Q: What was your first full-time job?
My first full-time job was at the position of Guest Assistant. It involved a lot of multi-tasking and coordination between different departments. As I was dealing with mainly VIP guests, this taught me, from the outset, to be adaptable and learn how to deal with their special requirements and manage their expectations. Dealing with demanding clients allowed me to sharpen my wits and very soon learn about anticipating the needs and wants of the client.
Q: How did you get into event management?
“Events aren’t just for attending. They exist to fulfill a desire to leave different from when we walked in: to be smarter, wiser, happier, more engaged, more excited, more thoughtful, more in touch with yourself, with your community, with the world. They offer the possibility to have transformational moments and be part of something bigger than ourselves.” (Julia Hartz, a co-founder of Eventbrite)
Julia Hartz summed it all above. I enjoy creating memories for myself and others, and I have always enjoyed watching special events. In my first job, I was always glad when I had the opportunity to step in and help on big events. I didn’t mind polishing the glasses or assisting the bartender; the small jobs are as important as the big ones, and it instilled in me the importance of attention to detail. By doing those jobs, I realized how much I loved being part of such grand experiences. Over time, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to be more involved with the organization of the events and I began to do more. These opportunities showcased my abilities and I was honored to be given the position of Events Coordinator. Over the next four years, I rose to the role of Senior MICE Sales Manager / Wedding Specialist.
Q: What was the first event you helped to organize?
The first event I assisted with was a wedding for quite a demanding couple. The bride was a model and the groom was an actor, so expectations were high, given the profile of the guests. I am grateful for this experience as I like the concept of learning by doing and being thrown in at the deep end. After thorough preparations the event went amazingly well – I would even say it was impeccable! It boosted my self-confidence and I was certain I was ready for the next challenge.
Q: Please tell us about the toughest event you organized?
The toughest event I was involved with was for a globally known person. This event, like any high-profile event, demanded a lot of planning, coordination, as well as managing additional security and confidential data. At the same time, the tension comes from the awareness of the potentially “weak points” that may change the course of action in an unexpected direction and overshadow all the efforts previously invested.
Q: In your opinion, what does it take to be a good event manager?
The first prerequisite is a passion for the job. Furthermore, the event manager must have excellent people skills, flexibility, and attention to detail. They need to be a solution seeker and a good communicator. They need to be able to manage people, their needs, wants and expectations which are all soft skills that allow the project to be concluded in the most professional and timely manner.
Q: What is the best advice you would give to someone who is thinking about going into event management?
“It always seems impossible, until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
Worrying or having doubts is very much in the human nature when it comes to choosing a career or even achieving everyday tasks. However, it is amazing what can be achieved when one puts one’s mind to it. In short, my advice is to be confident, enthusiastic, to trust your own instincts and enjoy the process of preparation and execution of every single event.
Q: Did you ever work with a difficult customer? How did you handle him/her?
Clients are all very different and the requests and expectations vary greatly. As a perfectionist myself, I fully understand clients who demand the impeccable organization of events as a prerequisite for creating memories. So I don’t really think of clients as difficult, rather I respect their clear requests and demands. I am aware of the sensibility and the personality of the client, which enables me to find mutual ground – and ultimately to handle any request.
Q: What was the strangest requirement from your customer?
I have handled over 300 different events so far and yes there were many interesting requests! However, out of respect for the companies and clients I have worked for, as well as my current employer and in the interests of confidentiality, I would rather skip this answer. Perhaps, asking for a helicopter tour at 2 am would qualify as a mildly strange thing to ask J.
Q: When you were a little girl, what did you dream of becoming when you grow up?
Each one of us had many dreams when we were children. At a certain point, I wanted to be an actress as I enjoyed reading fairy tales and later movies. I believe that taking part in creating the settings for special experiences for my clients fulfills, in a grown-up way, part of my dreams.
ABOUT REGENT PORTO MONTENEGRO:
Regent Porto Montenegro is a five-story-high terracotta roofed building, inspired by the Renaissance Venetian style of the countless Italian palazzi around the Bay. The 5-star luxury hotel Regent Porto Montenegro offers much for guests to revel in the elegance and comfort of the Venezia and Aqua Wing, spa or expansive Pool Club. The distinctive event venues coupled with personalized service are the starting point for memorable weddings, business meetings, and special occasions.
Prepared by: Ajda Borak