She spoke to Event about securing a venue for the first Prudential Ride London, the experiential agency she wishes she had founded, and her views on collaboration within the industry.
I got into the event industry because… I’ve always enjoyed organising people and things – my friends might describe me as a control freak but with good intentions!
I studied Events Management at university and have gone on to work within various sectors of the industry, from client side event management to catering.
I kind of fell into venue sales and have never looked back. I love the variety of events I am fortunate enough to work on, from The Brits to experiential activations. No day at The O2 is ever the same.
I have worked here almost a year – time flies when you’re having fun!
I was attracted to this particular role because The O2 is one of the world's top music venues, and being able to programme corporate events inbetween acts such as Madonna or public events like the Barclays ATP World Tour Tennis finals is such a unique and exciting opportunity.
I look after seven spaces under the tent so the scope of events I work on is huge. The venue I spend the most time working with is Building Six, a vast urban space which dabbles in a range of events from product launches to after-show parties. The jewel in the crown, The O2 arena, is such a fantastic space to sell – the wow factor as you walk into an empty arena gets me every time.
Not many people know that I am a quarter Russian – my real surname is Evanoff.
The best event I’ve been involved in was... In 2013 I secured Prince Philip House (home to the Royal Academy of Engineering) as the headquarters for the first ever Prudential Ride London.
To be involved in such a huge event with so many stakeholders was a fantastic experience, and seeing the associated branding and advertising displayed throughout London really made me feel proud to be associated with such an exciting event.
During my time at The O2 I’ve been lucky enough to work on and attend a number of exciting and high profile events. The Brits was probably a personal highlight for me.
If I could do it all over again I would… Nothing! I am a firm believer of the saying ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I feel very lucky to be where I am today.
The one thing I can’t stand is lateness. Working in events means you cannot be late – timing is everything.
Outside of work I spend my time eating my way through London’s many amazing restaurants, drinking my way through any new cocktail bar opening and then attempting to work it all off at the gym. I enjoy the first two activities far more than the latter.
If money were no object I would travel the world, hopping from one luxury hotel to the next on my private jet.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be... Without name checking anyone in particular, I would love to have founded an experiential agency 18 years ago before the boom in experiential events.
With the introduction of communication channels such as mobile, social and digital, advances in technology and immediate access to data, experiential agencies (and events) are on the rise and show no signs of slowing down. It must have been ground breaking to be the first agency to demonstrate how brands can engage with their consumer’s minds through immersive events and experiences. Not to mention I would be extremely well off by now.
If I ruled the event industry I would encourage more information sharing, whether that be between venues or individuals. When troubleshooting, chances are someone somewhere has been through the same thing and can offer advice, but there is a common misconception of ‘fraternising with the enemy’.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t share my little black book with anyone but I do believe collaboration is the key to success.