Unsung Hero

Holli Bennett - Event Genius

Holli Bennet has been an intrinsic part of the Festicket and Event Genius workforce for six years, and is one of the company’s most loyal and ever-reliable employees. She has always demonstrated first-class levels of professionalism and work ethic with a beaming smile on her face. Even throughout the height of the pandemic when the events industry was enthralled by uncertainty, her incredible attitude and attention to detail was unwavering.

An Account Manager with a personality as vibrant and colourful as her hair, Holli went above and beyond when businesses had no idea if they would even survive the industry shutdown. She worked tirelessly with promoters to manage all aspects of refunds, rollovers and postponements, continually sending reports on tickets, cancellations, refund requests to ensure our partners had the clearest possible picture of their event and ticket revenue status during such a turbulent time.

Given the minefield it was to navigate through these difficulties, in terms of migrating event and ticket data - with some events having sales across 2019, 2020, and 2021, even though they won’t actually take place until 2022 - there was never a problem too big for Holli despite the immense pressure and intensity of the period.

The work she did throughout the pandemic was absolutely vital to the survival of the event portfolios of our partners. She was not furloughed for even one day when the industry was ostensibly on pause, showing truly impressive professionalism and dedication, working day and night for months on end.

Essentially becoming an extension of the promoter organisations herself, managing all facets of ticketing, refunds, and rollovers, even creating communication strategies with promoters for their customers, Holli has certainly achieved unsung hero status in the eyes of her peers and our clients.

We cannot think of anyone more deserving of this accolade.

Testimonial:

James Orfeur
Slammin Events (Southport Weekender, Hospitality In The Park, Arcadia, Kaleidoscope, Westfest, Tranzmission, elrow Town)

“Our first couple of months of lockdown were spent dealing with cancellation fallout which was not easy but at least we were kept busy! Holli’s support was absolutely invaluable and I genuinely thank her for that. It wasn’t easy for any of us but it was made much more comfortable with her advice and working together as a team. We’ve got a great and long-standing relationship with Event Genius and I know I can call at any time if I need help with something or if some strange issue occurs... The support we received from Holli and her team on that first (Southport) Weekender cancellation in March 2020 was absolutely essential for us, and our on-going daily advice and guidance from Holli is always appreciated by us and always carried out by her, with a smile.”

 

Kim Bickell - CSG Events

I’m not nominating Kim for her outstanding achievements in work, the continuous client satisfaction, expectational time keeping and project delivery skills because that’s what Kim has done day in and day out from the start. I’m nominating Kim for her love, care and dedication to everyone within the industry

Hero’s do their jobs by day and save our worlds around their own with no thought or consideration to the disruption of their own lives.

Kim’s first and foremost attention is and has always been to others. No matter of her own personal crisis’s if you need 5 mins or 4 hours of Kim’s time it’s there. After an extra-long day Kim has travelled home via a 24hr supermarket to purchase ingredients to bake and ice a cake for some’s birthday the next day. When someone on site suffered a bereavement Kim finished her work and drove the person home to be with their family consoling them all the way and then checking in and keeping in touch with them for the weeks following.

Whether in an accreditation or site office, to managing the load in of some of the country’s biggest TV’s shows and festivals Kim will always have a smile for you and time to sit and hear our woe’s, stresses and strains. But Kim won’t just listen, Kim will help to find a way to resolve our predicaments and troubles, because when a person feels as if all hope is lost Kim won’t leave their side till, they realise their worth and piece by piece will build you back together.

Kim is a therapist, a career advisor, fashion consultant, a baker and the best friend to the entire industry.

Next time you need someone to say “I’m not Ok” to you want hope Kim is nearby so that your next words will be “I’m Ok now, thank you”

Mick Griffin - Site Event

Site Event would like to nominate our Event Operations Manager Mick Griffin. He came into the 2021 season, with no prior events background, and to say he got ‘stuck in’ is an understatement. With an incredibly short and intense event season, Mick ensured units where quickly fixed, prepped and cleaned from one event to another event, whilst managing teams  on site across various events including; Wickham Festival, Isle of Wight Festival and Carfest South.

Some of his stand out achievement this summer have been:

  • Has pro-actively recruited and trained the event team, along side developing and motivates them with his passion for a seamless event service.  
  • Wickham Festival was the muddiest of the year, and to add to the challenge, mid-way through the live event a large section of the toilets had to be re-located due to the main stage being condemned. Where the toilets were situated, it was a so muddy, not even a vehicle could get to them. Mick therefore painstakingly moved each via a telehandler and tractor to their new locations. Quick thinking, can-do attitude and sweet talking the local farmers help him and the team, overcome, what could have been a disastrous scenario.
  • Being able to think though scenarios and communicate these to the client means the client feels in control of each situation. Keeping the drama out of the situation having a clear head and working through each situation pulling in the resources available means that challenges can be reduced to minor inconveniences.
  • Quickly getting to grips with our vacuum toilet systems we have built and developed in house, not only installing and ensure they are working correctly Mick has also increased their efficiencies on site, with technical tweeks and ideas for the best possible end product for the customer.
  • Mick has managed to complete all these tasks with a smile and good natured approach that instantly puts the client at ease.

