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Stephanie is account manager at Eclipse where she acts as the main point of contact for clients, working with them from the concept stage through to the live event and giving them support throughout the process to ensure smooth delivery.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Each day can vary so much. Some days I will be in the office dealing with enquiries, working on quotes with the project managers, or doing pre-production stuff, but I’m lucky enough to work with a fantastic team where there is always plenty of banter and coffee on tap. If I have an event on it can mean an early start or late finish, depending on what the event is, but it usually involves me travelling into London to oversee the set-up and ensure everything is going to schedule and that the client is happy.

Sometimes I will be working on multiple events on the same day, so will have to dash between sites and venues, while trying to make sense of the London Underground. That’s never been one of my strengths, but I’m getting better at it!

What do you enjoy about working in the event industry?

That no two days are ever the same. I also love being able to visit new venues with clients. There are some beautiful places in London that I wouldn’t usually get to see if it wasn’t for the clients I work with.

What do you love most about your job?

Meeting new people and helping their vision for an event come to life.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?

When I moved into events three years ago, I didn’t have a clue what to expect. I had always been behind a desk in an office working nine to five, then all of a sudden I was in a client-facing role, rushing between venue visits and meetings and being responsible for managing my own time. I’ve overcome it by making TFL’s Journey Planner app and my Converse trainers my best friends.

If you weren’t working in events, what would you be doing?

I’d be a florist with my own little shop. I love flowers and making floral arrangements. Friends and family frequently receive floral-based gifts from me.

Creative event production company Eclipse lived up to its ‘anything is possible’ motto after unforeseen circumstances prompted a last-minute change of venue for a charity fundraiser it was producing.

A crew from Eclipse had just finished rigging the stage for Save the Children’s Summer in the City event at a City of London venue when the site was impacted by an unplanned incident.

As the venue was now deemed out of action for that night’s event, the organisers decided to move it to another venue in the city – just two hours before it was due to start.

Eclipse used teamwork and quick-thinking to ensure the event could still go ahead. While the onsite team de-rigged vital pieces of kit, Operations quickly organised vehicles and crew to collect, move and reinstall it at the new venue.

Also, quick to help were members of the Warehouse team, who arranged for equipment already in London to be diverted to the new venue as back-up. Eclipse staff from nearby Venue Partners and Projects were also on hand, dropping existing plans to be on hand to assist their colleagues.

Thanks to hard work by Eclipse and quick thinking from the event’s organisers, the night went ahead, providing the experience expected by 250 guests and raising vital funds for Save the Children.

Maxime Sabatini from Save the Children said Eclipse made an ‘incredible team effort’ and thanked everyone involved for producing a seamless event despite the venue change.

“I still can’t quite believe the events that unfolded. Thanks to Eclipse for springing into action when we decided to go ahead with the event and for getting all the AV to work so seamlessly.”

Jamie Castle, sales and marketing director at Eclipse said: “I’m so proud of the team who worked quickly to ensure event production was seamless despite the last-minute change of venue and of the support staff who dropped personal plans to help their colleagues. Their actions prove that, when the Eclipse team pulls together ‘anything is possible’.”

Team Eclipse has been busy in Seattle this week, continuing to deliver exceptional event production across the globe.

Almost 5,000 miles from Eclipse HQ, we documented our visit and the transformation of an event space that was soon unrecognisable!

We’re delighted to announce that Eclipse has won a prestigious industry award for its awe-inspiring approach to event production.

Eclipse took home the title for the Best Awards Event Production (on the night) at the 2019 Awards Awards at a glittering ceremony on Friday 17 May.

The company beat four other finalists in the category – designed to honour innovative and novel approaches to event production – for its work on the Global Energy Awards.

Eclipse has produced the Global Energy Awards, run by S&P Global Platts, for 20 years and presented its contribution to the 2018 ceremony as a prime example of its innovative, forward-thinking and creative approach.

Awards Awards judges said Eclipse had submitted a ‘very impressive’ entry which highlighted some ‘pretty high production values’. They also said the fact that Eclipse had produced the event for 20 years in a city with no short supply of its own AV companies ‘spoke volumes’ about its work.

