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ZiaBia’s 2020 Rewind…


2020 hosted a vast amount of change for ZiaBia – our business changed, our industry changed and the world changed. To round off this chapter of our ZiaBia story, we have tasked each of the team to sum up the last 12 months – personally and professionally – in one paragraph, as we head into the new year.


Debbie’s Rewind

Wow – 2020,what a Year! Who knew at the end of 2019, when we were looking to celebrate the start of a new decade, what would actually happen and for how long! We at ZiaBia had plenty to look forward to with a growing team, a year full of events to deliver, an awards nomination and ceremony in February amongst other things. I’m so proud of what we have achieved during the following months from March when everything changed!

We have provided a new product and service, learnt about new technology and platforms, worked out what works and what doesn’t. One of the first events we attended was nearly 4 hours with a 5 minute break! We were encouraged by this and knew we could do better!! And most importantly we have helped a variety of our clients old and new, understand what needs to be considered and how to deliver their online events. Vicky Gardner was tenacious, determined, and of course fab (as always but things like this make you realise more!) and kept me sane throughout, well sort of! And the team have worked so hard and been completely understanding and supportive.

Personally, I have found a love of the things around me. Suddenly with less travel (who knew!) and spending more time in our local environment, it has made me appreciate nature and wildlife and it has fuelled my love of taking photos. We have been able to appreciate what we have in the UK and what fab times can be had – it’s not where you go, it is who you go with. My family and my husband are the most precious people, as a family we have always seen each other regularly, and not been able to do this has been hard and I have missed Auntie Debbie cuddles and kisses, but we have taken every chance to meet we can whether face to face when allowed for the day or virtually and treasured every moment!

I am very much looking forward to Christmas and a little break to recharge, have a digital detox and then kick 2021 off with a bang!! 


Vicky’s Rewind

I started 2020 in St Ives surrounded by people, with my partner, laughing and looking forward to what the new year would bring. It wasn’t quite what I or anyone else expected to say the least! I have learnt so much personally and professionally this year and have to remind myself now of the huge amount that has been achieved and let go of what could have been.

Personally, I am grateful for my family, partner, and friends, I appreciate my time even more with them and am learning to live in the moment. I also got my fitness back in lockdown 1.0! Professionally, this year has tested us to the core of what we do, a rollercoaster of emotions and sheer determination, innovation and creativity to come through the other side. We have dug deep and delivered for existing clients and many new ones as well! I am very grateful to Debbie Bell and the team and look forward to what 2021 will throw at us…. We are ready!


Paola’s Rewind

I started 2020 gearing up to a big event in Berlin – logistically challenging, lots of moving parts and a foreign country – which I was really excited about. Then Covid started to tighten its grip on Europe and all the plans, and Europe, came to a crashing halt!

Then from working full time at full pelt I was suddenly home-schooling and homemaking – both with equally dubious levels of success. But what a 3 months lockdown 1.0 was as I truly saw how wonderful my community was. I helped shop for the vulnerable and shielding, managed ‘mission control’ for the This Mum Runs initiative co-ordinating drug running from local pharmacies to shielding patients, and clapped for carers with my most amazing neighbours. The kids survived me as a teacher, we completed a multitude of jigsaws and went on miles of walks as a family.

During all of this Debbie and Vicky ensured ZiaBia continued – they worked tirelessly to keep us going, kept us connected and really and truly led from the front. They have been nothing short of inspirational! We are now working on some super exciting online projects that we wouldn’t have ever been involved in before and, as a team, are stronger than ever ready for the new year.


Charlotte’s Rewind

There’s no one way to describe 2020 - I have so many mixed emotions when I look back on the last 12 months. I  am grateful to be surrounded by my family and friends. I was fortunate to celebrate my 21st birthday, go on a holiday of a lifetime and deliver one live event before the world went into a standstill.

The events industry was hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions. Vicky and Debbie took a completely new approach to delivering events, and the team had to get on board - learn and diversify our skillsets to match the new environment we have been introduced to. It’s been the craziest, toughest year of my life so far – but here I am, off of the back of delivering a 12 event virtual conference roadshow and hosting a virtual Christmas quiz (which I NEVER thought I would do!) Although it is hard to do so, I think it is incredibly important to recognise those little nuggets of positivity and happiness throughout a very much bleak year.


