Team Archives | ZiaBia

Meet the team – Vicki’s first six months

I joined in a brand new role as Venue and Relationships Manager in June 2023 and quite honestly, I have no idea where the past six months have gone!

 

Why ZiaBia? 

I have worked in events since the 1980s, firstly as a client and then in the past 20 or so years, with events agencies and was looking for a role that would embrace all the experience and knowledge gained from working with both sides of the coin.  As an expanding events business, ZiaBia was the perfect solution for me to expand my knowledge further and support ZiaBia’s ambitions to grow in stature as well as size.

 

My journey so far 

Much of my role revolves around supplier and venue relationships, both new and pre-existing. I have really enjoyed meeting with suppliers, whether on-line or face to face, introducing to all those new suppliers, the amazing work we do with and for our clients.

I have also benefitted enormously from being able to attend event exhibitions such as The Meetings Show, as well as smaller networking events and workshops, to allow us to continue to grow our network of stand-alone venues, hotels, resorts and other essential event suppliers.  It is essential that our supplier partners understand our business, are both reliable and imaginative and are able to work with us as part of our extended team. It’s also vital that we keep up to date with new openings and new opportunities so that we can continue to serve our clients well.

I have always said that a team is only as good as its people and I am delighted to be part of the wonderful team at ZiaBia, who are as passionate as I am about what we do, and are so supportive.

 

What’s next? 

It’s evident both from industry statistics as well as our own workloads, that 2024 is already progressing well for ZiaBia, with some amazing projects already lined-up along with new event enquiries that are coming in. We all thrive in a busy environment and embrace every opportunity that comes our way, with boundless energy, passion and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to more opportunities to meet, travel and discover even more.

 

Would I recommend ZiaBia? 

Absolutely 100%. 

ZiaBia are a team of hard-working event professionals ready and willing to give more than 100% to everything we do, with the skills and experience to match. We love nothing better than turning the ordinary into the extra-ordinary for all of our clients.

Meet the team – Kim’s first six months

I can’t quite believe that it has been six months since I started at ZiaBia. I felt instantly welcomed into the family and supported by everyone. 

Plus I hit the ground running onsite at an event in my first few weeks! 

Why ZiaBia? 

My previous roles consisted of working in theatre, festivals and venues and I was looking for a new challenge. The way that others spoke about ZiaBia showed how highly regarded they were. I experienced that level of knowledge and warmth as soon as I met Debbie, Vicky and the team. The range of events that ZiaBia organise and the scope of the work all over the globe was such an exciting prospect and I have found myself travelling here, there and everywhere. 

My journey so far 

A huge part of my role at ZiaBia surrounds venue and supplier relationships and I have been very lucky to develop these through the work I do. From sourcing the perfect space for the client during venue finds to procuring the best catering for an event. It has truly been an educational experience applying all of my previous experiences to the role. 

I have assisted with delivering events in Bristol, London, Ireland and Germany to name a few. These events have ranged from building launches and large conferences to charity community awards. It really demonstrates the sheer scope of what we do. Travelling and building these connections is something that I love about the role. Working alongside like-minded clients and suppliers to produce exceptional experiences is our bread and butter. There is no better feeling than pulling off a successful event as part of a well-oiled team. 

The icing on the cake of my journey at ZiaBia has been the support of the team. There are no silly questions here, everyone feels encouraged to input into projects and our team days have a collaborative and creative structure. I cannot thank everyone enough for the experience of my first six months and I cannot wait for many more! 

What’s next? 

2024 is shaping up to be a great year for ZiaBia. We are already involved in many ongoing projects and are receiving interesting and inspiring briefs each day. The growth of the team has definitely reflected in the work we are doing, and I cannot wait for more events, more travel and more fun along the way. 

Would I recommend ZiaBia? 

100%. 

ZiaBia are a team of devoted, hard-working event professionals who give their all (and then some) to every task. The range of experience and skills that each member brings to the job are truly inspiring and we are on track for a busy and exciting year! 

18 Months of Growth: My Apprenticeship Journey with an Events Agency

Over the past 18 months, I have had the incredible opportunity to dive headfirst into the world of events management at ZiaBia. My Business Administration apprenticeship has been a transformative experience. It has provided me with invaluable skills and knowledge.

