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How to choose an event agency who specialises in your sector

If you Google “Event Agency London” it comes up with over 10 pages of recommendations and 7 paid ads, just on the first page! If this has you feeling overwhelmed and asking yourself ‘how do I pick the right one?’ – we suggest a good place to start is with an event agency that specialises in your sector. 

Do your research 

Most agencies will have 3-5 sectors that they specialise in, this could include corporate events, exhibitions or luxury incentive trips – just to name a few.

You will generally be able to find this information on most event agency websites, where they will provide a detailed description of services they provide. Before you start diving deep into more about the company, make sure they offer the service you are looking for. 

Then, have a look to see if they offer pictures of previous events on their website or social media. Do they have awards that they have won or client testimonials? Picking an events agency with proven success and results will always benefit you. 

Create a pitch opportunity 

This may be one of the most important parts of selecting the right agency. You need to pick an agency that understands what you are wanting to achieve and the best way to ensure this is by inviting agencies to pitch! 

Provide a brief of what you want to achieve out of the event and invite them to create a pitch. It is also helpful to ask for case studies to see detailed examples of previous work the agency has completed. 

A pitch can be as simple as inviting them into your office with a presentation or even having them submit a presentation. 

The agency should be prepared, having conducted their own research and be able to demonstrate a wider understanding of your event, the business brand and the industry in which you operate. 

It is also important that you get a sense of company culture and assess if this aligns with your own.

Compare 

Through conducting your research and inviting event agencies to pitch, you should now have an idea if the agencies understand your requirements and if you think that they can achieve it successfully. 

So, what comes next?  

Compare cost between agencies and remember, simply because one is this cheaper, this does not mean they are the best option! 

Have a look at what each agency is offering in-depth and take into consideration who has the most understanding of your objectives and business brand.

Using an event agency that doesn’t specialise in your event type can often mean a lack of experience and understanding into the requirements that go into planning the event, a limited understanding about what budget it can take to put on the event, and missing the true objective or target audience of your event.

Be sure to take your time to do your research, create a pitch opportunity and compare to see who you think can provide the best service for your business!

Have you looked at what services Sleek Events specialise in? Take a look under our Cloud & Technology Events or Corporate Events pages and be sure to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on what our #EventProfs are working on! 

If you have any questions on how to choose an event agency that specialises in your sector, contact us here.

move into spring with vitality

Moving into spring with vitality and balance

Nicole Mackintosh van Dyk is an experienced yoga teacher, mother and eternal student, passionate about living life to its fullest in the most holistic way. Today is the first of a series of blogs from Nicole – particularly well-timed to help you find some joy in the return of spring, even at this difficult time. 

We all felt it, the first glimpses of springtime, teased with a smattering of sunshine, the daffodils are on sale and the magnolia trees are beginning to bloom, hello Spring… we have missed you.

Never a lover of the post-Christmas winter months, the dark days seem to drag on, the grey skies are never-ending and the rain, oh the rain! Whilst each season has its gifts, the winter months can be tough. With the continual dark and cold weather, we can often be left feeling sluggish, lethargic and generally depleted.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, planting seeds for the future and shaking off that winter feeling as the temperature starts to rise. It marks the time of transformation and with the start of 2020 being pretty tumultuous so far, never before has it been more important to see springtime in with vitality, a renewed energy and balance.

Rethink intentions

Intentions, resolutions whatever they mean to you and whether or not you set them at the beginning of the year, now is a good time to take stock of what is important to you in 2020. What do you want to do more of and what might be holding you back? Perhaps you are reinforcing old intentions or establishing new patterns – either way, take time to give this some thought. Keep it simple, don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of unrealistic expectations, just cherry-pick the one that resonates the most and make it your mantra.

Shake it off

Most of us tend to hibernate a little in the latter part of the winter months, subconsciously waiting for the longer days to arrive. Now the Coronavirus is forcing us to distance ourselves from our usual social interactions, many of us will feel isolated. During this time, it’s quite typical to accumulate negative energy which weighs us down and, as a consequence, makes us feel heavy and lethargic. Take some time to physically shake off stale, negative energy, using hands to brush away from the body, starting from the crown of the head moving down to the tips of toes in an outward action. Better still, put on some music, jump around. You might feel silly, but I guarantee you will feel lighter and invigorated.

