Interviewee Name: Katy Payne
Job Title: Head of Events & Joint Chair of the Special Events Forum
Charity: Parkinson’s UK
Twitter Handle: @kateapayne
It was great to meet Katy, recently at the Special Events Forum we hosted aboard HMS Belfast. After she had finished efficiently organising and directing the set up, we took five minutes to talk to her about her role, how she got into the industry and some of her top tips for event planners.
Lime Venue Portfolio: Please can you give us an introduction about yourself and what you do?
I work for Parkinson’s UK as Head of Events managing our full portfolio of running, challenge and special fundraising events.
LVP: Please can you give us an introduction about your charity and what it offers?
Parkinson’s UK is the largest Parkinson’s charity in the UK offering support and services to the 127,000 people affected by the condition across the country and their families. We also fund cutting edge research looking to develop new treatments and eventually a cure.
LVP: How did you get into the meetings and events industry?
I started by volunteering whilst at University, before completing an MSc in Events Management and then have worked in the events industry ever since both in venues, for charities and as part of a communications team.
LVP: What is the best project you have worked on and why?
Definitely working on Symnfunny – a large concert at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Parkinson’s UK. Working with a full choir orchestra and big name acts as well as a fabulous committee in such an iconic space was fantastic.
LVP: What is the best event you have ever been to and why?
Probably Glastonbury festival back in 2000!
LVP: What are your 3 top tips to anyone wanting to join the charity events industry?
Be prepared to get involved as a volunteer first – you can’t beat experience and you will get to meet people and try out different things
LVP: What does the future hold for you?
Events in some form! I don't think I can break myself away!
LVP: What is your most popular event?
Symfunny at the Royal Albert Hall was for over 3000 people – the largest one I worked on was a Scout camp for 40,000
LVP: Why are you passionate about what you do/the events industry?
You can be creative, problem solve and work with people, ultimately it’s all about creating unique experiences
LVP: Do you enjoy organising events at unusual venues?
Definitely! I’ve done events in spaces from gardens to castles – they always add uniqueness
LVP: How do you find working with Lime Venue Portfolio?
Professional and thorough!
LVP: What are the top 3 things you think about when looking for a venue for an event?
- Suitability for format
LVP: What would you tell a 21 year old you about working in the events industry?
- Be prepared to be flexible and get stuck in, events involves long hours and can be hard work.
- It’s amazing seeing something you have worked on come together
- There will always be something that doesn’t come off – but if you build in enough time most things can be fixed