We recently took some time out with Andy Edwards to discuss his new venture, “The Event House”, his first solo mission! We find out why he decided to take the plunge, what scared him the most about it and what he would say to anyone who is thinking of taking a step into a freelance or consultancy role.
Here’s what he had to say…
What made you decide to go solo?
I’ve had the ambition of going solo for some time now. The timing was the key, with having just spent a break from the industry to travel South East Asia for six months, it made it easier to make this decision upon my return to the UK. After 18 years’ experience in the hospitality and events industry, it was undoubtedly the right time to take the plunge.
What excited you the most about going it alone?
All business decisions, to an extent, are risky, but also very exciting. I have had the pleasure in gaining so many contacts within the industry as well as a healthy customer base, that it really felt right. The buzz of full autonomy in the direction you take the business is very liberating. Also, every day giving it your absolute all, knowing that if I land a piece of business – it’s a direct result of all the effort made. I’ve always worked hard to earn money & always give 100%, so having this opportunity to go it alone is hugely gratifying.
And on the flip side, what scared you?
It’s very scary – the biggest one is the thought of failure; ‘where will the business come from?’ I try not to think about this and maintain a positive frame of mind every day. Keeping busy and strategising to get your name out there & networking if you have time without a project or event, it is key. The business is still very young, just under two months, so there is a huge amount of work yet to be done to get where I want to be.
What have you learnt so far?
To not expect the world to land at your feet immediately and do not panic what the future holds, but to ensure your current project is done to perfection. Every project I undertake must be done with precision and care. For me, repeat business is the best testimony I could ever receive, and I pride myself at going above and beyond. Exceeding expectations for an event is the greatest reward – so the priority is always my next project.
Also, I am learning where to steer the business, as I currently offer freelance services as well as consultative services where required, under the guise of The Event House, hoping to one day grow & expand the business – it’s currently finding the balance & positioning myself correctly.
What have you enjoyed the most so far?
The sense of freedom and steering the business at my own pace. Making decisions and not jumping in too quickly, chasing the sale. Being able to create a website, build my story & run events with my reputation on the line is very enjoyable. The fulfilment after every event is even more euphoric knowing so much care and attention was put into it & have my name marked on it.
How have you applied your years of experience in the industry to The Event House?
I have been fortunate enough to have two large, upcoming events. Currently, therefore, my experience is being solely placed in event planning & execution as a freelancer. My first event as an independent was in Bali for a ‘Back to the 80s’ festival, and I had to use all my event experience to ensure all the components were in full harmony – from branding to catering, event flow to briefings. Additionally, my knowledge in all things team building, entertainment, and theming from my days at Capita as a specialist, and subsequently, an Event Director gives me that competitive edge! I would hope my experience both within event agencies & businesses alike, will hold me in good stead for the future.
Is there any advice that you would give to anyone who is thinking of setting up their own events company?
If you have the event knowledge & experience, then I would fully recommend it. It is a risk, yes, but if you apply yourself, are good with people and passionate about events, then take the plunge. To be honest, The Event House is still very fresh having been open for less than two months, thus I’m still very much getting to grips with things, but the important thing is to have faith in yourself!
And obviously, the most important question of all… Peaky Blinders or Game of Thrones?
Has to be Game of Thrones, minus the ending! (Although keen to watch Peaky Blinders).
A bit about Andy:
Andy is no stranger to the events industry and has won awards for his work including, C&IT Best Utility and Energy Event in 2015 for the BP Shipping ‘Riding the Waves’ centennial events in Greenwich, Singapore, Houston, Chicago and back to the UK for a grand finale at Grosvenor House; which contributed to his 2016 C&IT A-List accolade.
With a career in events and hospitality spanning over 18 years (so far), Andy has travelled the world working with the best companies in the business, and subsequently the best clients, including Mercedes Benz, Virgin Media, Boots and Arup to name a few. His hard work, dedication and his determination to succeed in full-service event organisation accumulated to his appointment as Event Director at Capita Travel & Events.
Taking a break from agency work in 2018, Andy hopped aboard Imagine Cruising where he was responsible for organising high-end onshore sporting events, celebrity concerts and lavish dinners across the globe and in early 2019 took six months to travel South East Asia.
Now with his feet firmly back in the UK, Andy is ready for a new chapter in his career, taking to the helm of The Event House, an independent event management and consultancy company that covers off all of your event needs. Andy will assist you with concept creation, end-to-end project management, event delivery and everything else in between.