Robin Purslow, managing director of Eclipse, said: “We are over the moon to have won the Best Awards Event Production (on the night) for our involvement with the Global Energy Awards, which are often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the energy world’.

“Having produced the awards every year since its inception back in 1999, we have been able to build a full understanding of award organisers S&P Global Platts and their requirements of the event. It’s this solid platform that has allowed us to push the boundaries in creative event production and we’re delighted to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to achieving continuity in creative and technical excellence.

‘Best Awards Event Production (on the night)’ was one of 11 award categories revealed at the Awards Awards, held at etc venues 133 Houndsditch.

We live in a fast-moving society where change is not only expected but encouraged. Take our working life, for example. The generation currently reaching retirement age is more likely to have worked at the same company for more than a decade, while, according to research by Deloitte, almost half of Millennials – those born between 1983 and 1994 – prefer to change job every two years.

Change has many positive connotations: It can be a chance to challenge the status quo and brings new and exciting opportunities for those instigating it. However, while ‘a change can be as good as a rest’, there are also many benefits to resisting it.

Longevity, especially when related to our workforce and our relationships with clients, is something we celebrate at Eclipse. Our business has evolved over the last 30 years and has adapted well to the many changes experienced by the event industry, but we have also focused on nurturing important relationships with clients and partnerships with venues.

The emphasis on continuity has paid off. For example, the strong relationship we have nurtured with S&P Global Platts is one of the reasons why Eclipse has been chosen to produce the Global Energy Awards every year since their inception in 1999. The organisers recognise the value in consistency and continuity of service and trust Eclipse to deliver time and again.

Of course, we have innovated and evolved within the production of the Global Energy Awards. Continuity doesn’t mean that we can’t keep things fresh and exciting. Nevertheless, it is easier to innovate for a client when you truly understand what they are trying to achieve.

Our recognition of the benefits of longevity in the events industry is why Eclipse supported the ‘Best Longstanding Awards Event’ category at the 2019 Awards Awards.

The category honoured awards that have been in existence since before the turn of the millennium, but have managed to keep the magic alive and breathed new life into a well-established brand.

Sponsoring this category within such prestigious industry awards felt like exactly the right fit for Eclipse. We applaud longevity and enjoyed celebrating this important achievement with the finalists and the category winner at the awards last May.

Eclipse is delighted to have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Awards Event Production (on the night)’ category of the 2019 Awards Awards for its work on the Global Energy Awards.

The creative event production company is one of five finalists within the award category which is designed to honour innovative and novel approaches to event production.

Eclipse has produced the Global Energy Awards, run by S&P Global Platts, for 20 years and entered its 20th anniversary event in December 2018 as a prime example of its awe-inspiring approach to innovative event production.

Winners for all 11 award categories will be revealed at the Awards Awards 2019 on Friday 17 May at etc.venues 133 Houndsditch.

As well as making the shortlist in the Best Awards Event Production (on the night) category, Eclipse is a proud sponsor of the ‘Best Longstanding Award’ category, demonstrating its full support to celebrating the importance of continuity within the events industry.

Robin Purslow, managing director of Eclipse, said: “We are thrilled to be a finalist in the Best Awards Production (on the night) award and look forward to attending the awards ceremony in May as both a finalist and a proud sponsor.”

Eclipse’s technical sales manager Nigel fell in love with event production after working in theatre as a teenager. He gained a BA in Lighting Design in 2012 and has worked in the events industry ever since.  Today, you’re most likely to find him chatting to clients on his mobile phone as he dashes between the three venues he looks after in London’s square mile.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day involves popping into the office to catch up on things. While I wait for the system to load up I’ll stick the kettle on to make a coffee, then get ready for a site visit or send out requested quotes. I look after three venues in London’s square mile – Stationers Hall, Gibson Hall and the HAC (Honorable Artillery Company) – and most days I’ll visit one, if not all three. I walk between venues because it means I can stay on the phone and catch up with clients. It’s also the quickest way to travel between them. On average I’ll rack up 14,000 steps walking between the venues, and it can stretch to 20,000 on an event day. The most steps I’ve hit in one day is 35,000.