Here are some of my highlights from the last 18 months, and what I learned along the way…

 

The first month

I started in December 2021 when the events landscape was dominated by virtual and hybrid.

I was lucky enough to be involved in a gala dinner at the iconic Roundhouse in Camden in my very first week. This was an early lesson in the level of detail and planning which goes into every event. Also a taste of the thrill of being on-site!

 

The first quarter

April 2022 saw face-to-face events pick up in earnest. 

We were soon dealing with a rapid influx of new enquiries. These busiest months really challenged me to work on my time management skills. I learnt to juggle competing priorities without compromising on quality. With no time for mistakes, clear communication was also essential. I’m proud of the small part I played in Team ZiaBia’s collaborative efforts! 

 

The first six months

In July 2022 I attended the Meetings Show.

This expanded my horizons giving me the opportunity to meet professionals from across the industry. Working in events is all about people, and it was exciting to see this diverse network connecting under one roof!
By speaking almost daily with venue and supplier contacts as part of my role, I’ve learnt to come out of my shell, and commit to building relationships with those I work with. I am inspired by our contacts and account managers - they have taken the time to exchange friendly words and build connections. A reminder of the importance of the human touch in an industry where it can be easy to rely more and more heavily on automation.

 

My work anniversary

My 1-year milestone in December 2022 coincided with the addition of Rebecca, Laura and Ashton to the team!

It also marked the point in my apprenticeship when I got to take charge of a project. This was alongside the project management training I was receiving at college. This was one of the most rewarding aspects of the apprenticeship. I had the opportunity to steadily take on more responsibility, in tandem with my training. After learning the operational parts of the role, I was soon able to widen my involvement. I started contributing to ZiaBia’s systems and processes and took responsibility for supplier relationships. More recently I have been running training sessions for new members of the team.

 

2023

As ZiaBia has continued to grow in 2023, so has the variety of experiences.

It is fascinating to research venues from all across the world. I got creative with activity ideas for group yoga sessions, beach cleans, wine tastings and summer parties, to name just a few!
This variety has been one of the great benefits of working for an events agency. It has required me to become more adaptable, and has been all the more rewarding for this challenge.

I’m now leaving ZiaBia, however it has been a pleasure working with and getting to know every one of the fantastic ZiaBia team 😊
I’m hugely grateful for the experiences and personal growth this job has given me.

To anyone looking for an entry-level route into events management: take an apprenticeship!

Meet the team – Rebecca’s first six months

I joined ZiaBia as a Project Manager just over six months ago in November 2022, and hit the ground running!

On my third day in the role I found myself flying off to sunny Marbella to work onsite at an event for one of ZiaBia’s long standing clients. What a great way to start a new job!

 

Why ZiaBia?

I had previously worked in marketing and events on the client side and always found my favourite part of my job was running the events. The prospect of working on event planning full time with ZiaBia was too good to pass. They really appealed to me because they work on all sorts of different corporate events over a range of sectors. Once I had discovered more about the people and the ethos of the company it sealed the deal.

ZiaBia has a clear ambition to make every event the best it can be. There is remarkable attention to detail and a strong moral code to look after their team in a supportive environment.

 

My journey so far

I feel very lucky to have been involved in about 14 different events. I have worked onsite at seven and project managed three so far. These events have been really varied and ranged from sales kick-offs, executive council meetings, a charity community support event and even a pub crawl for 300 people! Part of the joy of working with an agency is that no two days are the same. Each new event brings new experiences and challenges.

I’ve also been particularly fortunate with where these events have already taken me. Malaga, Rome, Warsaw, Malta, Bristol, London and most recently Edinburgh!
I have always enjoyed travelling with work and am thrilled to do this again and see more of the world.

Planning and executing these events has also given me the opportunity to build up strong relationships with both clients and suppliers. Both new to ZiaBia and long-standing clients who the team have worked with over many years. Being entrusted with project managing events for a client that the team has spent years fostering a great relationship with felt a little daunting at first; but everyone has been fantastic to work with and made me feel very welcome.

My journey has definitely been made easier by having access to the extensive list of trusted suppliers that the ZiaBia team have built. Working with suppliers who are reliable, imaginative, and understand our expectations make our projects run much more smoothly.

 

What’s next?

Continuing to learn from the depth of experience that the ZiaBia team has. As well as to meet more people, and travel to more new places.

