How I Got Here - Hannah Jeffryes

Hannah Jeffryes, head of events at Red Letter Days for Business, has been with the company for four years, having worked at a number of different event agencies in the south of England. She talked to Event about persevering parents and why she enjoys working on B2B events.

Head of events at Red Letter Days for Business, Hannah Jeffryes
Head of events at Red Letter Days for Business, Hannah Jeffryes

What do you do and how long have you been in your current role?

I have been the head of events at Red Letter Days for Business for four years. My current role involves working with businesses to put on a memorable event to motivate or reward their staff or customers. I work in the B2B industry so this can be anything from large-scale conferences, team events, award ceremonies, gala dinners to incentive travel campaigns.

Where was your first job? What was the most important thing you learnt there?

My very first job was with Berkshire event agency, Penguins. I absolutely loved my job there and the most important skill I took away was attention to detail. Meeting a client’s expectation is everything, and if your attention to detail is spot on you’re over half way there to a successful outcome.

How did you get from there to where you are now?

After six years at Penguins I felt it was time to take on a new challenge and a more senior role. The job came up at Red Letter Days, and with B2B events being my speciality, I knew it was the role for me.

Looking back, did you expect your career path to take the course it has?

I did actually. It was way back at university when I used to help out with the fresher and summer balls, that I realised I wanted to go into the event industry. I loved organising and was always the person to organise nights out and dinner dates with friends. As soon as I left university I successfully got a job in the industry and from there I’ve always strived to move up the career ladder.

Would you do anything differently?

No. I think because I’ve always been very clear about what I wanted to do, I just set my eyes on a goal and went for it.

Who has inspired you along the way?

I had a great manager at a previous role that I really looked up to and learnt a great deal from. They were very assertive, smart and efficient. I always try to channel that person in my day-to-day job as I was really inspired by their work.

Have you ever had a job interview that went particularly well or spectacularly wrong?

One interview does stick out above the rest – a fire alarm went off. It didn’t necessarily go wrong, it was just very awkward. The alarm went off halfway through and I had to stand outside in the cold with the interviewer for nearly an hour. Making conversation with someone you’ve just met and you’re trying to impress is very difficult when you’re not talking work. Let’s just say I was relieved when the whole process was over.

Is there a piece of career advice you've ever been told that has stuck with you?

I was always told by my parents to never give up. Persevere, persevere and persevere. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it.

What career advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Aim high. Nothing is unachievable. Set your goals and go for them. But be honest and realistic along the way, don’t run before you can walk.

How do you wind down and relax after a hectic day?

After a busy day I love to sit down with a glass of wine with friends and have a good chat. A good run in the local park works wonders too if the weather’s nice.

Want to share your career story with us? Email news editor Samantha Edwards to feature in a future How I Got Here.

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