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Launching an events business in the year of the Olympics

Escape member Natalia Ikin worked in events in house for a large accountancy firm before realising she could offer the same service to a variety of clients and work for herself. Golborne Events was then launched and provides freelance support and event solutions for corporate and private clients, here they tell their story of year 1.

January 2012 and I turned 30. Having worked in the events industry for 10 years, I knew that all eyes would be on London with the array of amazing events taking place for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympics Games. I’d been trying to ‘escape’ my corporate event role within a professional services firm for a year and with a 3 month notice period I was struggling in a fast paced industry to secure a new role that would wait 3 months for a start date.

I felt trapped. Keeled over my desk, stuffing 300 name badges for an event that evening, I thought to myself “If I can’t branch out offering freelance event support in the year of the Olympics, then I’ll never be able to do it, I have to try” I quit that day, and whilst working my notice, I established my own freelance event company, Golborne Events (http://www.golborne-events.co.uk/)

Go back to your roots

Golborne Events was inspired by my parents. Ambitious, independent and hard working they lived in a caravan for over a year with two small children whilst renovating their country house ‘Golborne Manor’ into a B&B.

Growing up I shared our home with holiday makers, helped my mum cook breakfasts and ironed bed linen for 5p a sheet! I learnt the values of hospitality and client care at an early age.

When in 2009 my friends started getting married, I saw an opportunity to convert Golborne Manor (http://www.golbornemanor.co.uk/ ) into a wedding venue – a flexible space for bespoke marquee receptions allowing couples to ‘design their own wedding’. I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face when he woke up to find Carling cans strewn across our beautiful lawn.

But it was worth it when I packed up the bride’s boot with wedding gifts and she said they’d had the best day ever! Nothing is more rewarding then a happy client.

Re-connect with contacts and through social media!

It really is all about contacts & networking. Think back to the people you have met in your life time, catch up with old contacts, build on relationships (face to face wherever possible!), anyone you meet could be a potential client or work referral.

The more I talked to people, the more I discovered like minded people who were working independently. I have received so much support and tips from fellow freelancers and a colleague from earlier in my career Gemma Savage is now helping me take the business to the next level.

A post on twitter even landed me a fabulousoffice share with a celebrity stylist on Charlotte Street!

Volunteer

In this competitive world you have to demonstrate that you are determined and passionate to succeed in your profession. Offer your time and services free of charge, whether that’s to gain experience or offer your experience.

When the opportunity arose to volunteer for Team GB on the Olympic Games I jumped at the chance. Based at the Team GB clubhouse hosting medalists & their families, it was an amazing experience, great for contacts and I felt truly inspired by all the athletes I met.

We also volunteered to help Esc the City with their recent 3rd anniversary event, with an impressive speaker line up, huge attendee list and a strong belief in what they are trying to achieve – we loved being a part of it!

So 2012 is coming to a close, the incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games have been and gone, what has Golborne Events achieved and was it worth giving it try?? With 1600 guests entertained, 6 clients, an office in Charlotte Street, and 5 Christmas Parties to go, I’d say so!  

 

  • Adele

    Thanks for sharing Natalia :) And thanks again for helping with Esc’s bday bash – you and Gemma made the night run SO much easier, and we’re very grateful…