I am really looking forward to gettting stuck in to all the exciting events we have coming up!

 

Would I recommend ZiaBia?

Absolutely!

ZiaBia is a team of dedicated event professionals, truly invested in the success of their clients’ events. They are a fantastic company to work for and I would have no hesitation recommending them to anyone.

Meet the team – Laura’s first six months

I joined the ZiaBia team almost six months ago, in November 2022. The time has flown by!

The variety and diversity of the projects I have worked on means no two days are ever the same!

Working with all members of the team on different projects has enabled me to learn so much during my first six months. I look forward to seeing what the next six brings.

Why ZiaBia?

ZiaBia hired the venue where I was Event Manager for a high-profile event. This is when I first got the pleasure of understanding more about them as a company and what they do. It was clear that they were a company that prided themselves on attention to detail and going above and beyond for their clients.

By understanding more about what they did, and exploring their company values, it was too good an opportunity to miss when a position opened on their team.

My journey so far

My time so far at ZiaBia has been varied! I have been very lucky to work on a variety of projects, and in a range of locations!

Straight away I supported two projects for a new client that we delivered at the beginning of the year. This was a great way to start my career at ZiaBia and allowed me to put into practice all my experience in the events industry, along with learning new skills from the team. Although the events were for the same company, they could not have been more different! However, both were international events, something which was new to me.

Working on events taking place overseas allowed me to truly see the importance of building strong supplier relationships and how to do this successfully. We were very lucky to work with some amazing local suppliers and venues, which has allowed me expand my event network.

What’s next?

I am looking forward to the next 6 months at ZiaBia and to see some of the projects I have worked on from the start, coming to life! Having worked in various roles, at different stages of the event process, working at ZiaBia has allowed me to merge these skills by working on projects all the way through. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing months of planning all coming together on the day of the event!

Would I recommend ZiaBia

100%!

My journey so far at ZiaBia has been incredible. The team have been amazingly supportive and I feel I have learnt so much from them in such a short space of time. They truly want the best for all their clients and go above and beyond in every project delivered.

Meet the team – Ashton’s first six months

I joined the ZiaBia team almost six months ago and what a journey it has been! 

I’ve been working with team ZiaBia as a Junior Project Manager since November 2022. I have loved every minute so far!
I have learned so much from the wonderful team already and I am very excited about the future!

Why ZiaBia?

I have worked in the events industry for over 10 years and have primarily been venue side which I have always really enjoyed. I first met ZiaBia at an event that was taking place at my previous venue. The team were organising a high-profile event and as their main contact I spoke with and got know them well. I was intrigued as to what they did and who they were.  A few months later they were involved in another event at the venue and I absolutely loved working with them again. Soon after I saw their job opportunity on LinkedIn and here I am!

My journey so far

Since joining the team I have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work on an international sporting event programme. This has led me to work with venues across the world, which has been very exciting. I am really enjoying expanding my global network!

I have worked with another client on three separate events around the UK and Ireland. The first being an end of year celebration in London followed by two sales kick-off events, one in Manchester and the other in Dublin. I have always wanted to travel with work so this really has been a dream for me!

I was also thrilled to be given the opportunity to work on a local event in Bristol, my hometown. This gave me the opportunity to reconnect with previous contacts. I even got to manage the registration at a venue where I used to work. This really was exciting and so great to be able to work with some familiar faces!

What’s next?

As ZiaBia are a full-service agency, each event has different requirements. This can range from a venue find to delegate management to full project management. I am very much looking forward to getting involved in all aspects of the event management process, and very excited to see where the next six months and beyond will take me!

Would I recommend ZiaBia? 

Being part of Team ZiaBia offers a whole host of opportunities and working for this fantastic company couldn’t have come at better time for me. Joining the team has given me a chance to learn new skills as well as meet new people and expand my network! I can’t recommend ZiaBia highly enough as a company to work for!                

 

My 1st year on my Business Administration Apprenticeship

I recently passed the 1-year milestone in my Business Administration Apprenticeship at ZiaBia – a year which has seen ZiaBia transition back into live events after Covid-19, deliver events all across Europe, and grow to a team of 7!

Let’s take a closer look at how this year played out…

 

My first week

My first week on the job coincided with a large charity gala dinner being delivered by ZiaBia at the iconic Roundhouse in Camden. I joined the on-site team, and was involved all the way from set-up and event delivery through to de-rig.

