Emma Bowles, Senior Events Fundraiser at ellenor, has been part of our team since February 2017. Whilst studying English & American Literature and Film at university, Emma joined the university's film society and subsequently delved into the world of events – and has since managed all manner of events from week long film festivals to exhibitions to mass participation events. Emma says, “My favourite thing about having a career in events is that you see an idea go from a vision to the real thing. I really enjoy watching people enjoy an event that I’ve worked so hard to organise; especially when it makes a big impact on the community.”
We asked Emma some questions about what it’s like behind-the-scenes in the Events team of one of Kent’s leading hospice charities.
Q: What is your favourite part of organising events for ellenor and why?
A: Obviously I love the planning aspect – from booking the venue to making sure everything runs smoothly on the day. It’s really satisfying to see it all come together.
Q: What have been some challenges in organising events for ellenor and how have you overcome them?
A: Of course there’s always times when things don’t go to plan. Part of my job is making sure that we have a strong contingency plan in place so that if things do go wrong on the day, hopefully no-one will know they’ve gone wrong!
Q: What is our most popular event and why do you think it is so popular with our supporters?
A: Definitely our Twilight Walk – it’s a very sentimental event for our supporters and continues to grow year on year. It’s based in our core area of Gravesend and is open to people of all ages, so families can take part together in memory of a loved one. It’s also very accessible to a wide audience as you don’t have to be particularly fit to take part and the entry price is reasonable with an option to raise more via sponsorship. We really do turn the streets of Gravesend orange for the evening, it’s fantastic.
Q: What has been your favourite event to organise since working at ellenor and why?
A: I loved organising our Great Gatsby Orange Ball back in November 2017. I had a lot of fun with the Gatsby theme around the event as our events don’t usually tend to have themes, so it gave me a different challenge to work on. The night itself was a lot fun and people really enjoyed getting in the spirit and dressing up 20s style! I’m currently planning this year’s Twilight Walk - I really enjoy working through my very long to-do list in the lead up to the event. This year is set to be bigger than ever and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold on the night.
Q: What’s the biggest event you have coming up this summer - any top tips for keeping calm under pressure as an event draws nearer?
A: Our Twilight Walk on Friday 21 September 2018. Last year we had 750 walkers, and this year we are aiming for 1,000 – I have no doubt that we will reach it! As for keeping calm under pressure, again it’s really important to have a plan for every eventuality as on the day everything is pretty much out of your control. I always make sure to have a clipboard with me at the event full of all the information I need – including the event plan, contacts, a layout of the event and so on. I also reach out to staff and volunteers at the event to make sure they know what their role is and how the event will run. On the actual day, as long as you’ve planned as well as you could, just relax and enjoy the event.
For more information on upcoming events at ellenor, head over to our website: www.ellenor.org/events