Caroline Medcalf Director of Events at NYS Group is our spotlight interviewee for December. She has a huge amount of experience within the hotel industry as well as the big agency world. She loves that every day she faces something new, no two days are the same. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, sipping on one or maybe two G&T’s. Read on to find out more about her professional experience and her favourite motivational quote:
1. Tell us about your professional experience and background working within the industry?
I initially started my career within the hotel industry over 20 years ago, working on conferences and events. I then took a leap into the agency world about 10 years ago, and I haven’t looked back. I genuinely love everything about this industry and feel very lucky to have been able to build a career doing something I’m extremely passionate about.
2. Describe a typical working day in your shoes?
That’s a part of why I love my job because there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ – I could be meeting with clients to discuss their next event; spending time with the team to discuss upcoming projects; supporting the team onsite anywhere in the world; running an event; or sitting at home in my office (in my scruffs) catching up on emails. Its so completely varied and different and I never know where I will be from one week to the next, which keeps it not only varied, but exciting too.
3. Before working in your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I tried my hand at a variety of part-time roles in my late teens and early twenties before discovering this industry – I was an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, a nightclub host, an Architectural Technician, and I also sold newspaper advertising.
4. What do you find the most challenging in your current role?
To constantly raise the bar, to improve on what we did the previous year and to keep reinventing our offering to be better than we have ever been before. Over 90% of our customers are repeat clients so we almost become a victim of our own success, in the sense that every event we run must be better, newer, slicker than anything we have done before. It’s a challenge to keep at the very forefront of what is happening across all areas, whether that be venues, technology, creative, sustainable solutions, or catering (to name a few) – it’s an industry that’s everchanging and we need to always know what’s fresh, to make sure we’re always offering the best, forward-thinking solution.
5. Do you have a favourite team building event, if so, what is it?
It really depends on the type of event and the client – it’s true no two are ever the same so I think having a wide-range of options available, whilst providing an option to be creative with those different team builds is a winner.
If I had to pick one team build option, it would be Off Limit’s Crystal Quest because it’s an imaginative and engaging option that is great for varying audiences. Not only is it great fun, but it also provides mental and physical challenges, all whilst building team morale. Plus, with the Great British weather being something we always need to consider for our events, I love that you can do this both inside and outside.
6. What’s the best thing about your job?
There are many things – I love how varied it is, I love working with a strong team, I love that it’s an ever changing, exciting industry, but for me, ultimately, the best thing is seeing everything come together, a project that has taken all of the individual elements I love, and brought them together in one successful event.
In my role, I fortunately get to see the whole process from start to finish – partnering with the customer to understand their precise requirements; working with our Creative Team to come up with the concepts that will bring those objectives to life; pitching those initial ideas to clients; and working with our Event Managers to find the best venue and suppliers; and ultimately seeing all of this pull together throughout the project management phases right through to delivery onsite. For me, we’re only as good as our last event so to see it come together and then receive our clients’ amazing feedback at the end of it all provides great job satisfaction. The satisfaction of a job well done will never go away, no matter how long I’ve been in the job.
7. What do you do to relax in your spare time?
Relax?! We have three teenagers at home so life is never quite relaxing with them and their friends around, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We borrow my friend’s chocolate Labrador ‘Ralph’ and go for long walks in the Yorkshire countryside or take him for a day out to the seaside. I am also a huge advocate of Yoga so if I want to completely switch off, I try to practice at home as well as in the studio as it helps to clear my mind and of course, it’s great exercise.
8. If you could choose one thing off your bucket list to do today what would it be, and why?
My bucket list includes a wish to travel to lots of destinations, places which I am yet to visit. If I had to tick something off the bucket list today, I would book a holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia which is next on my travel list.
9. What does your perfect weekend include?
Catching up with girlfriends for a G&T or glass of fizz (maybe two) somewhere nice in Harrogate; yoga; dog walking; fresh air; a huge family Sunday lunch with our children and their assorted friends and partners; a glass of red wine; reading; and maybe a spot of shopping – oh and sleep!
10. Do you have a favourite motivational quote?
I have many but I think my all-time favourite comes from Dolly Parton (who I love!)
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose”.