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Event Manager

Job Ref #6752

Position Details:

Requirements

  • Experience: Proven and significant experience of managing high scale events in a variety of settings, dealing with delegates and clients both private and corporate, a team player with leadership qualities. Ideally educated to degree level, or equivalent event management qualification such as NVQ Level 7
  • Current first aid training and fire marshal training are desirable
  • Competencies: Experience of dealing with all aspects and types of events and clients, outstanding communication skills, excellent organisational and time-management skills, problem solving and ‘thinking on your feet’. Plus competencies as listed at the end of this document.

Lillibrooke Manor and Stanlake Park are busy conference and event venues in Maidenhead and Twyford, Berkshire.  Events consist of weddings, conferences, dinners, parties, product launches.  Numbers range from 50 – 300.  An Event Manager must cover all aspects of an event from a wedding ceremony, to food service, to a summer evening reception, managing venue, catering and event.  Client facing, this role requires excellent customer service and staff management skills and good problem solving proficiency.

Rationale

As an expanding company, Heritage Venues Limited are always looking for experienced Event Managers to oversee our ever-increasing portfolio of events, upholding Heritage Venues’ values and ensuring a high standard of service.  The significant investment in the venues over recent years has allowed the offering, and its pricing, to be taken more up-market.  The investment and improvements are ongoing, and while the venues retain the rustic, warm and friendly atmosphere that appeals to our clients, we are seeing an increasing expectation for very high quality, proactive and professional service.  The Event Manager is responsible for ensuring the expected level is delivered on the day.  You will ensure that events run to schedule and that clients have all they need at all times.

An event manager is, above all, a project manager who understands the importance of keeping on top of the whole event, in all areas of the barns and grounds.  We want to see enthusiastic candidates with fresh ideas and the organisational skills required to not leave anything about an event to chance.

You will have overall management of an event, but will be supported by an Event Supervisor where required, usually for events with 70+ guests.  This is a supporting role, designed to allow Event Managers to take a step back at key times to have a clear overview of the event and ensure that all requirements are fulfilled in a timely fashion.  This gives the EM more opportunity to spend time with the couple/organiser to discuss their requirements, to be on hand to ensure they have everything they need, and to more closely observe guests and activity during an event so they pick up on things that need to be done/resolved before it’s requested.  We believe that this makes a big difference to the perceived service level our guests receive.

Event Managers frequently work excessively long shifts and the company believes it’s important to bring shift lengths down to reasonable levels – both to guarantee attentive service throughout, and to protect the health and safety of its employees, so this is another layer to the Supervisor role – they may manage setup, allowing the EM to arrive later and cutting down on hours worked.

Responsibilities

  • Running events from start to finish according to requirements and objectives as set out in the Event paperwork that you have been provided in advance
  • Ensure adherence to all aspects of paperwork
  • Ensure Health & Safety procedures and record keeping are strictly adhered to
  • Ensure all staff are briefed on the Fire Policy & Evacuation procedure at each event
  • Liaise with and brief all event staff to ensure smooth running of the day
  • Supervise all staff during event
  • Liaise with the chefs continuously throughout an event to ensure smooth running of all catering aspects of an event.  In particular, let them know immediately if there are changes to timings
  • Liaise with vendors and suppliers coming onsite, ensuring that they are onsite at set times and have completed jobs by set times
  • Coordinate all operations on the day
  • Manage Event Supervisor and ensure they know which aspects of an event you would like them to take control of
  • Ensure event is completed smoothly and step up to resolve any problems that might occur
  • Ensure the client is happy and encourage testimonials
  • Analyse the event’s success and complete post event feedback report fully

The role:

