Liz Taylor: The power of a chance meeting

dmacoxford Media

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I set out building my events business three decades ago, and the journey has been incredible.

When I began, the industry was in its infancy and my success was based on three key things. Hard work, gut instinct and a strong, tireless ability network – 24/7!

My first event came about after a chance meeting at Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel. They were struggling to find somebody to organise a client event – a Hollywood themed party – and I saw an opportunity, so, I offered my services. I was very organised, having worked in retail for many years. I’d planned parties and events for friends and family. And I had a natural talent. But to say I was stepping out of my comfort zone in planning a huge corporate party at that time was an understatement. I threw everything I had into the event. It was a huge success, and it opened the door to more.

Taking, or rather should I say, making that opportunity was the first important step. So, my initial pieces of advice are to go with your gut and say yes to the breaks that come your way. If you’re not sure you have all the skills, then say yes anyway – and become a fast learner. Taking a few careful risks and seizing opportunities is all part of business.

“Diligence, honesty and a strong work ethic”

I would also share with those starting out as an events entrepreneur that it’s important to be a leader of your business, not just a manager. I learnt when my business was in its infancy, that people, whether they are suppliers, employees or clients, need to feel inspired to go on the journey with you.

I have suppliers that have been with me for 25 years now and have been integral to my success. I hope to motivate my team to follow what I feel are the pillars of business. Diligence, honesty and a strong work ethic.  All of which are an intrinsic part of me, but were consolidated when I undertook the Marks & Spencer management training course in the very early days of my career. This instilled in me the fundamental skills I needed to build my own business – including the importance of ‘walking the walk’ – never expecting a member of your team to do something you haven’t, or wouldn’t, do yourself.

Overall, deliver your business with honesty and integrity, and remember that the ‘devil is in the detail’ for an event planner, and you won’t go far wrong.”