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Thursday 2 July 2020

5 Minutes With: Hannah Robson

Introducing our newly appointed Managing Director.

Smart Live are delighted to welcome Hannah Robson as our newly appointed Managing Director, bringing a wealth of experience within the events industry. Here Hannah shares with us how she started her career in the industry, why she’s working for Smart Live, what her lockdown experience has been, and how she sees the future of events.

What made you go into events?

There are a few deciding factors that led me to the world of events, the first being that I love people.  I love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and embracing new ideas, so a world where people are at the heart really is where I feel I belong. Whether it be a wedding where you are bringing someone’s dream to life, or fully immersing yourself in a brand and producing an event that allows others to experience their outlook and culture. I truly enjoy hosting, and so the world of events, where we can host clients and create amazing experiences, is the place I naturally settled.

I started out in the wedding and private events side of events. This allowed me to experience lots of different cultures and traditions and really opened my eyes to how far you can take events. Seeing a mood board full of ideas come to life is a truly wonderful experience! After a few years in weddings I really saw the attraction of being part of a small agency delivering large scale events for corporate companies, and this is really where I fell in love with the creative element of events. The best feeling is working with your client and being an extension of their team to create your shared vision for the event.

A slightly less exciting reason, but one that is crucial for this world, is that I am an organiser through and through. Whether at home or at work, organisation is a big part of who I am. When working in events you need to keep on top of a million different things at once, particularly in the middle of live events.

Finally, one that has kept me in the events world is that no day is the same and every event is unique, so I am constantly learning and experiencing new things.

Why Smart Live?

Smart Live was the next step for me as I wanted to join a small and creative agency, and this is exactly what Smart Live is – I very quickly found myself a part of the team! We have some amazing and loyal clients that we work with, which proves how hard the team works and that they go above and beyond for their clients. Company culture is also important to me, and I instantly saw a family-like culture here, particularly with Smart Live being part of Smart Group.

Tell us about your life in lockdown

Life in lockdown has been a mix of emotions and it has been an interesting time for everyone. As I mentioned before I am an organised person who thrives from structure, so to suddenly not have any really threw me off. I sat back and decided I would write a list for each week with goals and tasks to complete so that I could get a little bit of my structure back. Every day I started with a 9am workout to get the day off to a good start and I always incorporated a dog walk in at lunch; I have to say I have really enjoyed how much time I have spent with my dog Dottie! Thankfully, the weather has been amazing, so I have spent a lot of time in the garden. One of our projects was to build a decking/seating area with a bar behind… It is almost complete. I really did miss seeing my friends and family and am now over the moon that we can see loved ones again, even if we cannot hug them!

The hardest part of lockdown has been the impact on work and the events/hospitality industry that we all have come to love. However, now we are back and enjoying running a completely different style of events for our clients and embracing the virtual event world. We are having to be even more creative in how people interact through a virtual platform and I am enjoying having a new way of looking at events.

What do you think about the future of events?

Following on from my last comment, it has been a really difficult time for the whole event industry. I do believe that events will thrive again, but for a while we will be taking on a different way of hosting them. Starting with virtual events, this the perfect option for now where we cannot be together physically but still have the need to communicate and share experiences. Last week the team hosted an amazing team building experience for 120 guests and it was wonderful to see the delegates really engaging with each other throughout the activity. We can’t wait to host the next one for this client at the end of this month.

This weekend will see the opening of pubs and restaurants, which there has been a real buzz and excitement for. This leads to me to believe that when the time is right, and the government allows, we will see that same buzz and excitement for companies to book in events.

What the pandemic has highlighted is how much we as an industry care for one another. It has been wonderful to see businesses supporting others and evolving in these difficult times. We are all looking forward to our wonderful event industry being back up and running, but for now we are enjoying new ways of working.

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