November is almost over so it's about time we bring on our next Q&A session, this time with our fearless leader, Jo Austin, Lime Venue Portfolio’s Sales Director. Jo has been with the business for 8 years and helps #TeamLVP by steering the way forward for the unique & unusual within the MICE industry, as well as heading up the new residential venues that have joined the portfolio, The Venues Collection.
What do you enjoy most about working within the MICE industry?
It’s the people and diversity….. Our great industry has pace and energy and is ever evolving. It’s also at the forefront and at the sharp end as an indicator as to what’s happening in the economic world.
Karaoke song of choice?
Always always Mr Brightside by The Killers!!!
How did you get into the events industry and what advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the exciting world of events?
I got here by organising events for a charity I was involved in when my 2 girls were little. I met the right person, who then offered me a job and I never looked back ! My message to anyone is never give up and work hard - what goes around always comes around.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Watching people grow and develop, enabling them to shine and be successful, and then share that success and great results. Nothing better than that!
What have been your favourite experiences at the venues within the portfolio?
Oh my goodness just so many great moments across my LVP journey… Winning the contract of the Imperial War Museum Group was a highlight - how fabulous are those venues? HMS Belfast is a bit of a fave, but watching Edgbaston Stadium grow and be a real professional event venue has been special too. I have had so many rewarding and memorable experiences.
Favourite way to spend your weekends?
That’s so easy …with my lovely, caring and understanding family, in particular, my grandchildren. There is usually good food and good red wine involved too.
In 2018, LVP celebrated its 10th anniversary, why do you think the brand has been so successful?
Because it cares and listens to what our portfolio members need and is at the very top of what’s going on in our industry to share that good intelligence. Our sales team are also industry gurus who are well known, respected and have terrific credibility.
What advice would you give to unique and unusual venues that want to appeal to the MICE industry?
Be in it to win it! If you are serious about event revenue then your competition is anywhere and any place that can hold an event. You also only get one chance to impress, so look after every opportunity you get.
Would you change anything about the events industry, and if so, what?
It’s a great industry to work in and have a rewarding career. Any customer service and hospitality position offering great service should be rewarded and remunerated well. We shouldn’t lose great people to higher paid positions in other industries, however, we do.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
When I was at school I wanted to be a midwife.
At Lime Venue Portfolio we know the importance of food and how this ties in with events and experiences. Tell us about your favourite experience that was all because of the food?
Food is really important to me as it signifies social times and good times, from sitting around the table with my lovely family on a Sunday, to meeting with colleagues at an event. Food is the crux and it’s what everyone talks about too, that’s why it’s the common theme across all our venues. Great venues connected with great food.
What excites you the most about the future of events and the MICE industry?
No one really knows, that’s what’s exciting (and scary). However, we do know that meeting people and sharing experiences is the single most effective way of engagement and we should hang our hat on that and never forget it.
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