Take off the winter coat

On a more physical level, adopt an ancient Ayurvedic ritual called ‘dry brushing’ or ‘garshana’ (translated it means friction by rubbing). A technique, as its name suggests, that uses a natural brush to massage the entire body from the feet upwards with long strokes moving in the direction of the heart. Ideally performed daily in the morning before showering. This self-care practice helps stimulate the lymphatic system, eliminate toxins, improve immunity, exfoliate dead skin cells and promote healthy skin – all of which are particularly important when heading out of the winter months.

Sit still

As soon as the longer days arrive, we tend to find ourselves doing more and more – rapidly moving into a state of overdrive. If this sounds familiar, take the time to find a moment of stillness every day, however short, you will be amazed at how effective this can be at recharging the batteries. Just stopping for five minutes, sitting silently or meditating, lighting a candle and moving inwards, resetting your intentions or just simply shutting your eyes. Be still, this time is yours and it’s golden.

sit still

Eat light

When the warmer weather starts to arrive, our cravings for the heavier foods of winter tends to dissipate. Fill your diet with a variety of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Decrease your intake of heavy, oily, cold, fatty foods and increase vitamin, nutrient and chlorophyll-dense foods such as dark, green vegetables and sprouts, strawberries, and blueberries. In short, eat light, eat seasonal, eat local.

eat light

Notice

Be mindful. It’s easy to have adopted a hazy view of the world whilst wandering through winter. The weight of the cold weather dampening our perspective. Start to open your eyes again to what’s around you and really notice the beauty of spring. It is a period of rebirth and transformation for the earth – try to find a connection with this amazing process. Connect with nature’s beauty whenever you can, take a moment of silence, breathe in its beauty, pull the weeds apart and see what’s going on down there, hug a tree! Anything that allows you to witness this beautiful transformation, to be inspired and to find new energy and light.

notice

Twist and flow

In Ayurvedic tradition, the late winter and first part of spring is known as ‘Kapha’ season, which is governed by the elements of earth and water. This part of year is characterised by heavy, cold and wet qualities which can manifest into feelings of sluggishness, a lower-rate metabolism and weakened immunity, as well as a general lack of motivation and low mood.

To combat these feelings and to counter the downward pull of kapha energy, practice a cleansing and energising yoga sequence with a focus on detoxing the liver and gall bladder – both of which tend to get overworked doing the winter months.

Twist and flow yoga

A sequence that incorporates a variety of nourishing twists, energising heart openers and juicy side bends are particularly effective at this time of year. Asanaa (postures) that focus on the inner and outer line of the legs are particularly good at targeting the liver and the gall bladders which is where the meridian lines reside for these organs. Take your practice slowly, work into your alignment, hold each pose for a minimum of five breaths and close with a seated meditation and savasana.

For more guidance on spring yoga sequences contact me by email: hello@wanderingwarrior.co.uk

Cultivate a new ritual

Encourage yourself to create space for those simple rituals that honour who you are and revitalise you on a physical, energetic and emotional level. Whatever it is, be present with it, whether it’s a daily walk in nature, a moment’s meditation, dry brushing or journalling, create a space for something new in your life that cultivates a feeling of wellbeing.

Embrace this beautiful new season with energy and vitality, be present, connect, notice the beauty unfolding around you, take time, nurture yourself, reset and welcome spring with a smile.

be kind to yourself

Love and sunshine

Nicole x

Check out Nicole’s services on Instagram or visit her website.

controlling your event during a crisis

Controlling your event during a crisis

As health and safety concerns grow, due to the spread of COVID-19, many businesses are facing doubts as to whether to hold their public or internal events. The important thing is for you to take control of your event before any challenging circumstances run away with you.

With travel restrictions being applied by both companies and countries for an undetermined timescale and articles circulating daily with updates, it can be difficult to know how best to proceed with your event. Whilst waiting for solid government advice to cancel or restrict numbers for events, what’s your best course of action?

If you have an events agency behind you, they’ll have crisis plans in place. But what can you do if you don’t have an events team to take action on your behalf?

Consider what alternatives there are to running your event 

  • A Virtual Event: 

In this modern, technology-friendly environment, an option businesses are looking towards is a live-streamed or broadcasted version of the event. Hosting the event online will allow delegates to tune in and engage from around the world.

