Alarna Jones gives us an insight into what it's like to be an
events coordinator at our Jacobean mansion, Crewe Hall. Alarna has
been an events coordinator at Crewe Hall for nine months and before
this she gained six years' experience in events operations at
another of the group's properties, the Telford Hotel & Golf
The Grade I listed hotel has 117 bedrooms, a state-of-the-art,
purpose-built conference and events centre, a fantastic health club
and spa, and is set in stunning countryside.
What do you like most about Crewe Hall?
The thing I love most is its period character; it's around 400
years old and has a number of features that have survived all this
time, which is just incredible. It has a sense of grandeur when you
approach and its history is something I find really
What are your clients looking for when they use your
Clients often come to me wanting to offer delegates more than
'just another conference'. We like to encourage out of the box
ideas like adding singing waiters to corporate dinners, Pokémon
Go-style treasure hunts to teambuilding events, and outdoor themed
challenges to a conference. With the facilities here and the
outdoor space, we can offer something different each time.
Our Old Hall, with its ornate design and historic charm, is also
a favourite amongst our guests for dinner and drinks. It's perfect
for hosting banquets with long tables, goblets and authentic
entertainment - something that definitely provides the wow
What does a typical day look like?
I start my day at 9am, though I like to use the gym onsite
before, so I'm usually around fairly early. On event days I can be
in very early - any time from 6am onwards.
When I'm in the office I spend my mornings putting together
proposals for new enquiries as well as sending out final details to
clients with events coming up. These are detailed plans covering
everything including room layout, AV equipment required, event
timings, numbers, dietary requirements, external supplier details
and contact details. The document has to be absolutely perfect and
can take a lot of time. Once these are done I make sure that all
relevant teams in the hotel are informed.
In the afternoon I often have appointments with clients. I like
to show potential clients round so I get to meet them face-to-face
and help them envisage their event. It also gives me the
opportunity to understand more about what they want to achieve.
In meetings with current clients we'll look at the space again,
in more detail, and clients might take specific measurements and
walk through the event from an attendee point of view. We've had
some amazing events here like 'It's a Knockout', which had a lot of
giant inflatable games, so the final touches are always fun.
By late afternoon I will round up my day by chasing up any
information I'm waiting on, and plan for the next day, preparing
for any appointments. Doing this means I can indulge my other
passions when I've finished for the day. I can usually be found
playing tennis, spending time with my nieces and nephews, or
searching for, and going on holidays. I went to Jamaica last year,
and am off to Thailand this year, which I'm very excited about!
What's the magic formula for a successful
It's definitely organisation and communication before, during
and after the event. It's key to make sure that all involved have
the most up-to-date information, we use a central document to keep
track of changes and requests to ensure all needs are being met and
we all have the same information.
What's your favourite type of event to work
I really enjoy getting to know clients and building a
relationship with them. Residential conferences are my favourite
because with this type of event there's a real sense of achievement
once it has taken place. When it comes to attending events, I
always try to make the most of what's going on in the local
community, so I go to festivals and music events in the area when I
can to get inspiration.
How do you make sure your events are different from one
Each event is naturally different from the next but taking the
time to really get under the skin of what the client wants to
achieve gives you a good start. Combining that information with my
knowledge of the facilities we have at Crewe Hall lets me suggest
unique event ideas that set them apart from one another. Almost
anything can be done here!
What's been your career highlight so far?
My time in operations was really enjoyable but I've always
wanted to go into sales, so making the move and becoming events
co-ordinator has definitely been my highlight so far.
Other than Crewe Hall, what's your favourite QHotels
property and why?
I absolutely love Mottram Hall. It has an old house feel and the
alfresco thermospace spa is amazing!
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