What do you love about working in technical event production?

I love the journey of an event, from the first email or call with a client, to devolving the idea, and then seeing the event right through to the end. The best part of my job is the variety. While I’ve built up a great relationship with the teams at the three venues I work with, they are all very different venues and I never really know what will happen on any given day, or where I’ll end up.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Managing my time. Working with three venues a 20-minute walk apart means I have to be ready for anything and may have to change my schedule at the last minute. Many times I have had to abandon my plan and run between venues with specific kit requested by a client, or that might be crucial for an event. Sometimes if there is more than one event at the same time, I’ll have to weigh-up which job I go to and which ones I leave with the assigned rig tech.

What one item do you rely on most to do your job?

My gallery of images from previous events. It’s a great tool to help clients see the possibilities of their events and enables them to see what items listed on a quote might look like. It’s also a great morale booster when things might not be going to plan.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I like cooking and playing the flugelhorn. I’ve played it since I was 11. I used to play in a brass band, but haven’t got the time to commit to that now. Every year I play it for a remembrance service at a village in Devon and Eclipse guarantees me the time off each year.

More recently I’ve learnt how to play rugby and now play in a team for the Kings Cross Steelers.

To celebrate 30 years in the business as a creative event production company Eclipse has created a handy 30-step guide to help event organisers make their next project a success. Whether you are facilitating a gala dinner, putting together a conference, or curating an exhibition, this step-by-step list is all you need to ensure success when you next hold an event.

  1. Have vision. Ask yourself what you’d like to achieve from your event and aim for it.
  2. Write a plan. It doesn’t have to be detailed at this point, but having some idea of the format and how you’d like it to proceed will help at the briefing stage.
  3. Engageing event production. Event production companies live and breathe events. Briefing them at this stage will enable them to make suitable suggestions to achieve your desired outcome before you book anything.
  4. Time it right. Check competitors aren’t planning their awards night, exhibition or conference close to your proposed date to ensure guests will come.
  5. Set a budget. Having a rough idea of how much you have available to spend on an event at the start allows providers to work within your means (and avoids nasty bills at the end).
  6. Book providers. Doing this early on not only gives you peace of mind, but will also ensure the best equipment and staff are available for your event.
  7. Choose the right venue for your style of event. Eclipse has worked with hundreds of venues of all shapes and sizes, and is the official partner to many in London, which is why engaging an event production company early on means you’ll have the best chance at securing the perfect space.
  8. Consider capacity. Will you be able to fit everyone into your desired venue? Equally, if you have a small guest list will delegates look lost in a large space? Another benefit of working with a technical event production company is that they can be creative with staging to help you fill or maximise the space if needed.
  9. Think location, location, location. If those you want to attend are available, can they reach your venue easily? Research where the majority of attendees will be travelling from and ensure that public transport is accessible.
  10. Contemplate tapping into the web streaming trend. If a large number of potential attendees are unable to make it to the venue itself, you could take the event to them via web streaming.
  11. Investigate accommodation. If attendees are coming from afar, are there enough places for them to stay nearby? You may be able to negotiate preferable rates with local hotels if you can guarantee a certain number of guests.
  12. Check access rights. If the venue you have booked for an evening event is used during the day for other purposes (ie. As a museum or art gallery) your access may be restricted until closing time.
  13. Think outside the box. Taking a creative approach to events is easier than you think if you’re working with the right people and could make your event really stand out from the rest.
  14. Take staging seriously. Talk to your production agency about the event’s format to determine what kind of platform, seating and props you’ll need. Eclipse has a number of creative solutions that could give your event the real wow factor.
  15. Think sound. What are the acoustics like in your chosen venue? The type of venue and event format will determine which kind of microphones you’ll need. See Eclipse’s guide for more info.
  16. Think lighting. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to create atmosphere so is an important factor to consider.
  17. Muse over music. Like lighting, music is another effective way to create atmosphere. Careful selection can set the right tone to announce speakers or help relax delegates between sessions.
  18. Be creative with break-out areas. Most conferences offer these to delegates and there’s no reason why they should be neglected. Eclipse used lighting to create dedicated zones for Uber at its first UberEngage event last year.
  19. Check out the latest event technology to see how it could enhance your event. Could the latest event apps help inform and engage delegates and could 4k screens really bring your presentations to life?
  20. Factor in photography and videography. You may well want to capture the event for attendees and non-attendees, so consider hiring official photographers and a videographer and ensure they will have suitable backdrops to take those perfect shots.
  21. Take a step back. Once you’ve briefed and booked your chosen agency, give them some space to flex their creative muscles and design your dream event.
  22. While it can be a good idea to take a step back, ensuring there is regular and open communication with all parties ensures everyone is on the same page and that no misunderstandings occur.
  23. Look after each other. The run-up to events can be stressful, so check on any colleagues who may seem overwhelmed and offer them support if they need it.
  24. Think sustainability. Is what you’re planning good for the environment? Make use of materials that can be re-used to minimise waste.
  25. Consider catering. Will guests be eating at your event? If so, think about the type of catering planned to determine use of the space. Guests will be seated at tables for a gala dinner while space will be needed to accommodate buffet tables, food stations or to allow staff to move easily to distribute canapes at less formal affairs.
  26. Factor in rehearsal time. As the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, so run through as much of the event as possible before it happens to iron out any potential problems.
  27. Draw up a timetable for the finished event. The aforementioned run-through will give a clearer idea of how long proposed talks, presentations, or awards will take, so sharing timings with production teams will give them a clear idea of what’s going on and when so they can ensure everything is where it needs to be. Sharing a brief timetable with guests in an invite and on an event app is also a good idea.
  28. Make it clear where everyone needs to be. Give plans to the event team and ensure signage and table plans are clear and plentiful at the event itself. If you decide to use an event app, include a map of the venue and table plans to make it easier for guests to navigate their way around.
  29. Don’t forget the team. Guests are important, but those running the event are crucial. Ensure team members are aware of the plan and are fed and watered so they have enough energy to deliver an excellent event.
  30. Remember anything is possible when you use the right event production company.

