9th June 2017
Written on 9th June 2017 by Sam Robson
10 Minutes with…. Marjory Brown - The Appointment Group Global Events, Event Director, UK
What is your role at The Appointment Group (TAG)?
I head up our UK event teams in London and Manchester which involves looking after the day to day management of the team as well as overall operational responsibility for each event we deliver both in the UK and worldwide. I also have my own clients whose event programmes I have overall responsibility for although we work in account teams. I look after two of our key clients, Epson and Avaya and I will often be found at an airport waiting to board a flight to a site inspection, hence my nickname bestowed upon me by my friends…#tarmacmarge
In addition to event management I am responsible for our financial reporting and forecasting and future business development with existing and potential clients.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy most?
I enjoy the variety! No one day is ever the same and it keeps me on my toes! Having worked across most aspects of the industry over the last 15 years I can safely say that working for an agency is the most challenging yet rewarding role I’ve ever had. One day I could be pitching to a new client and the next on a flight to Tokyo to deliver a client’s customer experience event over the course of a week.
What does your typical day consist of?
When I’m not running an event or on a site inspection then I can be found at my desk with a coffee at around 9.30. My phone is never too far away from me, so I’ll have checked my emails usually before I get in to the office so I can hit the ground running. I’m normally working on budgets for large projects or suggesting venues, destinations and creative ideas. I spend a lot of my time helping and advising the events team, which I really enjoy. We have a weekly team meeting where we talk through what each member of the team is working on and who is best placed to assist.
What is your proudest event moment?
There have been quite a few over the years namely watching a week long residential conference morph from a small 200 person event in Monaco to a 600 person whopper including several breakout areas and a huge projection mapped set with slick demonstration space in Dublin last year. The feedback was exceptional so I was delighted! I’m also really proud of an event in Amsterdam this year where I came up with a creative concept to use the client’s projectors which grew into a bespoke commissioned projection dance entertainment piece. The event took place at a wonderful historic building for the client’s partner dinner and we heard that one of the client’s senior team said it was the best event he had been to!
What do you think makes TAG different or unique compared with other Travel & Event Management companies?
I’ve never worked for an event agency that has such huge scope in terms of travel experience and true global reach. We have the benefit of having our very own event travel experts within the team and a vast support network from our colleagues across the globe which means that we can deliver events literally anywhere with the same systems and procedures meaning that our clients have a consistent service.
What has been your best memory so far whilst working at TAG?
There are a few but one that particularly sticks in my mind is our team off-site at River Cottage which was such good fun. It had been a full on year so it was great to relax in such beautiful surroundings. We were treated to awesome food and drinks from the River Cottage garden and also to a sausage making lesson with their local produce. As it coincided with my birthday, I was obviously chosen as the guinea pig and I have never laughed so much - I think there is a video to prove it somewhere!
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
The obvious answer would be my phone, which is true but not very exciting! Other than that, it would have to be a good manicure and my Bowers & Wilkins headphones. Sorry, that’s three!
What is your favourite destination?
For a total event nerd like me, this is a really tricky one! For events I really enjoy working in Dublin – the hospitality is amazing and service fantastic. I also really enjoy working in Germany and Switzerland where you never have to worry about anything being on time because it always is!
In terms of my leisure time, I took a three month sabbatical last year and visited some amazing places. Two of which that I am determined to revisit are Buenos Aires and Rio. I just loved the food, the wine and the vibe in both cities! So much to do and explore.
Why did you swap London for Manchester?
After 12 years in London, I decided that I wanted a change of scene. This tied in really well with the growth of our team and the Manchester office generally and I felt that my skills could be put to best use with the team here as our London team is well established. Manchester is a great city and one that is showing real business growth. We hope to increase the size of event team there and it gives me more opportunity for business development with more and more large companies relocating from London.
What are your top tunes to get you on the dance floor?
Working for a company that has expertise in music touring often means that we are lucky enough to go to gigs and concerts and I’ve seen Depeche Mode, Jake Bugg and Robbie Williams all since I’ve worked at TAG. However, something that is a dead cert to get me on the dancefloor is Superstition by Stevie Wonder. I’m a huge funk & soul fan so anything with a good bass line and you’ll see me on the dance floor!
How do you get in to events and what top tips do you have for anyone who wants to start their event career?
I realised whilst I was working in Japan after university that I had certain organisational and people skills that I could apply to a career. I had always been interested in PR and communications so when I returned to the UK I started work for a large pub company in their communications department organising large scale awards programmes all over the UK. I was asked by the then CEO to take up a post in the London office to take care of the corporate hospitality programme and shortly after that whilst working in a pub part time, I happened to talk to the head of a small events agency. After a chat over a glass of wine I went to work for them and have never looked back and been hooked on agency life since then. Now there are lots of events degrees being offered by the likes of Leeds Metropolitan University and Bournemouth University (we have taken on a student placement from Bournemouth for the last three years) and whilst they are really useful in focussing undergraduates on the industry, work experience and internships are vital to learning what the events industry is really about. It’s not all about the parties and in reality involves a lot of boring budget work in spreadsheets and long hours on site. I’d advise anyone to get some on site experience before committing themselves to a degree. A little bit of OCD comes in handy too!
Tell us one thing about you that we might be surprised about?
I can water-ski and up until a few years ago held a speed boat licence!
The Appointment Group is investing in Manchester by expanding our Manchester Events team too. Based in the heart of the city, our events team works with the best venues, along with local and recommended suppliers, and can offer a bespoke range of options to suit your next event brief. Enquire today, and see for yourself that it’s really quite nice up North!
For event enquiries in the UK, please contact Marjory by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 161 837 2879.
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