My Event World - Colin Sayers

Colin Sayers, managing director of Seasoned Events about his aspirations of being a chef at a young age and winning a medal for his cooking skills.

Colin Sayers, managing director of Seasoned Events
Colin Sayers, managing director of Seasoned Events

I got into the event industry because unlike most little boys, I never wanted to be a footballer, fireman, or train driver, but always wanted to be a chef.

I came into the industry after I applied for a role as a ‘menu designer’ with Crown Society; it offered me the perfect balance of being able to use my chef skills with the excitement of being able to work outside of a traditional restaurant environment.

I have worked here since March 1998.

I was attracted to this particular role because it was an opportunity for me to use my skills as a chef in a very different way but, at the same time, being able to talk to the clients to see what they really wanted. The nature of our business is varied and exciting; one day you could be hosting a fashion launch event for Vivienne Westwood, and the next could be a dinner for the Italian Chamber of Commerce.

Not many people know that I was the first British competitor to win a medal in The International Youth Skills Olympics, a cooking competition that started back in 1950.

My worst experience at an event was having to move a dinner for 350 guests to another venue after a last minute power cut at the original venue. We had to move everything from people, to equipment, to the actual food and managed to deliver the event just ten minutes later than we had originally planned. Needless to say that there were a few hairy moments.

If there's one thing I have learned it's always to recruit people who have a fire in their bellies and a passion for what they do. You can train staff on how to deliver a service in practical terms, but you can’t train them to be passionate.

The best event I've been involved in is the Make-a-Wish Charity Summer Ball at Blenheim Palace; an event I have been involved with for over ten years. It’s a charity that is very dear to me and makes me happy to know that all the money that has been raised over the years goes to such a great cause and can make such a difference.

If I could do it all over again I would be a Formula One driver for the obvious benefits. I don’t think I would change a thing; I just wish I had realised how quick time passes.

The one thing I can't stand is people with uninformed pre-conceptions. Always try something before you form an opinion.

Outside of work I spend my time with my family, they keep me sane, just.

The one event I will never miss is my daughter’s birthday party.

The next 12 months will be exciting and challenging. Challenging with the build up to the Olympics as the economy is still very fragile. It will be exciting as Seasoned Events has several new opportunities that we have been working on which are very, very unique.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Marcus Wareing, as a trained chef, he is one professional that I really truly admire. He is just a food magician.

If I ruled the event industry I would ensure that free-thinking and creativity remains at the forefront of what we do. We work in one of the most dynamic and exciting industries and free-thinkers should always be encouraged to have the courage to express themselves.

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