Leaving 2020 and Heading into the New Year...

So heading into the New Year, ZiaBia won't be taking a 'New Year, New Me' approach. We'll continue to do what we do best, and deliver memorable events for our clients - just in a virtual environment! And when we finally come to a time of in person events again, we'll welcome them with open arms. Thank you to our friends, family, clients and to our team for helping us to get through this year - your continued support drives us to push ourselves further and further each day.


Merry Christmas all, and a Happy New Year!

2018: Year In Review

Wow… what an amazing year 2018 has been for Team ZiaBia. We have delivered many amazing and memorable events with existing and new clients! From Barcelona to Tower Bridge in London. We can’t say which was our favourite, there are too many to choose from! We feel very lucky to work with such great clients from a variety of industries and charities.

Our team has grown this year which is fantastic and we are starting 2019 with the team growing again and moving into a second office location too. We have also created some trusted partnerships and have had the opportunity to meet and work alongside these teams to help us grow.

What we are saying is that we love what we do and this year has been a celebration of that. So here is onto our next year and all it will bring.

Wishing everyone a very happy and successful 2019!

New to Corporate Events? What to expect

Plan for every eventuality

There is a huge amount of planning that goes into a corporate event. As well as planning everything you have envisaged for the event also consider what could happen in the event of X, Y or Z. You have to consider the weather for example. Even at in indoor event, extreme weather can affect people’s travel to your destination, location and venue. If you are organising an event in central London for example, public transport can be an issue for those travelling to the event with Tube strikes.

We mentioned in our last article when you do your venue site visits to check for the WIFI. You could find on the day that there is an issue with the WIFI signal. Be prepared with a back-up solution should your expected plan fail. As a corporate event planner/co-ordinator/manager you need to think out the plan from start to finish and consider all the variables, so you can be prepared and one step ahead.

Attention to detail is critical

Your client will be relying on you to think for them. You are the expert and you must be sure that you keep focused on the details. There is an incredible amount of information that is gathered during the planning of a corporate event. EVERY detail counts. Even the smallest thing that gets missed can have a huge impact on the day and cause a lot of stress and look very bad to your client and their customers or internal team.

It is the most rewarding job

You get to work with so many different people, join their teams and invest yourself in these projects. You form wonderful bonds during the planning process that can last well beyond the lifetime of an event, and the sense of achievement once you have successfully delivered the project is fantastic.

You have the pleasure of seeing projects from start to finish on a regular basis and have the opportunity to work on a vast array of different events. Who knows what the next event will be!

You need to be able to think on your feet

If you are good at creative problem solving, that’s great. You’ve got a head start and this might be the role for you! Add a stop watch to that problem solving and you are in training for working in corporate events. Especially when you are onsite! You will need to able to think fast and resolve any manner of issues that come up calmly, quickly and effectively. A swan gliding across the water in the eyes of the client with your legs madly peddling under the surface. You begin to trust your instincts and make quick decisions to ensure successful delivery.

Delegate journey – don’t presume anyone knows anything or everything

Always assume that the delegates know nothing, so be sure to provide full and clear information. Some delegates won’t read everything (or anything) properly, so plan how to manage that. You need to consider all the questions they may have and all the mistakes they may make. Then move on to the ones who don’t want to do it quite the same as everyone else and ‘could you just make an exception for me’.

Have clear processes and rules about registration and payment. Make it as simple as possible to understand. When onsite, make sure signage is clear, so they know what to do and where to go. Provide all the information you can to assist them along the way. Remember you know the event inside out they know only what you tell them.

Expect the unexpected!

The thing you least expected to happen will inevitably crop up, big or small. If you are ready to think on your feet as we mentioned above, then you have an advantage. However sometimes you just have to accept you can’t control everything. Good humour and flexibility with get you a long way in the industry.

Travelling... Event Style

You may have some opportunities to travel to amazing locations and you may even get a chance to look around those places but be mindful that you will be entirely focused on the event and the client, so you may find that it isn’t as glamorous as you’d imagined. Be as time efficient as you can be - on a flight or a train journey use the time wisely and work or take the opportunity to rest while you can!

You will have some incredible experiences but travelling can also be tiring and living out of a suitcase can be hard after a time. Make sure you have realistic expectations and always enjoy the ride!