My Event World - Cy Kelly

Cy Kelly, founder and managing director of event design and production company Made Up, has for the last 16 years worked with such brands as Red Bull, Sports Relief and MTV. He talked to Event about working with the BBC, why he would switch places with Mick Jagger and the importance of budget for production.

Made Up's founder and MD, Cy Kelly
Made Up's founder and MD, Cy Kelly

I got into the event industry because I had worked in clubs since the age of 18 and helped build the Hed Kandi brand from the beginning. From getting sponsors to meeting agencies to running events, I gained a better understanding of the events industry and realised there was a gap in the market when it came to live/music events.

I have worked here since I established Made Up in 1998. Over the years we have built up the amount of kit we have in-house to deliver competitive rates yet maintain quality to a high standard.

I was attracted to this particular role because it developed organically from a background in music. We work with a number of corporate clients yet we also produce for a range of international DJs. Whether it’s a concert for thousands of people or bringing a brand to life at experiential campaigns, we have the experience and attention to detail to really make it exceptional.

Not many people know that Made Up do a lot of production for the BBC. Due to marketing restrictions we can’t actively promote it but we do a range of work for them throughout the year, from bespoke set design for their radio DJs to branding for concerts and live events.

The best event I’ve been involved in was… it’s hard to pick just one as each event is unique and special in it’s own way so it’s difficult to compare.

If I could do it all over again I would have been more confident and had more belief in myself sooner when reading between the lines of what people really want as opposed to what they think they want.

The one thing I can’t stand is how sometimes the budget for production is an afterthought in the event planning process, so events cannot be completed and executed to the high standard they could be if the right amount of budget had been portioned for it from the beginning.

Outside of work I spend my time with my six-year-old daughter watching Frozen and Despicable Me, her two favourite films.

If money were no object Made Up would have solid gold, diamond-encrusted production equipment… But on a serious note, we would have the ability to push boundaries even further and pioneer new processes and technologies to make event production more efficient and effective.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Mick Jagger, to experience events front of stage for one night instead of from behind the scenes.

Want to be featured in a future My Event World? Email news editor Samantha Edwards for further details.

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