A Friday Chat With Searcys Events Sales Executive, Penelope Wright24 September 2021
In her role as Exclusive Events Sales Executive across the entire Searcys portfolio, Penelope has a key role in linking clients and customers up with their ultimate venue, and helping make their event vision into reality. Splitting her time between trade shows and talking to potential clients about the next big event, Penelope has her ear to the ground when it comes to the latest post-pandemic trends in celebrations of all shapes and sizes.
Hi Penelope! tell us a bit about yourself.
I would describe myself as always having been a “foodie”. I studied for an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and worked in the nutrition sector for a while, before taking sometime out and then completing a Master’s degree in hospitality management which I finished in September 2018.
When did you join Searcys?
I originally joined Searcys as a Sales Coordinator at 30 Euston Square in November 2018 before getting promoted to a Sales Executive in July 2019. After some time away from the company between August 2020 to Spring 2021, I rejoined the company in May 2021 as a Sales Executive within our central sales department, Exclusive Events.
And how does Exclusive Events actually operate?
Think of Exclusive Events as a venue agency, whereby we can help you find your perfect location from our eclectic mix of venues. As well as putting proposals together and helping clients with their venue search, we also support our onsite teams with activities such as showcases and networking events. Throughout the year we also attend several tradeshows and networking events and love meeting with new people and telling them all about the wonderful things Searcys do.
What do you like most about your job?
I like how every day is different, and that there are always opportunities to get involved with activities beyond your usually job role. Hosting at the Champagne Bar at London Concours was a particular favourite experience of mine.
What do you think is the success of great customer service? What is its formula?
The best mark of success for great customer service within the sales sector is efficiency, paired with offering the highest level of detailed information to a client. Gaining a real understanding of the clients’ requirements and doing your best to meet these is the basic formula.
Can you tell us three tips you’d give a person who is starting a job in events?
Time management is key. Always be prepared. And perhaps most importantly, never be afraid to ask questions.
What is the most popular menu or event type that people are requesting at the moment?
The last few weeks has seen an influx of Christmas Party enquiries, which have been really exciting to be involved with. Our usual mix of business is a split between corporate and private events, anything from conferences and meetings, right through to weddings, gala dinners and parties.
Did you have to adapt to events in post-Covid. What changes or innovations have you introduced?
Yes, post-COVID a lot of our events are being booked on a very short-lead basis, a lot of bookings are confirmed within the same month they’re taking place! This means we have had to adapt to a very short turnaround time on both smaller and larger events, so it’s all about being flexible, accommodating the clients’ needs in whichever way we can.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am working on a variety of different events for Exclusive Events, but mainly I have a very big focus on Christmas Parties and larger conferences and dinners. I have also attended the Camden Weddings 2021 Networking Event, International Confex and London Christmas Party Show in recent weeks, and am looking forward to The BNC Event Show in October – these are great ways to meet people and let them know what we do.
What is your favourite Searcys venue and why?
I’d say my favourite venue is either The View or 30 Euston Square. Both are incredibly unique places – I love the outdoor terraces and how diverse and flexible the event spaces are. Both venues are blank canvases and the possibilities for clients to make the venues their own are endless!
With Christmas on the doorstep, how are people choosing to celebrate do you think?
At the moment I have seen a mix of smaller sit-down meals and larger standing receptions. The vibe this year really is for people to get together and be able to mingle and feel relaxed. Lots of clients are requesting entertainment… it’s great to see people wanting to let their hair down and have fun after the past year and a half!