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Hi Darren, tell us, what excites you most about working with The Grove?

There’s a lot to be excited about working at The Grove, the most obvious being the stunning mansion set in beautiful surroundings. Event spaces flood with daylight and the grounds allow clients to captivate their delegates with an ever-changing itinerary. But the thing that excites me the most is the people. There is a genuine sense of positivity among the team who are incredibly friendly and attentive. There’s an understanding that you’re all there to serve the same purpose which is a great experience for the clients.

 

How did your career in events start?

I was a roadie! I worked for a corporate show band and loved it. We travelled to some fantastic hotels and venues up and down the country and gained a wealth of experience. We regularly worked on large corporate celebrations and I caught the bug! At the same time I worked at a hotel with a fantastic General Manager who taught me lots and I took so much from it, service-level-wise, that I still work to today.

Does your team have any specialties?

It’s not a speciality as such, but we can be incredibly flexible. We also pride ourselves in our attention to detail. We get a genuine kick from the little finishes and going above and beyond for clients.

Can you share your top tips on creating events?

  1. Space. Make sure you have the right space – somewhere that allows you to deliver what’s needed.
  2. Production. Make sure you choose the event production company carefully. It can make or break your event.
  3. Fuel. Keep your guests fuelled with regular good-quality, low-carb refreshments.
  4. Plan. Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail (sorry, I had to say it!). From the room layout to the event’s agenda, make sure you have everything covered before you get to site. Trust me, it will make your life so much easier on-site and reduce those last-minute curveballs that no one likes.
  5. Variety. Keep your delegates engaged with a varied agenda. Make way for networking opportunities and don’t be afraid to try something new – new formats, team-building, keynote speakers, entertainment, filming etc.
  6. Enjoy it! It’s so easy to lose focus on enjoying the event too. Have fun, enjoy that glass of wine (you’ve earned it) and give yourself a pat on the back.

What changes have you seen in the events sector in the last 5-10 years?

Firstly, the advancement of technology. It’s at the heart of what we do and it’s come a long way in the last 10 years. How people present and wish to deliver their events has also changed massively. 10 years ago, events were generally very formal, but now, the focus has shifted to making sure the audience and presenters feel comfortable and relaxed.

Recently I’ve found that more clients want to spread out and make the most of nature and the great outdoors. Around 20% of our clients challenge us with creating them an outdoor/festival-like experience and we love it, it’s great fun!

As a company we’ve noticed that since the pandemic, hybrid events have become the norm – 50% of all our events are now produced with some sort of hybrid/streaming element. We’ve also noticed that more event companies are working on ways to become more sustainable as businesses. I’m proud to say that Beagle Create is on that journey, big time.

What would be your dream event to work on?

I’ve been so lucky to work on some awesome events over the years. I’ve worked on £1m events, I’ve been around Europe for clients, and I’ve produced events in Disneyland Florida and up mountains in Canada! In the future though, the dream would be to work on a more well-known event – something like the Olympics would be great. I would also love to look after some production at Glastonbury, just for the fun of it – but it would have to be during a horrendously wet year, just so I can say I’ve had the full festival experience!

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