It is now possible to stream an awards evening or have a keynote speaker with a live Q &A. Technology has advanced now to include interactive learning, breakout sessions and one-to-one options for event participants, all within a digital space.

  • Postpone the event:

Many events thrive and succeed on the basis of having a personal, physical relationship with attendees. This means that standing two metres away and not being able to share contact with a product during a demonstration is simply not an option. Your only option is going to be to postpone your event until later in the year. This allows for time to gain a better understanding and direction on how to best to proceed with the health and safety of attendees.

The first step when considering postponing your event is to review your contract with your suppliers and exhibitors. This will include contracts for venues through to event speakers. It is best to understand the terms and conditions of your contract and have a new date in mind before reaching out to reschedule and reorganise your event.

Communicating early is essential for all stakeholders. Create a communication plan to keep your partners and audience engaged with your event and informed about future plans. A great way to keep your attendees engaged is to see if any of the event key speakers would record content that could be used in future event teasers or communications. Remember to keep your website updated with key information, this is the most likely place people will visit to find recent updates.

Planning for after the crisis 

While some businesses are taking the opportunity to postpone until the challenges of COVID-19 have passed, this will create high demand and limited space for venues, speakers and other suppliers later in the year. It’s important to work now on these plans rather than waiting until phases 2 and 3 of the virus are over. Look at potential dates for July, August and September, as well as later in the year.

No matter if you’re looking to reschedule, turn your event virtual or adapt your event into a different format, Sleek Events is here to help. If you’re unsure and need advice on how to proceed, #SpeakToSleek. Our experienced events team are ready to help and can be contacted here or by calling our office on +44 (0)20 8939 1397.

 

Sleek Events office warming party

Sleek Events celebrate moving in to stylish new office

Our team at Sleek Events celebrated the move into our new home in Richmond, throwing an office warming party to welcome suppliers, freelancers and affiliates into the stylish new space.

The move into our new Richmond office comes as our MD & Founder, Jennifer Davidson, expands the agency to 13 full-time employees. But with plans for two more to join our #DreamTeam within the next 6 weeks, these premises are a temporary stop-gap while another office is being custom-built for us in Wimbledon.

The Cocktail Service at Sleek Events

Our party guests included our friends from ExCeL, Visit Monaco, Tobacco Dock, Iconic Luxury Hotels and many more. With a delicious cocktail in hand, expertly mixed by The Cocktail Service, guests toured the new space, were introduced to the new members of the team and did not resist the temptation of the freshly-cooked pizzas from Fine Street Co.

Fine Street Co at Sleek Events

“It was great to take some time to celebrate the growth of the company and welcome so many of our suppliers to the new office,” said Lizzie Burdge, Client Relationship Director for Sleek Events.

The chic office has a modern, industrial fitout with warm, soft furniture finishes to add a personable touch. This stylish office is managed by the same firm building the new Wimbledon premises, Harepath Estates LLP, due to be finished later this year – so watch this space.

Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to get the latest news from Sleek Events.

networking event for startup to meet investors

How to use an event to meet investors

When you’re starting a business, a key fence you need to hurdle is the financial one. You’ve got to find sufficient capital to cover not only your initial costs but also the expenses you’ll incur in the first year or two while the business gets on its feet.

But where do you go to get the money? You could approach your bank, but that’s very much a box-ticking exercise and, often, we simply don’t fit into boxes. (Plus, sometimes we prefer not to 😉).

So, why not think in a more ‘Dragons’ Den’ way and look in the direction of other entrepreneurs and business owners? They’ve almost certainly been in your position themselves and will know how important the non-box things are: drive, creativity, passion, belief, perseverance and, at the heart of it all, a darned good idea. They’ll be able to understand your situation in a way that an employed bank worker can’t and, if you find the right person/people, they’ll probably be able to give you some great advice and could even end up becoming a mentor or coach to you and your fledgling business.

So, get out there!

Events are great vehicles for meeting potential investors. Most industry organisations and associations have annual shows and conferences, which attract both high-profile speakers and people looking for new mutually-beneficial opportunities. Successful people love finding news ways to make money, so there will always be a number of ‘angel investors’ scouting at big events.

