October’s Q&A instalment introduces Lime Venue Portfolio’s Central Sales Team Leader, Deborah Simons. Deborah's role involves daily reporting, managing enquiry levels and ensuring that customer service standards are met.
If you could pick a super power, what would it be and why?
Invisibility! I'm sure you can imagine why...
Tell us about your role?
Along with reports and monitoring daily enquiry levels, it is very much about ensuring that we are offering the right venues in the portfolio for events, building relationships with our customers to ensure excellent customer service and service level agreements are achieved.
How long have you been with LVP?
5 years, right from the setup, recruitment, training of the new team when it was relocated to the Parklands office.
Pretty Woman, the film never seems to date and what’s even worse, is that I know the lines word for word, and even at one time had a copy of the movie soundtrack.
What motivates you on a personal and professional level?
Personal: Organising, planning events and trips with family/friends, not forgetting clothes shopping!
Professional: Achieving targets and receiving recognition on results achieved!
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?
After being made redundant from a fostering agency I was looking for something different and this certainly was! As I had experience of working in Sales and Customer Service and also 10 years in the travel industry I thought I had transferrable skills for a fresh start in a different role in the sector… and the rest as they say is history !
Can’t get through the day without…?
Crisps ! Even when I lived overseas my family and friends often visited me and had to bring me a goodie back of crisps with them.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Seeing the hard work of the team in working with agents and venues to secure the event, and getting great feedback about the staff… made even more special by our recent C&IT award win, for the best MICE Sales Team.
What are the challenges that most event bookers face and what would be your advice to them?
Requests for accommodation on site, as our venues are unique and unusual it is something that we cannot offer and do find this a big challenge… However we will always ensure that the venue provides details of hotels nearby and number of bedrooms to help the agent to source these.
What interesting events have you attended at venues within our portfolio?
I had the opportunity to have a private tour at Churchill War Rooms with my family and it was truly an amazing experience. Visiting areas not allowed by the general public, hearing about the conditions the war office staff lived in, stories of secret tunnels and the history of the war and the greatness of Winston Churchill. It is simply an amazing historical venue to host any event.
Why do you recommend attending site visits or showcases?
This is a great opportunity to see the amazing venues we have in the portfolio, meet the teams that we work with daily, and identify opportunities for events we may not have considered. Whilst showcases allow us meet all the fantastic agents that we speak with daily, which is great to put a face to a name.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Shopping! Clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery… you name it, I buy it ! P.S. I'm very good at hiding things from the hubby…