MEET the TEAM: Josh Wood
Next up in our MEET the TEAM blog series, we have Cloth Hall Court’s Josh Wood, who offers us insight into his role of Facilities Assistant, as well as what he’s learnt working in the conference and events industry so far.
What does a day in your position look like?
My main responsibility is the set up of the conference rooms ready for bookings. Much of this work is often undertaken outside our main opening hours and can require an early start or a late finish. This can present different challenges and ensures no two weeks are the same. During the day, I am always on hand to assist clients, covering anything from layout alterations to replenishing the rooms with fresh water and glasses during lunch breaks. In addition to the above, other tasks can vary from day to day including co-ordinating the arrival and dispatch of deliveries, assisting contractors on site and undertaking housekeeping duties. With all of this to keep me busy, there is rarely a dull moment!
What first attracted you to the conferencing industry?
I had never planned on working within the events industry. My interest was kick-started almost by accident, when I was successful in gaining two very different event operations roles, initially as casual employment, whilst studying at University. When I saw the Facilities Assistant post at Cloth Hall Court advertised, I decided to take the opportunity to further develop my skills and experience within conferencing. It proved to be a great move and I haven’t looked back since.
What has working in the conference industry taught you?
I would say attention to detail and how important it is. I fully recognise that the service we provide should always be of a consistently high standard, regardless of whether we are hosting a meeting for two people or a conference of 300. All aspects are equally important, covering everything from catering to room set-up, quality of equipment and cleanliness of the venue. I like things to be done right and when I’m preparing rooms or offering assistance to customers, I always aim for their experience to match what my expectations would be if I was attending an event.
What is your favourite thing about working in the conference industry?
I would say it’s the people, I consider myself very lucky to work alongside such an enthusiastic and supportive team. It’s not just colleagues either, as we welcome a hugely diverse range of clients holding conferences and events with us. I thoroughly enjoy being able to speak to many different people and understand what their event means to them. I think this provides me with the determination to always pull out all the stops to ensure their event is a great success.
How are you adapting to the current situation?
It is certainly a very strange situation to be in. I think the usual digital/online communication channels have been used very effectively so far, in order for important updates and information to be shared between members of the team. I am also using the time to undertake online training sessions ahead of returning to work.
What does your new way of working mean for the customer?
Although my role does not usually involve me liaising with customers until they arrive on site for their event, the enforced time at home has already given me plenty of opportunity to rethink how I can most effectively deliver a service. Who knows, I might get inspired and discover some new and exciting ideas on how we could improve things further for our customers! On a side note, I think the sales team are doing a really fantastic job. They’re working from home, but keeping in regular contact with clients and helping things move forward, all in preparation for when we get back to normality.