Will Brexit’s arrival in March have any impact on the event production industry? What trends will we see across venues, which event type will be popular and what kind of tech will we be plugging into?

As we approach the end of 2018 and the start of a new year, just as they do with their work, key members at leading creative and technical event production company Eclipse, take a 360-degree view of the year ahead, predicting what will be big in people, technology, venues and event types.

People, Business and Brexit

The UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019, but despite the date looming closer, uncertainty remains about what impact it will have on the industry.

With skilled workers being the lifeblood of the events industry, Nicole Ashaye of human resources, says new rules around immigration and employment regulations could make a difference to the working landscape.

“Brexit could have an impact on the number of migrant workers applying for jobs from the EU, so companies may find it tougher to recruit. The abandonment of EU regulations such as the working time directive which limits the number of hours staff can work could change the way businesses work with staff. However, we are still unsure of the new regulations and anything that does change will be phased over a two-year period, so these are areas the industry should keep on its radar rather than be concerned about.”

In terms of business, Eclipse managing director Robin Purslow doesn’t foresee many changes to UK or international work for the event production industry next year.

“Obviously we are all waiting with bated breath to see what will happen next March when Britain leaves the EU, but I don’t think Brexit will impact UK-based events. There has been positive growth in 2018 and I predict it will continue into 2019, provided global economics remain stable.

“The challenge will potentially lie with European work where UK companies have been pretty competitive against local providers, but should there be a hard Brexit this may tip the scales against us.”

Venues

Vikesh Kerai, head of venue partnership at Eclipse foresees venues becoming more stringent over the suppliers they use to ensure standards are upheld. He believes some venues may even start charging event organisers using third-party production suppliers in order to facilitate background checks and maintain standards if not signed up to an accreditation scheme. Something, he says is not standard across venues.

