As one of the newest members of Guildhall‘s events team, we asked Jade Harrison for some inside information that all event planners need to know, what’s coming up next at Guildhall and to share something with us that no-one knows!
What’s the most important question an event organiser can ask at a show round?
How can your venue help us maximise our return on investment and return on objectives? Every event has a purpose and it is vital that you ensure that all suppliers including the venue are supporting your end objectives. The more people that are going out of their way to make your event a success the stronger the ROI/ROO will be.
Do you have any advice for clients looking for a venue for an event?
Always ask about hidden costs and set-up times. Guildhall has the luxury of being able to set-up the rooms all day. No running around in a panic about a 45 minute turnaround time here!
What’s your top tip for running a successful event?
Successful events are often run by passionate people who love what they do. It is important to have a team running your event that is excited to be there and that are dedicated to make it successful. This isn’t just for clients either, this extends to the venue teams and all other suppliers too. Events are more likely to go wrong when you don’t have a ‘can-do’ attitude.
What is your role at Guildhall?
I am Diary and Business Development Manager. My role comprises of managing the Guildhall venue diary, creating and executing our marketing plan and initiatives, leading and managing high profile event operations, driving new business into the venue and moving the venue forward commercially.
What was your background before joining the venue?
I studied events management at university and was fortunate enough to land a fantastic placement in the events team at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. I also did lots of extra work experience in my summers at University which included working on the Ashes at Headingley stadium and living in Colorado for 5 months supporting events in Las Vegas and Boston. It’s this experience that helped me get my job as an Events Sales Executive at the Science Museum. From there I have grown in to proactive sales roles at various venues before settling here at Guildhall.
What attracted you to work at Guildhall?
Guildhall is one of London’s most stunning venues but it isn’t as well-known as it could be. I saw an opportunity to join a fantastic team at a time when I felt I could move the venue forward and really make a difference. Not many people know that Guildhall can host dinners up to 700 or that we host State Banquets bi-annually. If it’s good enough for the Queen….
What’s your favourite space at the venue and why?
This is tough because Guildhall is blessed with 7 iconic rooms, all with their unique features. Perhaps I would be inclined to say the Crypts because they always get a ‘wow’ reaction from clients. As London’s largest medieval Crypts, they offer such a memorable back-drop for events. There is so much history and detail in the structure that guests cannot fail to be impressed. The best thing about these rooms is that they don’t need any additional production to make them stand-out either.
What event has stood out for you so far?
Where do I start?! I have only been here 7 months and the list is endless. Commercially, it would have to be the Mulberry fashion show that we hosted as part of London Fashion Week in February. It was hard work leading up to the show as it was such a big build but it was worth all of the stress as the clients were such a pleasure to work with. From a Ceremonial perspective it would be the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations. We had 54 members of the Royal Family and 1800 very special guests at the venue. It was such a special day and one that I will remember for a long time.
What exciting developments are coming up at Guildhall in the near future?
Guildhall will be launching our brand new website and rebrand in July this year. This is a big step forward with us and we cannot wait to share it with everyone.
What’s your favourite cocktail?
Espresso martini – combining my two favourite things, coffee and cocktails.
Tell us one thing no-one knows about you?
I’m related to US President Jimmy Carter.