For our spotlight interview for December, we interviewed Lorri Johnston from Imago Venues. Her role as Business Development Manager has allowed her to gain a huge range of experience and expertise within her industry, she speaks to us about her background as well as her perfect weekend. Read below to see what she had to say:
1. Tell us about your professional experience so far working within the industry?
I have been in the event industry for over 30 years, did I just type that!!!!
The change in the industry is totally dramatic, the tools we have to make events bespoke to each client is just AMAZING!! I started from organising a table for 2 too conferences for over 300. My main feel good feeling is taking the pain away from the client giving them the reassurance that "We have got this" handling all their needs. The one thing that does not change is people’s passion and love for this job.
2. Can you tell us a little about Imago Venues?
Imago Venues is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Loughborough University. All our profits are gift aided back to the University to help fund academic excellence on campus. We have 5 venues in the portfolio:
Burleigh Court Conference Centre & Hotel is our flagship 4-star venue
The Link Hotel is our 3-star hotel which is ranked #1 in Loughborough on TripAdvisor
Holywell Park is our day conference centre and training venue
The Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel is our brand new, world first performance hotel with special altitude-controlled bedrooms.
We also sell Loughborough Campus’s sports and conference facilities out of term time.
We provide great venues for meetings, events and overnight stays.
3. Describe what a working day in your shoes would entail?
My shoes are always comfortable. My role as a Business Development Manager is all about bringing new business and developing current business into Imago Venues, Each day always differs. I can be out at an exhibition shouting about Imago Venues at Loughborough University or visiting clients, touring potential clients around the venues, and more than anything working along side the sales team in general as that’s how the sales jigsaw works!
4. Have you seen a swift change in the industry within the last couple of years, if so, what are these and how do you think these specific changes have impacted your industry?
For me the change in the industry is the people. Meaning I’m a little old school with that "course we can do that" we seem to be a little cautious sometimes, in the words of Richard Branson “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
5. What do you love most about your job at Imago Venues?
Sounds all Mushy!! However, it's a TEAM thing. We work well together, communicate and have so many different characters in the office.
6. Do you have a favourite team building event, if so what is it?
Sports day…. Every day of the week!!!!!!
7. Did you have a dream job when you were growing up, if so, what was it?
I wanted to be a singer and dancer so much, however, my music teacher would not even allow me in the school choir. I then wanted to be an actress and they allowed me to be a tree!!!!
8. If you could choose one thing off your bucket list to do today what would it be, and why?
Are you going to make this happen Off Limits???? I would love to meet Cheryl Tweedy and have a drink and a good old chat about life. I so get her.
9. A perfect weekend in your eyes would look like….
A few cheeky beers after work on the Friday with My Paul (BF), Saturday hair and nails done and then either dinner in on the sofa watching a film (Not horror as Paul wont sleep). Finally, Sunday seeing all 5 children.