The small interview: Emma Gaymer
Emma Gaymer, Sales and Marketing Manager at RSA House, walks CN through her career in the events industry.
How did you get into the industry?
I started working as a waitress for a contract caterer during school summer holidays, and loved it, even the 14 hour shifts!
How has the event industry changed since you started in the business?
Everything has gone online and there is so much more choice for clients in terms of scope of venue types. Expectations have changed, for example in ability to deliver to specific dietary needs and preferences. Companies have become more aware of the cost of outsourcing events, and office spaces have become more fluid with flexible styles of working, enabling them to have more event space in house. Booking events externally has become a more carefully considered cost for a business, the decision process has become more involved and the ways of sourcing a venue, more plentiful.
Which is your favourite space at RSA House?
It has to be the Vaults – I just love how atmospheric they are.
What has been the most memorable event concept that you’ve been part of?
The one that springs to mind was at the resort I worked at in Florida – they wanted a wow design for dinner, with large centrepieces and lighting, however they were concerned about arrangements on the tables distorting the view or affecting conversations. So working with an event design company, we suspended the centrepieces and lighting from the ceiling using wires. All these years on, I still remember it – it was so unique and just absolutely stunning.
Food safaris are another favourite of mine. I just love the concept of being able to have a different course at a different venue, as it creates such a unique atmosphere and experience.
What do you love most about your job?
The scope and variety of tasks and the many different people you meet along the way. Being able to exceed client expectations is also incredibly rewarding
What has been your proudest moment in your professional career?
That has to be a toss-up between:
- Achieving my dream so early in my career in being part of a new hotel opening
- Successfully launching open enrolment courses for hospitality professionals at The University of Surrey
What is the biggest challenge that comes with your job?
Balancing the demands of multiple stakeholders, whilst having an adequate amount of time supporting and developing the team, alongside a changing external market with increased competition.
What would be your fantasy event?
It would likely be a plane ride away in a very scenic and warm location, with optional team based day activities, and followed by an evening event that would be inspired by the nightclub Coco Bongo, in Mexico, and with catering being led by Heston Blumenthal.
If you have one piece of advice for anyone starting out in the industry, what would it be?
Get stuck in and don’t be shy, offer support in all areas of the business and ask questions, this will help with understanding where your interest and enjoyment lies, and you can then choose where to specialise.
What is the future of events, what are some of the trends you are starting to see that are only going to get bigger?
Technology is changing all the time and we have seen the recent impact of virtual reality in events. Food trends always have to be a focus, the rise in demand for vegan options will continue in 2019. Growing attendance at events will become less personalised, with online marketing and social media options evolving.
In another life, what job would you be doing?
I would be a tennis professional, travelling the world and winning at Wimbledon!