Q&A with Phoebe Benta - setting up an events agency

Phoebe Benta

Phoebe Benta is a member of the QHotels Event Profs Panel, an initiative we set up to bring together the rising stars of the events industry to discuss the challenges the C&E industry faces today.

The panel was our response to research showing a shift towards younger bookers in the industry. We wanted to engage with these young professionals, allowing them to share their knowledge and experiences to help shape the future of C&E.

Since the panel started, Phoebe has left the world of employment and started her own agency, Eureka Events UK Ltd, so we wanted to find out what made her take the leap and what it's like to start a business.

Name of company:  Eureka Events UK Ltd

Location:  Cheshire

URL:  www.eurekaevents.co.uk


1. Please give us a brief overview of your career background

I'm originally from Antigua and Barbuda and moved to the UK in 2009 to study tourism management. Shortly after completing my course, I began working for Thomas Cook in a role that partly involved organising events, including destination weddings, excursions, team building and charity events. I really enjoyed this aspect of the job, which is where my interest in events management began.

I then went on to study events management at Sheffield Hallam University, where I had the opportunity to work on events such as award dinners and balls, as well as the Tour de France Grand Depart. After graduating from university, I worked in events hospitality before moving into corporate events.

2. What made you decide to set up your own events agency?

I knew I wanted a career in events as soon as I started working in the industry but I've always had that entrepreneurial bug too! So combining my two passions and starting my own agency was the next natural step for me.

3. Tell us about your agency - what do you do for clients and what sets you apart?

Our clients' vision fuels our creativity and it's all about their experience - from the initial consultation to the final event.

At Eureka Events, we offer a range of services, which means our clients get to pick and mix different aspects of their event, including how involved we are in its management. The structure works really well and helps fit different client needs and budgets.

I've branded the agency 'boutique' because the intent is not to be 'clinical' in our delivery, but to give our clients lasting, personable experiences throughout the entire process, not just during the event itself.

4. What's been the biggest challenge/learning curve so far?

The biggest learning curve for me has been setting up and running my own business. Managing and creating events is my passion, but running a business is a whole new ballgame. I've had to learn how to manage a business, and all that comes with that, very quickly.

5. What are you most proud of?

The brand I have developed. Despite being challenging, Eureka Events is gaining contacts, clients and social media followers every day, which is extremely exciting!

I've also recently launched The North West Charity Awards, which I am immensely proud of. The awards are run by the Eureka Events team to celebrate and recognise North West charities and not-for-profit organisations and their outstanding contributions to their communities.

Launching the business has been an amazing journey so far.

6. What advice would you give to event profs considering starting their own business?

Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Setting up and running a business, especially a company that requires extreme structure and organisation like an events management agency, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Initially, it will consume your life, so make sure you're doing something you really enjoy!

7. Any other top tips?

Reach out to others who have set up similar agencies and ask questions. Initially I found starting my own agency very daunting but after getting in touch with a handful of companies, I connected with one agency director who has given me such great advice and tips.

8. What do you love most about working in events?

I enjoy the diversity in my job; no two days are the same. Events bring people together for many reasons and I get inspired by the experiences that are created through events. Most importantly, I enjoy exploring venues, the creativity of entertainers and delectable gastronomy! What's not to love?

9. What are your goals for the business in 2017?

My first goal for 2017 is to get through 2017! It's said the first year for any start-up is a crucial period in the business. Right now, I'm working on building my list of clients and venues, with the aim of offering full or partial events management assistance.


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