A Friday Chat with Exclusive Events Sales Manager, Holly Davies21 January 2021
Holly Davies works in Searcys central events sales team, managing event enquiries and bookings, liaising with clients, venues and suppliers. Despite the incredibly challenging environment, the Exclusive Events team looked after over 3,000 event enquiries in 2020.
We caught up with Holly on how she has been adapting to the new “normal”.
What are you focussing on at the moment?
I am delighted to see more and more wedding enquiries coming through – in the first two weeks of the year we have received double of what we had in 2020. Unsurprisingly, we get a lot of interest for our iconic venues, from the stunning Gherkin to the elegant Assembly Rooms in Bath. Our couples are also looking for something more unusual – we have had requests about organising a ceremony on the upper concourse of St Pancras International station, at our Champagne Bar.
As well as weddings, we are getting enquiries for corporate events. There is also a growing interest in hybrid events, where we use technology to connect in-venue speakers and delegates with the participants from across the country and the world. Luckily, at Searcys we have fantastic relationships with our tech suppliers and have teamed up to create some great virtual packages. Our rooms on Level 38 at The Gherkin are perfect for this, the backdrop of London’s skyline looks amazing and offers something different.
What about new ways of working?
The events community has been adapting to the new, digital ways of working. Most recently, I really enjoyed a virtual history tour of one of our venues, Vintners Hall. I think we often think there is nothing better than seeing a venue in person, but the tour was just fantastic. I learnt a multitude of things about the venue’s history that I haven’t know before. It is one of the oldest Livery Companies in England, one of the original Twelve. The tour itself will be used as a tool for our sales team for prospective clients as it shows the building and its potential for events in all its glory.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
I have tried to set myself just few, but realistic New Year’s Resolutions this year. I think for everyone, our focus and way of life has changed so dramatically that I have set myself three goals:
- Read more! I must read for at least 30 minutes per day and this should replace TV/time on my phone. Time to switch off from the digital world;
- More time for family. I am missing family more than ever. My weeks usually are rather busy with work and weekends full of socials, but spending time with family is invaluable so I will be making much more time for this
- Podcasts – committing to listening to 2 podcasts per week, educational ones. I want to broaden my knowledge on multiple subjects so this is how I shall do it.
What are you most excited for on the return of events?
Meeting clients! As I am sure you can imagine working in sales but not being able to meet all our clients or to network is hard. I certainly miss the face-to-face catch-ups and showing our wonderful event bookers and wedding couples around our venues.
How have Searcys Exclusive Events been preparing for the re-openings?
We are working hard on relaunching our event packages at all venues, as we are aware that event requirements will have changed – from the number of delegates to Covid-19 social distancing requirements and new ways of serving hospitality. We are also keeping in close contact with all our suppliers and partners to make sure we are ready for the return of events, which we have missed so much!