Then there are the smaller, more local networking events, which are great opportunities to get your name and business out there among other entrepreneurs and motivated businesspeople in your area. A simple Google search will bring up what’s on and information about where you might be able to meet investors, such as options in London listed on Eventbrite. Not every event you go to will be fantastic, but the more often you get out there, the more quickly you’ll find the best ones. Linkedin is a great source for identifying what’s worth going to and your local business associations should also be happy to make recommendations.

Who should I approach?

This is the first big question for many people: how do you know who to speak to?  Well, often you don’t. While you might recognise the more successful names and faces, when you walk into an event you really have no idea who might be in a position to invest, so simply introduce yourself to as many people as possible.

Tip: Do some online research before an event and try to identify any attendees that you think might be able to help you, in any capacity. Contact them beforehand and arrange to meet at the event – it’s much less scary when you’ve made plans and can be prepared.

What should I say?

Here’s the second big question: what do you say when you’re looking for investment? How do you start and how up-front should you be about what you want? You might be worried about saying either too much or too little – creating the wrong impression or, even worse, no impression at all!

Take a deep breath, relax and think about how you like to be approached by other people. A big smile, eye contact and a warm handshake are your starting points, followed by who you are and what your business is.

Tip: Ask other people questions about what they do. Not only will that make them warm to you, but it’ll help you judge whether they’re the right people to keep chatting with.

It’s certainly worthwhile listening to other people talk about how to present yourself and make the right first impression, particularly if you don’t feel naturally self-confident. This short TEDx talk by Caroline Goyder about breathing your way to confidence is a good starter.

And a great deal of self-confidence comes from knowing your subject inside out so, before you go to an event, make sure you’re clear on:

  • Your business: exactly what it is / the concept
  • Why & how the business is going to be profitable
  • How much capital you need & why
  • When and how investors will see returns.

DIY!

Remember, you can always organise your own event. You might think your business is too small and new to be event-worthy and that there’s no way you could afford it, but it really needn’t be difficult or expensive. And if you have your own premises, you could always offer the space for other people to host their events. In life, you tend to get back what you put out there, so make a name for yourself as someone who’s not only looking for help and investment, but is also prepared to give to others.

If you’re a startup business and would like advice and support on creating events that will really help accelerate your success, why not apply for one of our Sleek consultancy packages? Get in touch with us today to find out more.

5 top tips for your startup event

5 top tips for your first event as a startup

It wasn’t that long ago that Sleek Events was a startup company working out of our founder’s spare bedroom. Five years on, having seen significant growth, we decided the time was right to give back to the brave entrepreneurs taking the leap with their own startup businesses. Along with our pledge to work with one UK-based startup each year to advise on events to support their business growth, this blog is the first in a series of advice for startups looking to harness the power of events.

And the best place to start is at the beginning – our top 5 tips for running your first ever event as a startup

1. Define the aim of the event 

First thing is first, what is the purpose of the event? Are you wanting to launch a new product? Generate new sales? Or is it to say thank you to your suppliers or business network?

No matter the reason, you need to set a goal or purpose for the event. Clearly communicate this to anyone helping you run the event or who may be attending the event on behalf of your business. This then allows everyone to be prepared to help you reach your goal.

By defining the aim of the event, this will also determine your target audience and guest list.

2. Break everything into manageable tasks and create a plan

Running your first event can seem like an overwhelming task when you’re first starting out, but you can easily overcome this by making a detailed plan.

Figure out each element that is required to make your event run smoothly and start breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Such as:

Venue Sourcing:

  • Set your venue brief – how many people does the venue need to fit, what style of venue are you looking for, etc.
  • Research venues that match your brief
  • Request quotes
  • Visit the site in person
  • Book the venue.

In your event plan, it always helps to set deadlines for tasks assigned to both you and your team. This keeps everyone on track and ensures no tasks are left to the last minute.

3. Set a budget and stick to it

It’s important to be realistic with your budget from the start and to make sure you stick to it. Create a budget document and assign a spending figure that you can afford to each element of the event i.e. venue, catering, etc.

Remember to start gathering quotes early to see how they compare to your budget. If you need to make adjustments, make them before the invitation or promotion stage. This will allow you to see if you have extra money, perhaps to spend on something you couldn’t initially afford or if you need to make some savings.