Mick’s strengths include his passion and enthusiasm for toilets and how the event can achieve a high level of service to attendees. He achieves this with good humour and to constructively think and research outside the box. The end result being a client that understands his budget and the efficiency’s that can be made within to achieve a full and workable solution to the waste management of the site. He is also building in resilience to each event should circumstances change though his ever growing number of supplier contacts :for example changes in weather and ground conditions through to extra staff being needed . Consistently working as part of the event organisers team and being proactive means the relationship is one of building the event together.

Sol Hernandez - Actavo Events UK

Sol Hernandez started as an intern with Actavo in 2015, a year after arriving in the UK from Spain with a degree in Business Administration. Once in the UK she completed an Event Management course whilst working which is how she came to Actavo Events! In 2016 she moved into a full-time Office Administrator position, since when she’s continued her impressive progression, striving to learn about all aspects of what we do, what our clients require and being promoted to the role of Office Manager in 2019.

Sol’s role handles all the back of house administration, daily project scheduling and account management for a number of key clients. This year included UEFA for the 2020/2021 Euros, where Actavo Events was the main supplier for fencing and barriers in Hampden Park, Glasgow and Wembley Stadium, London. Sol managed the contract and oversaw/coordinated the teams in both locations.

She is fully invested in the company, going above and beyond when required. She can be found meeting clients and seeing projects through on site. She isn’t scared to get stuck in if the project requires it. She can also be found out in the yard at stock check time ensuring everything is organised and spot checking any counts. Sol is affectionately known as our ‘Manager of the Universe.’ She keeps the team in check and is very well respected.

In 2020/2021 Sol went above and beyond in her role in covering for the UK Operations Manager maternity leave. It was a time of uncertainty with the pandemic, which saw Sol holding the team together; organising weekly Zoom lunches and a daily step challenge (which got insanely competitive). Actavo Events managed to secure some non-event work with the Department of Health and Social Care and Sol has managed this project which will be the highest turnover project in the UK business.

Sol is currently studying a master’s degree in Event Organisation and Wedding Planning, she is qualified in Prince 2 project management and holds her IOSH health and safety qualification.

Sophia Livett - Symphotech

Sophia Livett started her events career with Symphotech on placement from university, and worked with the company as a freelancer before joining full-time in 2018. Her outstanding performance over the past four (challenging) years has seen her recently appointed as a Director of Acoustech, the noise management division of Symphotech.

Under her leadership, Acoustech has established a reputation for professionalism and excellent service, with an expanding client portfolio of festivals, concerts, city centre venues and clubs. She continues to support Symphotech and its clients with her stellar organisational skills, winning new clients, and having a positive economic impact on the company.

Sophia is a determined young professional who’s grasped the technical knowledge around acoustics, alongside the interpersonal relationships needed to excel. She has learned how to take control in a male-dominated industry (sound engineers and licensing officials), overcome potential situations of conflict and develop trust and rapport.

A real ‘can-do’ team player, she blends knowledge and experience with personable, empathetic relationships spanning colleagues, clients, officials and the public, always fostering the effective teamworking that delivers outstanding events. Her passions for people’s wellbeing, opportunities for women in events and environmental sustainability have won her many friends in the industry and contributed to high standards of delivery for her clients.

Sophia is a key member of Symphotech’s team, who always injects a sense of fun into work.  Always ready to learn more and take responsibility, she loves a challenge, and for each opportunity presented to her has proved that she can be relied on to do the company proud.

It’s for these reasons she has progressed so far within the company and why we believe she’s one of the events industry’s unsung heroes. We’re looking forward to seeing her flourish as Director of Acoustech.

 

Will Darley, the event director for Access the Festival commented:

“By the time we got to the event weekend Sophia’s professional manner and communications techniques saw her become a fantastic festival ambassador with the residents and council officials. She took off-site readings at sensitive residential locations across the weekend so that we had evidence for any future complaints. Sophia became the face of the company and brought an infectious uplifting energy to the rest of the staff and the residents she dealt with."

Jamie Spiers - The Stambridge Group 

To appreciate and understand why Jamie is our Unsung Hero, its best to understand his story. Jaime was brought up in the care system from a very early age before departing from his Foster Parents at the age of 16. At 18 years old, he applied with Stambridge as a Steward.


Stambridge offered him direction and for the last 15 years, Jamie has worked he’s way through the business. To this date has not taken he’s foot of the throttle, he’s determination for self-development has allowed him to gain qualifications and thrive within the Event Industry.


Jamie became a qualified Security, Mental Health/First Aid tutor in 2017 – he encourages he’s students to have the mindset to create a safe environment and gives them the tools to be able to save a life. He supports many Colleges and Adult Support Programs such as the Princes Trust, this allows Jamie to offer support to similar people as the background as he’s own.


Jamie is extremely operational - during COVID, he’s compassion to look after others kept hundreds of individuals in work by seeking employment both inside and outside of Stambridge for those in need. Jamie’s an industry leader when it comes to an Event Staffing Deployments. He logistically planning, staff welfare and ability to overcome all hurdles is remarkable. He simple will not be beaten – he always just ‘gets the job done’! He’s energy and attitude are infectious, always on the frontline problem solving which gives reassurance to many when his on-site. AND always with a smile and a dance! Jamie has seen the worse of humanity, but always willing to puts others before himself. He is truly inspirational – an unsung hero without doubt. 300 words are not enough to do justice – please meet him in person, you will not be disappointed!

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