Sleek Events in Fast Track 100

Britain’s 19th fastest-growing private company is Sleek Events

Sleek Events was the highest-placed business representing the events sector in this year’s Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100. Not only that, our agency stormed into the list at number 19.

Jennifer Davidson started the company in 2015, using her spare bedroom as an office. Since then the company has expanded to a team of event specialists servicing both corporate clients and luxury private parties. The company has a strong team culture with a focus on wellbeing in what is well-known to be a stressful profession.

Jennifer was thrilled to receive the news that Sleek Events would be recognised in this distinguished British league table, “I’d been interviewed earlier in the year after being approached by the team at Fast Track. They only told us about Sleek making the list on Thursday and, of course, we rushed out first thing on Sunday morning to grab a few copies. I never dreamed we would make the top 20!”

The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years. The 23rd iteration of the list was compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times on 1st December, with an awards event to follow in May, and alumni dinners during the year.

“This recognition is down to the fantastic team we have at Sleek Events. Their dedication to creating bespoke, unforgettable experiences for our clients is second to none. I’m exceedingly proud of everyone and very thankful to our clients, suppliers and trusted freelancers who have supported us over the last few years,” added Jennifer.

In October, Sleek Events won Best Overall Business at the Best Business Women Awards. In this year’s Fast Track 100 league table, there are 28 female founders, co-founders or chief executives running 26 businesses, a record high, and up from only 7 in 1997. The 15% of female founders compares favourably to just 4% in the wider scale-up community, according to data firm Beauhurst. Jennifer finds herself in the company of other female founders such as beauty products retailer Charlotte Tilbury (No 46) and Mowgli Street Food’s Nisha Katona MBE (No 45) but, impressively, Sleek Events is the youngest company in the 10 fastest-growing companies founded or co-founded by women by several years.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group, which has supported Fast Track for all 23 years, said, “While these are uncertain times, there is one thing I am certain of: entrepreneurs are the ones driving innovation, chasing improvements and challenging the norm. There are so many inspiring examples of this on the Fast Track 100 league table and it’s heartening to see the power of entrepreneurship to create jobs and positive change across Britain.”

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Sleek Events contribute to micebook

When micebook heard we were off to Abu Dhabi to check it out for our incentives service, they asked us to write a blog for them. So here it is – click here to read the blog.

If you’d like to know more about our travel incentives service please click here.

WOW! Another amazing win for Sleek Events!

Congratulations to our Founder & MD, Jennifer Davidson for winning Conference & Incentive Travel’s top A-list award.

Each year C&IT invites agencies like ours (and many much bigger too!) to nominate their top talent under 35 years old to be put forward for the A-List. For the first time, they decided to award an A-Lister of the Year at the C&IT Awards ceremony in September. Of the 35 recognised, judges formed a shortlist and then declare the person with the most impressive story the overall winner. Jennifer took the top spot!


wellbeing word cloud

Why Wellbeing is the hot topic in 2018

Missed our blog in Conference News? Here’s the full blog from our Founder, Jennifer Davidson…

Why Wellbeing is the hot topic in 2018 for the events industry

The mental health charity Mind completed research last year finding that one in six workers experience anxiety and depression. Work is becoming the number one stress over financial worries. It’s no wonder that wellbeing is businesses’ hot topic for 2018.

As an employer in the events industry, I find it can often be easier to discuss wellbeing rather than health or mental health as issues. In fact, with my team, by concentrating on wellbeing I find those issues rarely occur because individuals feel valued, relaxed and positive. Of course, we work in a stressful environment having to deliver fantastic experiences for our clients and their guests but giving my team the tools to cope with times of heightened activity means that they don’t experience burn out.

So, why should venues follow the wellbeing trend?

Whereas it once may have been a point of difference for venues to offer a varied menu, quiet zones and relaxation packages, it’s becoming expected from many corporate bookers. Guests expect to have their wellbeing considered on a whole new level nowadays.

It’s your staff’s wellbeing which should really now be the focus. Imagine the reduction in sick days, the customer service satisfaction rating soaring and improved team environment if you invested just a little time in to wellbeing at work. I can tell you from experience that the results are phenomenal.

