Party Clinic: Words of wisdom - Unlikely Party Planner

Charity Weston Spirit communications officer Nicola Northway on time management.

Is it hard to combine your party-planning duties with a normal everyday job?

Very difficult. My main responsibilities are communications, including PR and media. It's only myself and the national manager so my role is very broad and includes marketing and a lot of networking and relationship management.

What type of parties do you organise?

Last year I organised a 15th Anniversary Ball at Cardiff International Arena, and I've handled a charity fashion show attended by Charlotte Church and the charity's vice-president, Simon Weston OBE. The next event is a film premiere and aftershow party.

What is the most important aspect in planning a party?

It's a real juggling act, especially with a charity because you have so many people to please, including supporters, media, the finance department, the venue, sponsors and the young people we are representing. I'm learning that experience helps and good contacts make a world of difference.

What tips would you give to someone combining their regular job with that of a party planner?

Don't book holiday leave near the time of a party, and start organising the event far in advance - it always takes longer than you think to plan and this will help you to fit in the vital aspects of your normal job.

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