My first 2 months

My first 2 months involved a heavy focus on virtual events. I learnt how to operate a variety of online event platforms, and assisted with the delivery of a virtual conference.

I also took on responsibility for managing supplier relationships, as part of this, I attended an agency-supplier workshop. There I met representatives from a range of venues, hotels and convention bureaux. This enabled me to start to build those all-important relationships.

My first 6 months

With live events back in full swing, I was involved with:

My first 12 months

One year into my apprenticeship, I have now been on-site for 7 events, have met with over 40 supplier and venue contacts (virtually and in-person), have uploaded over 100 social media posts for ZiaBia, and the team has recently welcomed 3 new starters!

 

What have been my highlights?

We often talk about the satisfaction of seeing an event through to completion. Having had a year in my apprenticeship, I have now been able to share in this experience. The stand-out being a 21-venue European roadshow! I supported from the initial venue research through to the final event in Zurich 7 months later!

Working at an award-winning events agency has given me an opportunity to learn events management from the best. Being a smaller company, I have been able to work closely with and learn from each member of the team. I have more responsibility as I have settled into the role. I took the lead on an internal project as part of the college element of my apprenticeship.

 

What have I learned?

Working at ZiaBia marked a significant change from my previous experiences in part-time work and academic environments. This has encouraged me to develop more of a team-oriented mentality. I have learnt to be a clearer communicator, and to be proactive in anticipating the needs and expectations of my colleagues.

My ability to adapt has improved, whether this is in my communication style or in my working practices. I now pick up the phone rather than email and have developed efficient processes to suit different events.

The apprenticeship has taught me the importance of attention to detail. The time we invest in ensuring the consistency of our product pays dividends in the overall quality and professionalism of our work as an events agency.

Professional development never stops!

Even though we have 120 years’ experience between us, professional development is still high on all of our agendas. While we look back with pride on what we have achieved and how far ZiaBia has come, we are not a team to rest on our laurels!

 

Debbie and Vicky

They really lead by example by demonstrating their commitment to professional development on a daily basis.

We are now in our second year with HGKC after winning a year of coaching during lockdown. The value they have added to the business, the lessons Vicky and Debbie have learned made it an easy decision to continue the relationship.

They provide a wide variety of business support, get us thinking in different ways and really take us out of our comfort zone. The targets they have set the business have been stretch targets to say the least. They are ones we have achieved, and we look forward to where ZiaBia will go next!

 

James

James is currently doing a business administration apprenticeship with us. He has really developed over the 6 months since he has been part of the team. As well as a tonne of on-the-job learning, James goes into college for study sessions, gets mentoring from his tutor and undertakes additional courses to add strings to his bow.

He also regularly attends online webinars run by Delegate Wranglers to learn from others in the industry. These cover a wide variety of aspects to the events industry and are invaluable to event profs old and new!

James is also writing up our processes to ensure they are fit for purpose. This work will ensure that everyone on the team can step in when someone is absent, and also to ensure our client-facing work is consistent. 

 

Me

After working as a project manager for many years in ZiaBia and in other organisations it was time to get qualified. After passing my Project Management Foundation qualification I am currently working towards the Practitioner level. I thought that it would be a formality however I have learnt so much and it has enabled me to approach our projects in a new way. I would highly recommend becoming qualified to anyone working in a project manager role.

In my spare time I am also a co-opted governor at a local primary school. While I am doing the role to share my knowledge and expertise, I have also gained so much in the 18 months I have been in position – I am chairing committees, reviewing complex financial and data reports, challenging senior staff members and working as an integral member of the volunteer team to name but a few things!

 

Everything else!

As well as all of these formal professional development pathways, we also undertake less formal opportunities. If you think you aren’t doing much professional development then you could be wrong! Take a look at what else we do on an ongoing basis to keep learning:

 

We don’t know all the answers and don’t profess to, but what we do know is that we all learn and develop in different ways. And for a small team that is a huge strength as we all bring something different to the table!

 

There are so many ways you can grow and develop professionally, opportunities are literally around every corner. And it was Adult Learners Week last week, so no excuses!

We’d love to hear your best professional development tip – let us know!

