First Event turns 18!
Today marks First Event’s 18th birthday - happy birthday to us!
Over the past 18 years, we’ve gone from strength to strength, constantly expanding our team and growing our incredible client base - delivering outstanding events all over the world and helping our clients to meet their business goals.
To celebrate our growth (aside from pizza and fizz!), we heard back from the First Event team - the people who have shaped the thriving agency we are today.
Pizza, Prosecco, and a Q+A!
Angie is our longest serving employee, who has worked in the Flights department for a whopping 14 years!
Angie: How has the company changed in the time that you’ve been here?
"Well when I started the company consisted of a small team of 5 in a tiny office on Guiseley Main St with a few regular clients and operating about 8-10 groups a year. Everything has changed we have new departments a fantastic office to work in with an ever increasing team.
Richard has totally transformed First Event from its early days. We are now a market leader and are producing and managing events that I never imagined we would due to the scale and amount of delegates. It’s hard to believe we are now working with delegate numbers of 800 - 1000 and with the same standard of service.
We now have the people and resources to handle anything. For instance I used to handle all flights in the company for all the events for years. As well as the issues that come with airlines and ticketing which did make me slightly nervous. Now have a great team of fabulous ladies with lots of flight experience who can handle any issues that we come across, handling large groups travelling around the world from all sorts of destinations.”
Catherine has been extremely busy transforming the business and culture of First Event through new working practices that allow our team and values to thrive.
Catherine: You’ve recently become the Employee Relations Manager here at First Event - tell us about what you’ve been up to.
“We kicked off 2019 with shaking up our working practices and introducing flexible working into the business. The team can now sit where they want in the office which has worked wonders for boosting collaboration! Instead of being fixed/chained to the same desk, we can now sit with those who we need to work with to really get the best results on a project.
Remote working from home or wherever is the norm. The less obvious, albeit huge benefit is the increase in trust & transparency across the company by stripping away unnecessary rules.
The next big focus on the agenda is to drive lots of work to seek and implement positive changes to really promote the culture and ethos of FE. Examples being: ways to give everybody a voice in line with our company updates, lots of work on CSR, overhauling our recruitment and onboarding, and implementing rewards and recognition linked to the team and our values.”
The team has grown a lot in the last year - where do you see us progressing as an event agency in the next few years to come?
“I think the culture and ethos of everybody having an opportunity to add value and shape the business will really go from strength to strength and will be a big enabler of our growth over the next few years.”
Max: You’ve recently joined the company. How are you enjoying it so far, and how does the company culture compare to what you’ve experienced in the past?
“I am absolutely loving working at First Event.
The company culture is nothing like I have seen before; it’s great to work in a company that cares about its employees and has fun along the way.
My first week at the company was pretty amazing, as I joined in December with a Christmas stocking and presents on my desk, followed by the staff Christmas party and away day! Although I was reassured that not every week would be like that unfortunately!...
It’s great working in such a friendly and hardworking team - everyone is so supportive and welcoming. I don’t feel like one of the newbies anymore… I think that feeling went away days after I started!
I enjoy all the little things: treats on Valentine’s Day, Jools’s famous treat days, and Agile Working. So much of this makes working at First Event miles apart from anywhere else I have worked.”
Lucy is also a long-standing member of the First Event team and has worked on many experiences with clients for events all over the world.
Lucy Whitley: What’s been your favourite thing about working at First Event?
“Don’t make me choose one!...
Firstly, the people. I have made lifelong friends here and we really are the ‘First Event family’.
Another highlight is the way of life… the agile working, the way we are respected as individuals and the fun we have in the office!
I’ve had amazing experiences over the past 12 years with travelling around the world – the helicopter ride around Christ the Redeemer in Rio, and the Harleys to Cape Point in Cape Town were favourite moments to name but a few.”
Alex is our Head of Marketing and has been instrumental in the growth of the company and the positive impact we hope to inspire through our events.
Alex: What do you think makes First Event stand out as an industry leader in corporate events?
“I believe one of the main things that separate First Event from the pack is it people. Aside from the fact there is such an amazing array of talent, experience and expertise under one roof - the values the company adheres to means everyone is respectful and supportive to each other.
I have never worked anywhere with such a genuine sense of community and comradery; there is a one for all and all for one mentality that actually shines through in the work we do. We apply the same level of care to our clients as our company shows to us. It’s not just business for us, our clients become part of our team and we always make sure our team has everything it needs to succeed. We route for our clients and take interest in them as people. We don’t just work with them we celebrate with them, we support them and we care about what they care about.
It all sounds a bit idyllic, but it kind of is. Don’t get me wrong, every day has challenges but when you care about what you do and you are working with friends towards a common goal it’s hard not to feel like your job is also your hobby.”
Sarah, one of our Account Managers, has worked at a number of event companies in the past including We Are Vista.
Sarah: You’ve had a lot of experience in the events industry - what is it about First Event as an agency that stands out?
“First Event is a great place to work! It’s a family and not just a business. We work hard but have lots of fun along the way. We all love to celebrate everyone’s success and work together as a team to get things done. Colleagues are at the core of the business and we are well looked after. We have treat days, rewards, agile working - if you haven’t experienced one of Jools’s treat days, you haven’t lived!
What makes First Event stand out from other agencies is that everything is under one roof - flights, marketing, design, proposals, sales, finance and the operations. All of whom excel in their own field, are super creative and are fonts of all knowledge.
No two days are the same at First Event. We work with some amazing brands across a wide range of events including incentives, conferences, team building, dinners and exhibitions.
I’ve been at First Event for nearly two years and those two years have flown by but in a good way. Everyone was really welcoming and is so friendly. A great bunch of people to work with. The business has really moved on and changed since I started and we ensure that we are at the forefront of what is happening within the Events Industry.”