We wanted to find out more about our senior operations manager, Sally:
Why did you go into the events industry?
I love the thrill of bringing an event to life and quickly realised that I’m best suited to events operations. I’m a people person and I get such a buzz from leading my team in putting in place all the elements as planned back at the office. The never-ending variety of events, particularly the events we are privileged to work on at Bubble, is so exciting to me. With all our amazing venues and clients, no two days are the same.
What’s your most memorable event?
Marian Goodman Gallery’s private view after party for the Gabriel Orozco exhibition at Somerset House. It was the first big event I did at Bubble and it was a high profile event with lots of pressure as the styling was very specific and the menus very intricate and complex.
We had stretch marquees in the courtyard and unfortunately it rained quite a bit, so there were additional requirements and considerations to deal with – it was key to have lots of back up plans up my sleeve! The event was amazing and we received fantastic feedback from the client which made me feel really proud.
What has influenced your approach to event management?
I was fortunate to have been introduced to a wide range of people as I was growing up and it taught me to never judge someone on their background or culture etc. I strongly feel that you should have a positive outlook and be able to work with anyone. My father was quite strict during my upbringing and expected that if you were going to do something, it must be done properly and finished to a very high standard. This has made me very conscientious and focussed upon making sure all the small details are taken care of.
What’s your biggest challenge?
As senior operations manager, I have to ensure that the right staff members are allocated to the right events and venues. It takes up a lot of my time and is a key priority for me.
What is the most important thing to do in order to ensure a successful event?
Of course, it is vital to undertake careful planning beforehand to identify contingencies, appropriate staffing and equipment levels, and clear schedules which, along with effective delegation and briefing on the day ensure a smooth operation from start to finish.
But the most important thing, I think, is that I get to know the client, so that I can understand what they want to achieve and what they want to avoid. This way I can not only deliver what is expected but also pre-empt what they might want at any given point – before they have thought about it themselves! For me, this is one of the key elements of 5* service excellence and I encourage my team to think in the same way. Having a high level of passion for what I do is infectious and my team pick up on this too.
What are you looking forward to the most working at Bubble?
We’re so lucky to work on the most amazing events, there are a number of high profile ones coming up that I’m super excited about but I’m afraid I can’t talk about them! In terms of my management responsibilities, I’m looking forward to developing their skills further and expanding the training programme with some new topics.
What do you like to cook at home?
I love feeding people! It’s my thing – my job is no accident! I love baking – particularly baking bread. Making sourdough is a great challenge – you have to ‘feed’ it at specified times or it won’t work. In terms of other cooking, I love making a big roast dinner – beef with Yorkshire pudding, washed down with a nice big glass of good Rioja.
Where’s your favourite place to eat?
I love Relais de Vinoise in Marylebone.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m a bit of a thrill seeker. I loved, and still do, jumping into freezing cold water – the rush of adrenaline as the cold catches your breath is fantastic! I grew up in sunny Scotland and we had an unheated outdoor swimming pool and I always went swimming in there or in rivers or lochs in the non Winter months. I guess the kick I get from this is the same as the feeling I get from making a complex event come together.