My Event World - Gloria Grant-Riach

Having moved to the UK in 2001 Gloria Grant-Riach moved into the event industry in a bid to create some diversity in her working routine, which has included providing services for the Queen. Here's her Event World:

Gloria Grant-Riach
Gloria Grant-Riach

I got into the events industry because the events industry had always been of interest to me and I wanted a role that gave me a buzz, where every day was different. After moving to the UK from South Africa in 2001, I decided to make the change in my career from managing restaurants to working in events and was given a fantastic opportunity.

I have worked here since I joined Corecruitment 2006

Not many people know that I grew up as a competitive swimmer in South Africa, which all began at the tender age of eight. Unfortunately my goal and dream of swimming the 200m butterfly at the Olympics were crumbled and my swimming career ended sooner than expected due to a major shoulder injury. I have never lost my competitive streak though.

My worst experience at an event was I was managing a small VIP reception only for about 15 people, three of the guests being Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla. They were attending a centenary gala orchestra performance that included pre, interval and post concert drinks. Post drinks had been cancelled and then rebooked, but we had not been informed, so had cleared up all our drinks and equipment form the bar. As they were breaking from the concert we were informed they were having drinks. I don’t think myself and my team have ever run so fast, but with the help of Prince Charles two butlers, we got it all reset with about 10 seconds to spare.

If there's one thing I've learnt its always stay focussed on what you want to achieve and have goals. Hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment will help you get there, but at the same time don’t let people take advantage of you.

The best event I've been involved in was was the gala event mentioned above. I was only responsible for a small part of a much larger event, it’s not every day you get to work on such high profile events. If I could do it all over again I would take everything I have learnt from my previous employer and Corecruitment with me, and would do it even better/

The one thing I can't stand is people who are constantly negative. I’m generally a happy, self-motivated person and enjoy being in the company of people who I find inspirational and motivating

Outside of work I enjoy spending quality time with my little family. Being a working mum this time is always precious. Enjoying the outdoors, cycling, swimming, long walks in country parks and visiting aquariums when we go somewhere new. I love cooking, although I’m no expert but considering my husband is a hospitality head chef and eats my food, it can’t be that bad.

If money were no object I would have a bigger house with a bigger garden and a swimming pool

The one event I will never miss is there are two. Square Meal Events and Venues and Confex  

The recession has meant that especially in recruitment, we have had to work a lot harder, be more proactive and always be one step ahead

The next 12 months will be exciting times for those involved in the events, venues, sports and leisure sector with the upcoming Olympics in 2012. There will be huge opportunities to come and some fantastic roles for us to be recruiting for.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry I’m not sure I really want to as I love my role at Corecruitment, but if I did I would have to switch with someone who is working for one of the main Olympic venues – preferably the aquatics centre.

If I ruled the event industry I would help it get recognised as a proper sector and a career of choice. Hospitality is one of the largest employers in the UK, but has always struggled to be taken seriously  


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