Profile: Corporate Events Manager - No-nonsense approach

Sybil Sellwood of Siemens maintains high standards for her events.

When you think of Siemens, mobile phones probably spring to mind. However, the technology and services solution company no longer manufactures phones and is now better known as a leader in scientific innovations. In fact, it created Hawk Eye, the machine that judges when a ball is in or out during a tennis match.

Siemens corporate events manager Sybil Sellwood organises a wide range of events, from hospitality offerings to a black-tie dinner for the company's premier clients. She has been working for the corporate communications department for ten years and is part of an 11-strong team.

This year she is organising an exhibition at the Business Design Centre to showcase Siemens' sustainable products. It is the first time the company has organised an event on this scale in this country and Sellwood believes the challenge will be in having a global spotlight on the UK, as the event has previously been held in Germany.

Another major event is the annual staff Think Customer Awards, which she helped launch in 2002. "Staff enthusiasm for the event has gained momentum over the years and everyone wants to attend. In the first year we rewarded 170 staff, now we hand out 230 awards," she reveals.

To ensure the guests are entertained, she changes the venue and theme every year, and spaces have included the Bristol Marriott Hotel and the ICC, Birmingham. This year it was held at the Science Museum in February and boasted a space theme.

To help produce her briefs she enlists agencies such as Yellow Spanner, Effective Event Solutions and Private Drama Events, the latter bringing a theatrical element to this year's awards. Sellwood also believes in sticking with effective suppliers, and nothing annoys her more than those who promise the world, but fail to deliver.

She is also responsible for creating the annual Cultural Event for Siemens' top 100 clients. "The event has changed dramatically over the years and we try to choose venues or themes that fit the Siemens brand," she explains. The next one is set to take place at the Tutankhamun Exhibition in The O2 later this year, which was chosen because a Siemens scanner was used on the remains of the young king to determine how he died.

Drawing on her varied experiences of organising events, Sellwood is responsible for the Siemens stand at the Confederation of British Industry Interactive Conference. In November 2007 the stand featured static rowing machines to fit in with the company's sponsorship of the Great Britain Rowing team and its charity initiative, Stroke for Stroke.

With such an eclectic range of events under her belt, coupled with a no-nonsense approach, Sellwood is clearly the right person to turn Siemens' first major UK showcase into a high-profile success.

1990: Self-employed in the building services industry
1998: Joined Siemens as administrative co-ordinator
1999: Event and services co-ordinator
2001: Event and services manager
2006: Corporate events manager

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