MEETtheTEAM: Kelly Allen
Here at MEETinLEEDS, we’re extremely proud of our hardworking and dedicated team. To showcase this, we’re continuing to shine a light on the individuals that make up our close-knit team at the University of Leeds.
In this post, we’re introducing Kelly Allen, Cloth Hall Court Manager
What Does a day in your position look like?
When it comes to my day there is no such thing as a typical routine. But to give an example of a standard day, I start each morning by checking in with all my team that they are all set, prepared and ready for the day ahead. I have a walk round of the room that are in and everything is ready for the clients to arrive. I meet and greet the clients and run through the details of their event, the housekeeping and any H&S information. I deal with any issues or queries that arise and support the team in any way I can to ensure that we deliver the best customer experience. I oversee refreshment breaks, lunches the make sure smooth running of multiple events.
In between the day to day event requirements I manage the general running of the building, any maintenance requirements, site visits, staffing rotas, menus and food orders. I also look at upcoming events for the following week and month to plan where possible.
What first attracted you to the Conference Industry?
Believe it or not being in events was never on the agenda for me. I was actually in a role setting up and providing training for a new online hospitality system. A member of staff who ran our Conferencing & Events was on long term sick leave and I was asked to cover, the past 12 years is history!
I realised that there are certain skills that an event manager needs and they were being organised, being a people person, being flexible and staying calm on the outside when you are fire fighting on the inside. These are all transferable skills no matter how experienced you are in events. The rest of the knowledge I picked along the way. I learnt from things happening in unpredictable situations and also successes.
What has working in the Conference Industry taught you?
An event is as good as you and your team! I have an amazing team and we all work well together. We all come from different backgrounds and do very different jobs, but all have the same goal and it just goes to show with the right team you can deliver the best possible service. It is important to have the ability to stay calm and collected when chaos swarms around you.
Over the years I have met so many lovely people through events and created long lasting relationships. This makes you connect with events on a more personal way, which in turn creates more drive, passion and dedication.
What is your favourite thing about working in the Conference Industry?
There is nothing more rewarding than the end result. Bringing people together and feeling the buzz in the room. Seeing delegates enjoying themselves and sharing their experience, knowing you were part of putting this together and making it happen. It really does make all the hard work worthwhile.
I love that we also get to show off our city as well as our business and building, showcasing what we can provide as an industry. I am proud of what we do and I love being part of it!
How have you adapted to the current situation?
I have adapted to the current quite well. It has been good to take a step back and look at everything from a different perspective. I’ve realise the importance of communication and the way in which we interact, in business and in our personal lives.
Work life balance is so important and realising more now, It makes you appreciate those around you in your personal life are the ones who support you and enable you to strive in the job you do.
I am missing the hustle and bustle of events though, the sound of a full room and the hectic agendas for the day. I think once business is back to normal, the purpose of Conference and Events will be so much more appreciated and having the ability to bring large groups of people together will definitely be a pleasure.
I cannot wait to be back doing the job I love.
What does your new way of working mean for the customer?
The current situation is one that is out of all our control. So we as a team have pulled together and ensured that we can still provide the best service to our clients. The Sales team have done a fantastic job in staying in touch with all our customers and clients, being flexible and sympathetic to everyone’s circumstances. We have to support each other in these uncertain times.