knowledge and experience we bring and can offer.

Our focus during 2015 is going to be outdoor, music, community, festival, craft, arts and such like events. We want to build on our strengths and build our reputation with new clients and contacts.

We're known well enough individually but now we want to really build the Proud Events brand and name as one that is warm, approachable, friendly alongside being efficient, effective, good value for money with a real focus on quality.

We'd love to hear from you whether you've worked with us before or this could be your first time. Use the contact form on the website or email us info@proudevents.co.uk 

Looking forward to working with you in 2015