My Event World - Liz Young of Historic Royal Palaces (HRP)

Liz Young, the head of events and commercial services at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) talks to Event about her almost famous moment, working with Jon Bon Jovi and industry red tape.

Liz Young works across Historic Royal Palaces' six-venue portfolio
Liz Young works across Historic Royal Palaces' six-venue portfolio

Young has worked on events within London's West End, with The O2 and festival company Live Nation. She was voted number 11 in the 2015 edition of the Event 100 Club

I got into the event industy because I always knew I wanted to work in the arts, as it seemed to offer so much variety, creativity and colourful characters. 

Over the years I have loved developing client relationships within the fast-paced events environment, however, the part I love most about the job is balancing seemingly impossible logistics and legislations with the creative and conceptual. There’s usually a way to make a client’s vision work. 

I have worked here since June 2013.

I was attracted to this particular role because HRP offers such a wide scope for event planners, from festivals at Hampton Court Palace and in-bound incentives at The Tower of London through to high profile awards at Banqueting House. 

This role is, however, very different in that the profits raised are to the benefit of the charity. It is fantastic to be part of a team where the commercials are directly helping to preserve the palaces and give our history a future.

Not many people know that I was in a band and we had a record deal. We recorded an album, released a single and the sales were good. However, I started working at Wembley Arena and realised I preferred to be on the other side of the microphone. I dare anyone to find the album on iTunes!

The best event I’ve been involved in was… It’s a toss up between two very diverse events. The first was Bon Jovi playing live on the roof at The O2. A career highlight has to be helping Jon Bon Jovi into his safety harness just before he and the band went up on to the roof for one of the most iconic gig sets ever.

The other is being part of Hampton Court Palace’s 500th anniversary this year. This celebration lasts all year and really showcases the breadth of Hampton Court Palace as a venue for public and private events. 

If I could do it all again I would probably not change a thing. I’ve loved every part of the journey so far.

The one thing I can’t stand is overly legislative practices and red tape for the sake of it. That said it is the bit that makes my job so interesting and varied – championing the contractual while delivering a truly creative and exceptional experience. 

Outside work I spend my time… I love live performances so I head to the theatre or gigs whenever possible.

If money were no object I would buy an island for family and friends to enjoy year round.   

If I could switch places with anyone in the industry it would be Fay Sharpe. She is an inspiring role model both as a female figurehead and also for her commercial acumen.

If I ruled the event industry I would take a good look at what we are teaching our graduates and evaluate the value of a three-year degree course versus a more hands-on system of internships and on the job training.

More: HRP selects Beefeater Gin for one-off event

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