  • Familiarise yourself with the event itinerary beforehand and think ahead to plan timings, areas being used, special requirements and menus. This will enable you to answer questions from clients/guests/staff as soon as you arrive onsite. We will aim to send the event paperwork a good time in advance of the event; you will be given the final version on the day as there may be last minute updates and/or changes.  Any queries should be raised beforehand direct with the Events & Operations Manager or Coordinator
  • Ensure that everything on the paperwork has been delivered and anticipate anything extra the client may need on the day
  • To meet with the Event Supervisor upon arrival to discuss the event so that they can communicate any requests made by the client during set-up before you have arrived, and to check set-up has been fully completed as required.
  • To meet with the Chef as soon as possible after your arrival onsite to go over times, menus, dietaries, service and any other relevant details to ensure no discrepancies between your/the chef’s information
  • To maintain clear communication with the Event Supervisor (by radio and in person) to enable them to update on tasks completed, and to update them on any tasks requiring their attention
  • To provide feedback from the team and guests to the E&O Manager, via paperwork or email after event, and make practical suggestions for service improvements. This will include any areas of extra training you feel you or other staff may need
  • To use initiative to ensure that all is in place at any given time and completing anything required. To solve problems such as early guest arrival, requests for different drinks, etc.

Duties:

Set up

  • Usually the Event Supervisor will set up the venue for an event using table plans and event paperwork provided – setting tables, ceremonies, conferences, etc. but upon your arrival onsite, ensure things are set up as you deem necessary and manage any last things – drink reception, heating, lighting, etc. and ensure set up is completed in good time, allowing for early guest arrival
  • To carry out a final double check on completion to ensure everything is correct and nothing has been missed – eg Pimm’s bike, garden games, cake knife, Pimm’s prep/fruit, audio visual … etc
  • To ensure side gates are open and team allocated to car park duty at the appropriate time

Health & Safety

  • Check for any hazards and ensure they are removed before guests or staff enter wherever possible
  • Remain vigilant throughout an event and take any necessary action. As well as physical hazards, all staff are responsible for challenging anything unsafe – including suppliers and guests.  Fire safety is a particular risk to the timber barns, and should be firmly challenged/managed.  As part of your training we will provide company policies and instructions around use of candles and sparklers which must be strictly observed.
  • Ensure no mobile phones are used by the team at an event unless they are in the staff room having their formal break. The main reason for this policy is that they are working in a high-risk environment, with limited space, sharp knives, glass and occasionally slippery floors if a spill has just happened.  Lack of attention in this environment is not acceptable – and equally nor is being unavailable if they remove themselves to look at their phone
  • If an accident occurs, complete the Accident Book and Incident form. Clear and full details should be given.  These should be left with the paperwork at the end of the event
  • Complete fire extinguisher and other specified checks prior to guests arriving

Staff Supervision – duties

  • Please remember at all times, that you are a role model to other staff and as such, you should behave in a way that is befitting to your role – professional and polite at all times, regardless of whether or not you believe a guest can see or hear you. Do not do anything you have told staff not to – use your mobile phone, talk about a guest, sit on the work surface, etc.
  • Staff arrival – ensure correct uniforms are worn, team are well presented (no trainers, dirty fingernails etc), log their arrival time on staffing sheet – try to make contact with anyone who is more than 15 minutes late for shift start (see sealed envelope with confidential contact details). If no response, alert the E&O Manager or Coordinator straight away
  • Where clients are on site setting up around the venue, allocate a team Fire Marshal to be responsible for their evacuation in the event of an alarm where you will be setting up different areas
  • For new starters or those on trial shifts, 15 minutes will be added to the beginning of their shift to allow for induction. You are their first impression of Heritage Venues as an employer – provide a friendly and informative welcome, tour the venue and complete the induction checklist, ask them to sign, and add to the event paperwork
  • Also see Staff Supervision – culture below

Service

  • Working from the table plan and dietary information, liaise with Chef to the agreed service order, ensure waiting staff listen attentively to the chef / know what they are serving, and pay particular attention to allergens/dietary requirements and who they will be served to. As EM, you should always be stationed in the Great Barn to oversee delivery to the tables and to answer any questions guests may have.  Use your Supervisor to oversee kitchen-side delivery if necessary for a complicated service
  • Subtly indicate the next activity, e.g. when clearing can start, when champagne can be served – preparation in advance of these key events are key to smooth and efficient service running to expected timings.
  • Be aware of microphones used for speeches or acoustic music – switch off when not in use and do not place in front of speakers
  • When DJ/band starts, it is important to keep the Great Barn doors closed to avoid complaints from neighbours. Where staffing allows, and where doors are open (particularly those to the garden), staff should be allocated to shut them frequently (or even stand by them to open/close for guests) if possible.  Decibel readings should be taken and recorded.

