In this month’s interview with an #eventprofs we talk to Karen Doyle, Director of Amethyst Events.
Lime Venue Portfolio [LVP]: Hello Karen, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today. For those that don’t know, please can you give us an introduction about yourselves and what you do?
Karen Doyle [KD]: Amethyst Events is a privately owned venue sourcing, accommodation booking, and events management company based in Manchester. We’ve been trading for 14 years, and have been in the events/hospitality industry for 25 years. We manage events all around the UK and the rest of Europe. We work alongside clients to find their most ideal venue, based on their location, access requirements and of course most importantly - their budget. We have bespoke Event Management packages which range from a ‘Registration service’ to a ‘Full on Events Management service’.
LVP: Wow 25 years is a long time; consequently you’re very knowledgeable on the industry, which gives clients peace of mind. What sort of clients do you work with?
KD: You name it - we work with them! Mainly corporate clients - with some social events. We work with a large range of client sectors as well - from all across Europe. We’ve recently managed an Anniversary event for a client of ours who wanted their staff and their families to have a fun day (inflatables, marquees etc) - it was a fabulous event, even if it did rain for 8 out of 10 hours! And another of our favorites for a film fan festival for 1200.
LVP: That’s a lot of people for a film fan festival, I can imagine it was difficult to choose a film that everyone liked! Why do your customers choose to work with you?
KD: Our clients seem to love the personal and friendly way we work with them. We take time to get to know their needs and requirements fully and then the proposals we send out are on the right wavelength and also normally under (or at least, within) their budget. We have an ‘out of office hours’ number so they can get in touch whenever they have any questions - with so many people working flexitime or out of normal hours these days, it’s always good to get hold of us when a question pops up!
LVP: An out of office hours’ number, another benefit of working with Amethyst Events. What is the best project you have worked on and why?
KD: Oh which to choose?! There’s so many great events. We’ve been working with a client for the last 10 years and have managed their events all over Europe. The major cities (Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, Amsterdam - to name a few). The locations and venues have always perfect… however their event in Malta in 2010 is still the most talked about… according to the clients and majority of the delegates who have attended annually. It’s been a “Oh I remember when we were in Malta - it was THE best”… Aside from the fabulous Conference and Social venue facilities we sources - that’s what the sunshine and fabulous seaside locations do to us Europeans J
LVP: The event in Malta must have really been something if everyone is talking about it six years later. When looking for a venue for events you’re planning, what are the key elements you look for?
KD: Location is key for any client - one of the first questions we always ask how the majority of the delegates will reach the event - car or public transport, as it makes a huge difference. When we have requests for breakouts, we generally want them all on the same floor - there’s nothing worse than ‘losing’ some delegates along the way (and when we say ‘losing’ - we really mean that they go and sit somewhere and check their phones and emails whilst walking to the next breakout room).
LVP: Those pesky delegates! Do you enjoy organising events at unusual venues?
KD: Most definitely. One of the requirements we hear a lot these days is “we want something different”…. Honestly, it’s said probably for half the event enquiries these days. We have a couple of outstanding events currently holding at the fabulous HMS Belfast. We also find for events with a lot of different breakouts/training rooms - stadiums are a superb choice, due to the amount of boxes that are in each venue.
LVP: Unusual venues offer unique experiences. How do you find working with Lime Venue Portfolio?
KD: The team are great to work with - very professional and super-speedy with their proposals. They are knowledgeable of all venues in their portfolio and will setup site visits etc. when we need to attend with clients.
LVP: We’re glad to hear you enjoy working with us and that the team is professional and knowledgeable. What are your 3 top tips to anyone wanting to join the events industry?
KD: Get ready for some seriously long hours!
Get ready to see the world (albeit mainly from a conference room window, or out of a taxi on the way to/from the airport)
When managing an event onsite - wear the comfiest shoes possible! One of my first events was a 4 day residential event (for 330) in Prague - where I had only taken heels… so I travelled home wearing Hilton slippers! I had a few funny looks at the airport - but I didn’t care a bit!
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