Natascha is a senior account manager at The Edit and has been with the company since she moved from Germany to London to pursue a career in events in the UK. Her role is a busy one - looking after the logistics for most of our events. We chatted to her about the life of an event manager.
WHERE DID YOU STUDY AND WHAT DID YOU STUDY?
I didn't actually study beyond school. When I left school I decided to go down the vocational path instead and I'm so glad I did. It meant I learned by practise rather than theory. I used to feel a bit embarrassed to say I didn't study beyond school but now I'm so glad I took the route I did - it was perfect for me. I was living in Hamburg at the time and did so many internships in fashion, concert management and I worked with booking agencies. From there I then decided to do vocational training (popular and respected transition into work in German education) at a venue. This was a well known concert venue Grosse Freiheit 36 and allowed me to study concert management. Studying concert management and working in the venue allowed me to form good habits and processes which have helped how I work now.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO EVENTS?
I thought I wanted to work in fashion and then in music. I was in a band and through that we held concerts which I loved the buzz of organising. It wasn't so much the being on stage but the behind the scenes, lighting design, marketing, ticketing and seeing everything come together which I loved. I realised I was good at that side and that it made me happy. It started as a hobby that made me realise I had these skills and could put them to use to make them my job.
When I started at the venue, I loved concert management. I'd have events ranging from 50-2500 people. I loved the highs of seeing the crowds excited when the concert was happening and their reactions. Reactions. That's what I still love about events, seeing people's faces when they see an event. I also got to see some amazing bands and artists - it really opened my eyes up to people I wouldn't have normally seen. Whilst I enjoyed seeing them as an artist , I was so interested in the show element. I remember one show with Phoenix - when my boss gave me the details of the show, the tech spec and production on stage was incredible. So cool with an amazing light show, it was so creative. I always found it was rewarding when it wasn't just a band - the creativity is what I loved.
WHAT WERE THE NEXT STEPS?
That was when I realised I needed more than just a band. Alongside this, as much as the venue was great at giving me amazing opportunities, I wanted to expand beyond one venue day in day out.
I then focussed on how I could expand on that creative side. Celebratory events tend to be more creative. I initially wanted to get into just wedding planning but then got involved in some corporate events which I loved. The Edit is a good mix of both.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?
I live in Finsbury Park however I am moving soon but staying North. I love North London as it's fun but still grown up. There's a calmness about it without it being boring. There's the creative of East close by and loads of nature on Hampstead Heath.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE IN JUST THREE WORDS, WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT EVENTS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Creativity, for definite. The reason I love the industry.
Stress - the buzz of how fast paced it is.
Spreadsheets. I'm a sucker for them!
WE ARE ALL QUITE OBSESSED WITH EVENTS, AND WE’RE REAL STICKLERS WHEN IT COMES TO DETAIL - WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU COULDN’T WALK PAST ON SITE OR IN THE OFFICE?
Anything that's not in the place it's supposed to be - irritates me. Applies to my whole life too!
IF YOU DIDN’T WORK IN EVENTS WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Interior design. It's really fun and creative. I like the concept of the composing of things to make a whole. That feels similar to events to me. 18 year old me would been an astronaut but I didn't quite cut it with grades or fitness!
WE GET TO EXPERIENCE SOME AMAZING FOOD AND RESTAURANTS BEING IN THE EVENTS INDUSTRY, WHAT THREE RESTAURANTS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER TO SOMEONE COMING TO LONDON FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Breakfast at home. Especially when my boyfriend makes it for me. Bacon, eggs, avocado on toast. So good!
Lunch – I am well known in the office for getting to 3pm in the office and not having had any lunch so maybe I'm not a lunch fan! I'd say though, Maltby Street market for lunch. There are so many options - you can have a different cuisine every time you go.
Dinner – Angelina's in Dalston. It's Japanese Italian fusion.
IT’S A HARD ONE – FAVOURITE VENUE?
Hampton Court Palace. We had a wedding there but this was just before I started. I've been dying to work there again. I'm obsessed with the British Monarchy and love history. So actually running an event where we took over a lot of the site at Hever Castle was great as well! I also want to do an event at the reclaimed Ally Pally theatre.
CANAPÉS ARE LIKE LITTLE BITES OF HEAVEN – FAVOURITE CANAPÉ YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I remember most the tuna steak sashimi from Mr Foggs in Mayfair. And I got to eat Sarah's as she was pregnant so that worked out well! So simple and I've definitely had more extravagant one than that but that was incredible. Actually any canapé from Aqua. The ham & cheese croquette especially!
FAVOURITE CATERER IN THE INDUSTRY AND WHY?
Jimmy Garcia Catering for creativity and out of the box thinking and also the food is amazing. The caterers we all work with taste great but JGC takes it for presentation and creativity. Desserts though, I love Zafferano - their pastry chef is next level and their dessert stations are incredible.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING STYLE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
You can't have more to-do lists or spreadsheet. Too organised!
WE ARE REALLY ADDICTED TO OVERINDULGING IN LEFTOVER PICK & MIX FROM EVENTS, WHAT’S YOUR GO TO SWEET?
I don't. I'm the only person who isn't bothered by the sweets. I'd take a Kit Kat Chunky or a Daim bar any day.
TOP TIP FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GET INTO THE EVENTS INDUSTRY.
Try it through work experience. It's not all champagne and canapés. Work experience allows you to see if you like the reality over the idea. You also have to have a very flexible life - the life of an event Manager means there are lots of late nights.