Breaks

  • Decide when the best time for staff breaks are, depending on timings for each event – for a wedding, for example, this is usually during speeches, when staff are required to be out of the main room anyway. Ensure breaks are taken at the right time, and that people return when they should.  There is a seating area to the rear of the kitchens for use in the summer – strictly no smoking as there are gas canisters present!

End of Event

  • Plan ahead to do as much as possible after service to prepare for close-down. Bear in mind that for a long evening event your team will be tired
  • At the end of a Sunday event, pull big bins out from staffing area to main courtyard to the wall opposite the Engine House to be collected following morning
  • Allocate team member(s) for car park duty prior to end time – see Noise Reduction method statement. It is important we ensure no cars leave via the main drive in the early hours to avoid complaints
  • If cleaners are in, turn off all heating, lock AV box and bar fridges, leave paperwork in galley kitchen, put bar monies into the safe in the bond, along with the duty mobile phone, post main event keys into red post box at top of main drive as leave
  • If no cleaners are in, do all of the above, and lock entire site, ensuring all heating and lighting is off and main gates are locked

Staff Supervision – culture

  • To provide clear, helpful instruction to the team, including an overview of the event and timings – always do a full event briefing to all staff. Wherever time allows, explain the reason for things being done the way they are where relevant – people retain learning and instruction better this way, and seeing the ‘bigger picture’ encourages higher job satisfaction
  • To monitor timing of tasks and allocate/re-allocate staff accordingly to avoid timing overruns
  • To provide a friendly and fair working environment, establish a strong professional working relationship with team members to ensure they feel able and willing to discuss any issues of concern with you, or to contribute with suggestions that might improve the environment or the service. Note any HR issues on feedback form.  Deal with any management issues requiring immediate response, such as reminding staff in a professional manor, what you expect of them.  Do not allow yourself to be drawn away from your duties for any length of time.
  • To be aware of your own behaviour and supervision style during high stress times, eg service or when timings are slipping. You are a representative of the company and all dealings with staff must be professional and fair.  The company will support you in any dispute or grievance, but only if your own conduct has been appropriate. As examples, it is never necessary to lose your temper/shout at someone, use sarcasm, encourage a ‘do what I say’ culture, show favouritism, or to make or encourage negative comments about guests

Customer Service

  • Provide high levels of customer service and model this to your colleagues. Interact positively, politely, smile where appropriate, take quick action where you can.  The ideal is to be ‘one step ahead’ and observe guests discreetly to step in and meet their needs without them having to ask – eg a shiver may prompt you to close a door or turn up the heating, an empty water bottle can be replaced without it being asked for, or umbrellas offered if it rains while guests are outside
  • To confidently engage with clients using positive body language and listening skills
  • Defer to E&O Manager post-event if something required further attention

Competencies:

Heritage Venues’ culture is based on the Institute of Customer Service competencies:

Client First
Persuasive communication
Resilience
Change & Innovation
Making Considered Decisions
Planning & Organising
Developing Self
Goal Focus
Effective Communication
Team Working
Business Awareness

These relate to four main areas of Client, Colleague, Organisation and Development, and help inform behaviours and expectations between us all.

The above Job Description is correct at the time of writing, and the role may also include any other duties commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post, for which the post holder has the necessary experience and/or training.

Application Form:

Venues

The Heritage Venues Team deliver their bespoke events at two outstanding locations – each venue an event and wedding planner’s dream! Both handpicked Berkshire venues are steeped in history and character. Envisage your event at the stunning Lillibrooke Manor in Maidenhead in one of the beautiful barns or the Cloistered Garden. Perhaps you may prefer the equally breathtaking Stanlake Park in Twyford where you can sit looking over the picturesque vineyard of the estate. Both our venues are always exclusive hire making it your home for the day where we welcome your guests as if they were our own.

Lillibrooke Manor

170+ capacity exclusive-use! Thames Valley Wedding Venue of the Year 2019. Hitched Finalists Best Barn Venue 2020
Venue Details

Stanlake Park

150+ capacity exclusive-use! Beautiful vineyard wedding setting in Twyford, Berkshire.
Venue Details