Countdown to 30: An interview with the BDC's Emma Clarke!
The fourth instalment celebrating our 30th is finally here! If you have been following the blog you'll know throughout the year we will be interviewing colleagues, tenants, suppliers and friends of the BDC in our monthly blog article ‘Countdown to 30’. February's post is with our Conference Sales Manager, Emma Clarke. She tells us how her passions are aligned with the company's and a bit more about how great Islington is...
How long have you been working at the BDC?
"I’ve been at the Business Design Centre since 2010 when I moved over from the IET: Savoy Place. My role is Conference Sales Manager and I deal with the running of conferences and events as well as selling the venue space. Day to day I conduct site visits but also like to get out and meet potential clients, agencies and attend conferences and networking events too."
What has been your favourite event?
"I have a great relationship with many event managers and we are lucky enough to have a high retention rate so get see them return year after year. Over the last five years I have had the pleasure of working with some brilliant companies, but the events that have stuck out for me have been with Marks and Spencer and LinkedIn. I love seeing the creativity that people bring to the venue and the way that they transform the space. It’s great to be able to have an input in the process and see the event through from the sale to the live day."
How has the venue changed since you started?
"Being Grade 2 listed you can’t change the fabric of the building too much however, there have been some innovative renovations such as the ends of the venue being replaced with glass and the recent restaurant transformation (pictured). The venue isn’t just the building though, it’s about the people. It’s still the family run business its always been and we don’t have a high turnover of staff so I have some great friends to work with, that’s part of what I love about it – there’s no where else I’d rather spend five days a week (other than maybe on a beach!)."
Islington’s a great London borough, what’s your favourite local place?
"Before working at the BDC I hadn’t really explored much of North London but the area is fantastic. There’s everything you need! I go to the Virgin Active down the road from work in the mornings which is handy, you can shop and run errands on a lunch break and as for restaurants and bars – you can take your pick! My favourite place to eat is probably Mem and Laz, they have a varied two course lunch menu which has some really tasty options. After hours you can head to one of the many bars, Dirty Martini has just opened and you can’t beat a night at Lucky Voice!"
You’ve done a lot for charity whilst you’ve been at the BDC, can you tell us more about that?
"Sport is my biggest passion which is easy to tie into fundraising. Running the London Marathon is my greatest achievement as well as cycling from Newcastle to London – a ride which I organised for the BDC. We do a lot as a company which is great to be involved in and one of the company’s objectives is always related to giving back. I am currently a mentor for a student with the career ready programme, and am happy to get involved with anything the team organise, whether it’s the annual event for elderly local residents or tidying up a local park. I get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteering my time."
What’s the future got in store at the BDC?
"The calendar is always packed and there are some great events in 2016, so it’s going to be important to put back into the building when we can. We are going to have to work creatively to keep our offer fresh, and stay innovative to ensure that we put our clients and visitors first and make sure that they get the best possible experience. Personally, I look forward to my progression. I sit within the middle management team and feel empowered to contribute actively to the development of the venue – so for the future? Well, I see myself staying here."
Missed the other interviews..? You can catch up on the previous Countdown to 30 features in our blog.
Posted by Kate.