I got into the event industry because I have a passion for good food, great-tasting drinks, hospitality and the food service industry.
I have worked here since 2007. That was when I completed my training in South Africa in order to be able to run the business in London.
I was attracted to this particular role because I believe in the brand. Not only is it a modern and sexy style of service, but it also offers an open-ended platform for us to do what our pay-off line says we do: we ‘Live life liquid’.
Not many people know that we have enough bar infrastructure worldwide to circle a football field... almost twice.
My worst experience at an event was while I was still studying. I was temping for an agency and working an extremely long shift, which started at 6am on 31 December and ended at midday on 1 January. It was just before midnight and I was carrying a tray full of margaritas, and on my way to the drinks reception I slipped down a spiral staircase, dropping the cocktails not only on myself but also on the guests below. I will never forget the look on their faces.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it is always be six steps ahead, follow standard operating procedures, and make sure everything gets confirmed in writing.
The best event I’ve been involved in was the main party at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. We drove from London to Switzerland with 12 metres of our designer cocktail bars and ten style bartenders to serve some of the world’s most influential businessmen and women, as well as other world leaders. It was a great milestone for us, and is definitely up there with being the first mobile bar company to set up a cocktail bar in the snow in Antarctica.
If I could do it all over again I would have paid more attention during German language class at hospitality school, because this would have reduced the amount of grey hair I grew while road tripping through France, Germany and Switzerland en route to events. I would also have taken a long-sleeve jacket to Davos: it was -10º C there.
The one thing I can’t stand is waiting for a drink, unless there is interaction involved with the bartender.
Outside of work I spend my time outdoors. I love mountain biking, surfing and competing in races; my next challenge is the Half Iron Man in May 2011.
If money were no object I would employ a team that dedicates its time to some of the amazing and creative ideas we have, which will eventually shake the drinks industry when we perfect them.
The one event I will never miss is my Mum's birthday. Wherever I am I always make an effort to get back to Cape Town for it.
The next 12 months will be tough, exciting and a lot of hard work, because 2011 for us is a year of growth and expansion into foreign markets.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be no one - I love what I do, who wouldn't? I get paid to run stunning events with beautiful cocktail bars, making incredible-tasting drinks. Our team is like a family. We all work together and thus our achievement is that of many.
If I ruled the event industry I would have nothing left to aim for.
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