Here’s a few simple ways to engage staff

  • Complete one regular task when you first get up that makes you feel good – make the bed, spend 5 minutes reflecting on all the good things in life, run up and down the stairs 10 times. Completing a daily goal first thing in the morning gives you a sense of achievement to carry throughout the day.
  • Keep a note pad and pen handy at all times – once you’ve written something down, your mind will be clear to concentrate on the most immediate need. It’s amazing how this can improve work rate!
  • Download a calming app – the sound of waves on a beach or birds in the countryside – whatever will create a calming oasis for a timeout. Every person is due breaks at work so make sure you take them and do something to switch off for 5 minutes.

And don’t forget to do these yourself – it’s transformed my daily work life and transferred into my personal life too!

The habits that’ll make 2018 run smoothly for event profs

Jennifer Davidson, founder & MD of Sleek Events, tells us how event professionals can win in 2018 by forming positive habits. This article was recently published in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine.

Have you broken your new year’s resolutions already? Have you already lost that buzz for life just a few weeks into the year you planned to be your best yet? I’ve spent the last couple of years ensuring my team at Sleek Events enjoy a wellbeing at work which can often evade people working in our busy industry.

The early bird…

Start as you mean to go on because we all know we can easily be distracted by emails and phone calls throughout the day. I read Hal Elrod’s book ‘The miracle morning’ which focuses on ‘Live S.A.V.E.R.S’ that will transform your life all before 8am. Things like committing to make your bed each morning or starting your day with a short yoga routine all contribute to creating positive habits which put you in an organised, productive frame of mind before you even reach your workplace. I really recommend you read the book and not only carry out the ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ but also add a few of your own habits you have been meaning to start. Even on a morning when you have a lie in, you’ll find you’ll want to keep to your habits but maybe before 10am!

What are my morning habits? As well as Hal’s Life S.A.V.E.R.S – silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing – I have also added a couple of my own – gratitude and dreams. All-in-all they can take as little as 8 minutes to complete if you choose yoga as your exercise but I often extend that to around 20 minutes with something a bit more high tempo. Taking 5 minutes to sit in silence, clearing my thoughts, I then move on to reciting some affirmations which could be about my personal life or work goals. Finally, I visualise those goals as complete, consider who I have to thank and what further dreams I might have. I then take 15 minutes to get my body moving and my blood pumping, often choosing a HIIT workout from Kayla Itsines. Now is a great time to cool off and read a chapter of the latest book on my hitlist ‘Work Smarter: Live Better’ by Cyril Peupion for professional development which sets my mind into work mode. I’ll often implement what I’ve read if the opportunity arises during the day ahead.

Sharing good habits

My team at work have a wide range of habits to fit their own goals and personalities. Wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit are all just as important as each other and, I think, even more important in such a stressful career as an event professional. A survey in the USA put event coordinators as having the 5th most stressful job after the military, firefighters, pilots and police officers! The list, by US recruitment site CareerCast, states that whilst those working in our industry aren’t at risk of death or physical injury, they must adhere to strict deadlines and pressures to perform which go beyond even those in top corporate positions.

I’ve not been able to find the same survey in the UK but I’m happy to put my reputation on the line and say that I doubt our results would be too dissimilar here – I think most people who go into a career in events are motivated to deliver and, usually, exceed expectations. My team here certainly strives for exceptional experiences for our clients.

Forming habits

I love exercise and I know that in the first two weeks of January, my gym will be crammed with new members but they soon disappear because they haven’t gone about forming the good habit of attending the gym in the right way. They key to making something a part of your routine is to start small. If these new gym members had committed to just 30 minutes of exercise twice a week instead of an hour every day, they may have managed to make it fit into their lifestyle – and then slowly worked up to more. You’ll notice my 8 habits before 8am tie in nicely with each other and they work for me – but I appreciate spiritual affirmations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so do what works for you!

As you experience the results of the small habits you start, you’ll be motivated to do more – essentially, your willpower grows with positive endorsement. And why did I introduce my team to the idea of forming good habits? Well there are two reasons. I knew it would improve their wellbeing, creating a happy and more effective workforce (my dream team) but it’s also much easier to stick to your good habits if you surround yourself with people doing the same!

And the results? My team are achieving great things in both their personal and work lives and, importantly to my business, resulting in 100% staff retention where the average for agencies in general is 85%. Sleek Events has grown to £3million turnover in two years with a team of 6 who are a pleasure to work with.

I’ve always said that if you have to go to work every day, why not do something you love with clients who appreciate you. Wellbeing is a large part of that and forming good habits impacts greatly on your wellbeing. Are you ready to make a lifestyle change which will improve your life forever? You’re the most important person on your to do list so make sure you put yourself first.