It has been fascinating to work on the publicity for a series of classical music concerts this summer. The Alwinton Summer Concerts take place every May and June in the beautiful church of St Michael and All Angels, Alwinton in the breath taking surroundings of the Upper Coquet valley, Northumberland.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director, John Casken, the series has now established itself as one of the major cultural events in the North-East of England attracting as it does musicians with international reputations to the church, with its fine acoustic, and the surrounding beautiful and dramatic landscape.

At this time of year clients are talking to us about a whole range of outdoor events for the summer ... the Great British Summer ... outdoors ... and the weather. Whether its a corporate stand at a county show; a summer ball; a wedding; concert; race or regatta, if you're going to be outdoors you need to do some contingency planning.

This article takes you through 16 hard earned lessons from the marquee industry. It was written by Sharon Maher who specialises in wedding marquees but the lessons are applicable to all outdoor, tented events. 

Creating an identity for your event

Written by Tuesday, 22 March 2016

We hear so much about brand identity these days that it has become one of those meaningless business mantras – a catch all phrase that, by trying to encompass everything, ends up actually meaning very little.   

In fact, behind the marketing department jargon and the designer’s sales pitch there is something really key here that is worth pausing on right at the very beginning of planning an event.

Let’s be clear it’s not the logo or the colours or the typeface and starting there misses the point. Those decisions communicate your identity but they don’t create it.

You do that.

Eastern Promise

Written by Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Reading about food these days it seems that everyone’s attention has moved to the Middle East. Thanks to trend setting restaurants such as Moro and influential writers such as Yotam Ottolenghi, the flavours from Morocco, Egypt, the Lebanon, Syria and Israel are getting more attention than ever before. So it’s all pomegranate molasses this and sumac that and just as we’ve got to grips with garam masala mix right, home cooks are having to learn about ras el hanout and za’atar.

Of course it’s all quite delicious and eating out has become very exciting but the recipes can be daunting with ingredient lists as long as your arm and two or three day processes involved - all a bit overwhelming really. So when I got an invitation one of Mary Wilkins’ demo and dine days called Flavours of the East I jumped at the chance.

Game for Lunch

Written by Monday, 21 September 2015

I’ve watched Saturday Morning Kitchen for years thinking how wonderful it would be to sit at the end of a bench and watch a top chef prepare a meal. I love the way the experts talk about food, think about ingredients, plan combinations, balance and layer flavours, handle knives and juggle pans and I really admire those of them who quietly, competently, creatively, wonderfully do what they do.

So when I got the chance to sit at a local chef’s table and watch her work I jumped at it.

In our last blog we considered the kind of personality most likely to be an effective event organiser and manager. In this post, we look at the five core skills to be looking for as you make your choice. Testimonials, references and past feedback are especially useful sources of information here and it is worth asking about suppliers as well as clients. If for example, collaborators and partners are willing to work with your event organiser again – the chances are she’s getting something right!

Whether you are looking for a wedding planner, a festival director, a host for your charity auction or someone to manage your next product launch, there are 10 attributes to look for to feel confident of in anyone who is going to have an impact on your precious event.

Some will be easier to spot in a written tender, some will emerge from meetings and conversation, others are best tested via testimonials but over the next two blogs we will explore the 10 areas that it is worth gathering some evidence on before you appoint.

This week we look at some of the personal attributes that make someone temperamentally suited to being a good event organiser.