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In The Spotlight With Anita Lowe

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Anita Lowe, Venues and Events International CEO is a dynamic force in the events industry and her success is reflected in her prosperous events planning and venue sourcing business. She is passionate about continually challenging the status quo and thinking of dynamic ways for clients to engage at events.

We sat down with Anita to gain her valuable insight and experience into the events industry and here's what she had to share:

Tell us about your background in the events industry?

I originally started my career in events as part of the sales team for Holiday Inn in London, before becoming Sales Manager of the Holiday Inn (now Marriott) Aberdeen. After 8 years I was offered the position of Sales and Marketing Manager for the newly built Holiday Inn (now Marriott) Swindon, where I secured £3 million of confirmed business, prior to opening, the highest ever for any Holiday Inn. In 1989, my husband, Chris, and I launched Venues Unlimited, our own hotel and conference booking agency. Since then business continued to grow becoming one of the UK's leading event management, conference placement, venue finding and accommodation booking agencies. In September 2010, we sold the newly named Venues Event Management to Expotel, and in August 2012, Expotel (including Venues Event Management) was purchased by Capita Travel and Events where I became Director of Meetings and Events. I left Capita in 2014 and in 2015 launched Venues and Events International Limited where I am now Chief Executive. I lead a team that have worked with me for a number of years and continue to work with clients who were originally serviced by Venues Unlimited over 20 years ago.

Why did you decide to setup Venues and Events International?

We felt from listening to our clients that there was a need for more of a boutique type agency which could give a high touch experience and spend more time understanding client needs, rather than a large corporate organisation. We've certainly been proved right. Where do you see the business in five years' time? ** this is our 3-year financial target Our aim is to achieve £20m turnover by FY 2020-21

Given all your experience in the field, how has the industry evolved?

Whereas a few years ago there was an abundance of small agencies, many of which have now been consumed by the big corporates. There is a real need for the caring, boutique agency putting client's needs first & feeling like an extension of our clients' team. What trends do you see emerging in the corporate hospitality sector? We love to do client events where we take clients & their partners to hotels to experience their hospitality and build on our relationships

What is your favourite team building event?

The days of whizzing round a field on a quad bike are a bit of a distant memory, nowadays a GPS treasure hunt is great fun, and for a large number ‘Beatworks' is excellent.

What is your favourite place in the world to visit and why?

Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is out of this world, totally unique complete with a roof garden on top of 3 magnificent towers. The hotel has the world's largest rooftop infinity pool looking out over the city skyline.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage & then quietly leave the room!

We're looking forward to what Anita has to offer over the coming year and where she takes the Venues & Events International business. Watch this space.

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Written by Jenna Halford

26th Monday February 2018

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