My first 6 months in an apprenticeship with ZiaBia

I’ve been working with ZiaBia as an Event Support Consultant since December 2021. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t learned something new about the events industry or the professional workplace as a whole. The team at ZiaBia have kindly given me the reins for this month’s blog post. So I wanted to write about my experience of my apprenticeship so far.

So, what led me to ZiaBia…

Why did you start an apprenticeship at ZiaBia?

After graduating from university having studied Modern Languages, I was still uncertain which career path I wanted to take. What I did know was that I wanted to do something which would allow me to develop real-world skills for the professional workplace. While I had learnt a lot academically at university, I was a little anxious about stepping into the world of work, and the new responsibilities that this would involve.

An apprenticeship in Business Administration struck me as an ideal way of entering the workplace. It would allow me to blend practical experience with structured tuition.

As for the industry, my aspiration to work in events had been growing for a while. I had volunteered at music and film festivals where I loved having a glimpse behind the scenes and being able to contribute to the complex workings of the event machine.

Keen to dive further into the world of events, I applied for the apprenticeship role at ZiaBia.

What have you learned about the events industry?

In only my second week on the job, I was involved in on-site management for a gala dinner. This was the perfect way to see how all the pieces of the event planning process come together.

I learned that relationships are an integral part of the process! By observing my colleagues talking to clients, suppliers, and venue contacts, I saw the importance of collaboration and clear communication in an event with many moving parts.

I also saw how the relationships ZiaBia had built with each contact over months (or even years!) had led to a trust and understanding which allowed for effective cooperation.

This also illustrated to me the specific role which an agency can play, in facilitating discussion between different parties and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. On this topic…

What have you learned about working at an agency?

Because we serve as intermediaries between clients and suppliers, I have learned how important it is to adhere to consistency in our methods of communication and documentation. If expectations are to be met on all sides, we have to ensure that information is not lost in translation. And also that the client’s or supplier’s wishes are not misinterpreted.

As ZiaBia is a full-service agency, the role has exposed me to a wide variety of different tasks. This has ranged from venue finding and pre-event logistics to on-site management and debriefing.

Because each day brings something different, this experience has taught me how to manage priorities and adapt my working style. This variety has also proved to be one of my favourite aspects of the job.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?

Absolutely!

If, like me, you are looking to enter a new industry, an apprenticeship provides a great way to access training from two different sides. You gain a qualification as well as a wealth of practical experience!

Why client feedback is so important to ZiaBia

Client feedback - why do we get so much value from it?

 

All of us at ZiaBia pride ourselves on our customer service – as a company without a tangible product #TeamZiaBia is our most valuable asset.

After each and every event, whether face-to-face or virtual, we always send the client our feedback questionnaire. This gives them the opportunity to ‘tell it like it is’!

We then use the scores and comments to better refine our service on other events in the future. We are very aware we are only as good as the last event we delivered, so complacency is not an option.

As we wound down 2021, we took some time to look at the client feedback we have received since the start of the pandemic. And we were blown away!

 

2020

Out of the surveys returned, 25% were for face-to-face events and 75% for virtual.

The scores really speak for themselves and we also want to share some of the comments

ZiaBia provided us with a fantastic event management service, with many moving parts, tight deadlines and no request was too much. Always handled with a smile and a YES response. There is no better company to partner with for event management face-to-face event

ZiaBia are fantastic experienced Event Managers - problem solvers, delightfully organised, creative, conscientious and trustworthy. They will bring your dream event to life, leaving you and your guests/clients in awe!virtual event

It was perfect, no improvement virtual event

As 2020 was the first year we had ever designed and delivered a virtual event these comments are beyond anything we could have expected.

 

2021

As the world started to open up and gain confidence we did manage to deliver a couple of face-to-face events from September onwards. Out of these surveys completed, 6% were for face-to-face events and 94% for virtual.

[It is] a pleasure to have you support our events; it gives me peace of mind knowing I don't need to worry about a thing!face-to-face event

Very personable, knowledgeable and professional. Understood our work and priorities and gave us appropriate advice and insights virtual event

They consistently go above and beyond, I would not hesitate to recommend ZiaBiavirtual event

2022

Who knows what 2022 has in store but we are ready for whatever comes our way!

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your next event shine, or you would like some help formulating your feedback methods, we would be delighted to speak to you.

 

 

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