“There is particular reluctance to take this on board where the properties are within close proximity to competing venues,” he adds. “However, this allows for a venue’s reputation to be tarnished through inadequate solutions and service being provided to organisers and delegates attending events at their venues. The long-term harm of a damaged reputation far outweighs the short-term gain of accepting bookings blindly.”

Technology

Will Griffiths, technical manager at Eclipse predicts the use of more event apps, such as CrowdCompass and EventMobi as event organisers look to better engage delegates pre, during and post-event. He also foresees wider adoption of 4k (a horizontal display resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels) – as it becomes a more affordable option for presentations.

“I believe clients will start to use event apps more as a way to engage their audiences. Event apps are useful for polling and Q&A sessions and allow more engagement via social media-style feeds, but they can also help with housekeeping and scheduling.

“As 4k becomes more prevalent in the home, we can also expect it to become more common in the events industry. As costs come down and processing power goes up, I believe we will see more ultra-high-definition projection. This is especially useful for presentations with detailed slides, and live-to-screen software demonstrations. We will also see this on a smaller scale on exhibition stands.”

Event type

Eclipse’s new business sales executive Jermaine Gregory sees web-streaming from one main venue to multiple locations become more popular with event organisers as companies become more eco-conscious, time-precious and mindful of costs.

He says: “Companies are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint as well as trim costs, so instead of delegates travelling from, say, Dusseldorf, to London, they will stream the event from one location to a another, or multiple locations.”

Eclipse in 2019

For Eclipse, which undertook a bold re-brand in 2018 and celebrated its 30th anniversary, Robin is positive about the further growth of the company’s international work and the creation of more venue partnerships.

Last year global production business grew 35% and this is set to continue with work already under discussion for Seattle, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong with regular European events also set to go ahead. 

Investment into the business is also a key part of Eclipse’s plans for 2019.

“We will be investing heavily in new equipment stock, staff training and welfare and infrastructure to ensure we are at the peak of efficiency for what could be another record-breaking year,” said Robin.

 

Chris has worked in the event industry for more than 20 years and with Eclipse for 11. He set up Eclipse’s Set Department in Croydon where he manages a team of carpenters, prep technicians and freelancers who create conference and awards backdrops, exhibition stands, staging and furniture.

Describe a typical day for you:

It starts very early with a strong coffee to get me mentally prepared for the day ahead. Every day brings new problems and challenges to which I need to find solutions. Often these need to be done very quickly, so you need to be able to think on your feet if you work in scenic. The rest of the day is made up of lots of phone calls, emails and ordering of various materials.

What do you love about working in the set department?

I enjoy being in a busy, creative workshop and seeing the designers’ drawings come to life. It’s also nice to get involved with the builds in the workshop, giving suggestions and ideas. What I love about my role, in particular, is being the problem-solver, so that any outcome is a positive one for both our client and Eclipse.

What has been the most challenging set you’ve had to build?

I don’t look at them as challenges, more as ‘creative obstacles’. I’ve worked in this industry for over 20 years so there aren’t many problems I haven’t encountered. Two creative jobs that stick out as challenging were when we turned the car park at Disneyland Paris into a lunar landscape for a new product launch and staff party. There was a lot of work involved in a short time.

The other was putting two soundproof rooms into a bottling plant for a conference. You have no idea how loud these places are! The rooms had to be able to cancel out the noise from outside and accommodate around 50 people each, have two sets of doors and a roof and be suitable for a clean environment inside the plant.

What one item do you rely on most to do your job?

My phone. It never stops ringing, although my PC is pretty handy too!

What makes you smile most at work?

My team, and escaping my desk to get involved with making stuff in the workshop. I also love hearing the sound of rapid-firing staple guns, saws running, the door on the last truck of the day being closed, and seeing a tidy workshop!

Where would you be working if you hadn’t chosen event production?

I love the sea and the water so always wanted to be a marine biologist. I don’t think much time would have been spent in a lab, but more underwater.