How I Got Here - Jayne Powell

Special event producer Jayne Powell organises champagne tours and events and is an all-round expert in the bubbly stuff. She talked to Event about her childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut, and following her passions rather than chasing a salary or status.

Champagne Jayne shares her career path
Champagne Jayne shares her career path

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

I run an independent global consultancy, initially launched in the UK in 1995, enabling friends and colleagues in the international insurance industry to learn about champagne. Following the successes of these networking events, after moving to Sydney, I launched what is now known as Champagne Jayne in 2003.

I help B2B and B2C clients strengthen key relationships and drive business using champagne, events and social media. I speak at food and wine conferences around the world, and in my spare time I also write freelance for a variety of online and print lifestyle publications. My mission is to make champagne accessible to all.

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

I worked as an assistant planning manager for Club Med in Greece looking after VIP clients. This is where I learnt the importance of the complete client experience and how to create five-star impact on a three-star budget.

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

I used my bilingual French language skills to work for a number of French organisations before entering the publishing industry and working on several magazine launches. I was headhunted as a strategic planner for national press in the UK, then emigrated to Sydney in 2000 where I worked for Australia's second largest magazine publisher before joining The Wine Society to develop its corporate events services division.

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

No, as a child growing up I dreamed of becoming an astronaut or a dancer. However following my first trip to France aged 15, after watching one too many Bond films, I fell madly in love with everything French, especially champagne.

Would you do anything differently?

In my youth I was enticed to swop industries for salary and status, whereas now it's my passion that drives me forward.

Who has inspired you along the way?

Nick Morgan, my managing director at Emap, who encouraged me to be an entrepreneurial maverick and supported my dreams with a good dose of common sense.

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

No - I really enjoy interacting with new people.

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

You're high maintenance but you're worth it

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

Take the time to actively listen to the advice of those who recognise your potential.

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

Depending on which country I'm in. A sunset walk along the beach, playing baseball in the park with my dogs, or catching up with dear friends when in the UK. Wherever I am the end of a hectic day always includes a glass of champagne!

Want to share your career story with us as part of the Women in Events campaign? Email associate editor Rachel Bull to feature in a future How I Got Here.

Comment below to let us know what you think. Plus, read exclusive campaign features in the print issue of Event. You can get it by subscribing here.

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