Business Design Centre


Countdown to 30: An interview with our newest team members Samantha and Paige


We are now over the half way mark on the countdown to October and what better way to mark this than with a double interview from two of our newest members of staff!?

Each year the BDC gives several third year Events Management students the opportunity to take on a one year placement in the Venue Services team, working daily on exhibitions. We catch up with Venue Services Coordinators, Samantha Golding and Paige Alexander – this year’s young stars of the industry – to find out what it’s like starting off their events journey at the venue.

Firstly, what made you both want to work in events?

Paige: “Well, I love going to see live music and just love the aspect of bringing an event like that together. I thought, what a better place to work than on organising something you enjoy!”

Samantha: “Yes, I agree – I’ve volunteered on festival for years and that’s what attracted me to it too.”

How about the University of Gloucestershire, how did you both end up studying together there?

S: “I’d heard that it was the best university to go to for events courses – it’s definitely lived up to its reputation. I can also understand why they insist on taking a year out in the industry too; I’ve learnt almost as much while I’ve been at the BDC than I have in the last two years!”

P: “For me I hadn’t even heard of it until I worked on the Olympics in 2012. Some of the people I was working with had been studying there and they kept saying how great it was. It really made me change my mind because it wasn’t originally somewhere I’d considered, but I’m glad I did.”

What made you apply to work at the BDC for your industry placement?

P: “I’ve wanted to work in a venue for a long time, so the opportunity was ideal. I applied through our placement office and came down for an interview with Georgina. Islington isn’t far from my home town so it’s been a perfect place to work and I’ve really enjoyed progressing to work on project management.”

S: “Yes, I’ve always wanted to work on business events and that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. I’d love to gain experience on the organiser side of conferences and exhibitions too.”

Can you tell us a bit more about your roles?

S: “As Venue Service Coordinators we primarily deal with exhibitors, their orders, queries and making sure we have all their paperwork ready for an exhibition.”

P: “Yes, and the service desk!”

S: “Of course – how could I forget?”

P: “The service desk is an exhibitor’s first port of call when they’re on site and need anything for their stand, and it can get quite busy. It’s great to meet some of the people that you’ve been speaking to though.”

What’s it like working as part of the BDC team?

S: “You can’t imagine how good the team morale is until you are part of it. We were invited to the staff summer party before we’d even started the placement and got to meet everyone. It was the first time I’d met my Director, Bradley. We all went bowling and it was so informal and welcoming, I really felt part of the team from the outset.”

P: “It was nice that we were both in the same boat, even though we never properly met at university we were both there together for the first time so it wasn’t intimidating, but I think that’s what the staff here are like – they are friendly, make time to get to know you and really care.”

What’s the best event that you have worked on?

S: “For me it has to be Bubble. The huge shelf and rail package let me indulge in my organisational spreadsheet skills! Visually though, the exhibition is amazing. From the branding to the individual exhibitors products I just loved it.”

P: “To coordinate I really enjoyed Be:Fit London, but in terms of managing it has to be Master Investors for me. It was brilliant to develop my relationship with the organisers and to help them bring the event to life – well that’s what I enjoy about event management.”

You can still read our previous Countdown to 30 features in our blog.

Posted by Kate

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