4. Promote the event 

Promotion of your event will differ depending on the type of event you are running – is it open to the public or closed to your private guests? If it is closed to privately-invited guests, it can be as easy as an emailed Save the Date, followed by an Invitation and reminder to RSVP. For events that are open to the public, where you want a larger number of guests attending, you may need to put a marketing campaign into action. Consider using social media, online advertising, event listing websites and flyers or posters as promotional tools.

5. Have a follow-up plan

Look back at the aim of your event, was it to generate new sales and leads or to create new networking industry contacts? Consider how you are going to collect these contact details during the event to ensure you have a way to follow up after the event. In your event plan, ensure you come up with a communication strategy for after the event to reach out to those who attended.

An event will always cost you something – whether that is money for a venue and refreshments or your time in planning and coordination. It must deliver you a return on your investment.

 

And don’t forget, if all of this seems overwhelming right now, ask for advice from an expert. The best entrepreneurs know when to ask for help – we can’t all be experts at everything! For more tips from our eventprofs, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter

luxury incentive trip to Prague's evening tour

Top Luxury Incentive Trips for 2020

Have you been looking for luxury incentive location ideas for 2020? Do you want to get your teams motivated after the Christmas break and create some excitement in the office? Well look no further. We have compiled our top 3 locations that will be sure to have a little something to get everyone focused for the new year – and all within a short flight form the UK!

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands and only a 4-hour flight from London or a 2-hour flight from Madrid. This gorgeous island is known for its sandy beaches, clear waters, an active volcano and colourful coastal towns – the perfect location to be as active or relaxed as you want to be.

With luxury hotels on the beach and old villages with renowned architecture to explore throughout the island, there are endless sightseeing opportunities for all kinds of travellers.

luxury incentive kayaking with dolphins in Tenerife

Top Activities 
  • Private whale-watching tour – spend the day watching pods of whales and dolphins in the wild with a Marine Biologist guide whilst also listening to these beautiful creatures through a hydrophone
  • Volcanic sunset and stargazing picnic – spend an incredible evening watching the sunset on top of Mount Teide Volcano, followed by a private stargazing picnic with Spanish cheese, fruits, meats and wine
  • Snorkelling with dolphins and turtles – take a kayak tour along the Guaza Cliffs with spectacular views of the island and volcano. Along the tour get the opportunity to snorkel in the crystal clear waters.

Lake Como, Italy 

Surrounded by mountains and incredible local culture, Lake Como is known as one of Italy’s most picturesque natural destinations. The scenic towns surrounding the lake are known for their Instagram-quality views, exquisite villas, historic churches, museums and fun lake activities.

Whether you’re looking for a quieter adventure or to have an active holiday, Lake Como has so much to offer for everyone. Lake Como will definitely leave you with that “wow” factor if you’re looking to spoil your top performers.

luxury incentive trip sailing on Lake Como

Top Activities
  • Day tour of Bellagio and Varenna towns – explore the photogenic streets, historic cathedrals, unique shops, magnificent restaurants and different views of the lake
  • Take an Italian cooking class – learn from the masters of pasta with a local cooking class, teaching you to prepare traditional Italian dishes while sipping on wine
  • Boat tour of Lake Como – spend your day in true style with a private sightseeing tour of the lake, discovering unique parts only accessible by boat.

Prague, Czech Republic 

Known best for its bridges and castles, Prague is one of the most intact cities from WWII. With cobbled streets and medieval architecture, Prague will have you feeling as though you have stepped back in time. The historical Old Town Square is filled with colourful architecture, the famous Astronomical clock and places to sample the delicious local cuisine.

luxury incentive trip to Prague

Top Activities  
  • Private day tour of the city – explore everything Prague has to offer from Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge on a private city tour with a local guide
  • Villa Ritcher – dine in style with panoramic views over the city in this restored vineyard and villa
  • Prague Beer and Czech Tapas tour – known for having great nightlife but also famous for their beer, explore local beer halls, microbreweries and the best local restaurants in town.

So, those are our top 3 picks to kick-start your 2020 luxury incentive programme. Whether you want team incentive programmes or individual trips for your best performers, Tenerife, Lake Como and Prague can do it all without a long-distance flight!

We offer simple venue sourcing through to full trip management and even onsite support too. All you have to do is kick-back and enjoy yourself. For more on our bespoke luxury incentive packages, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter or send us an email hello@sleekevents.co.uk

retreat sign in countryside

Wellness incentives: a must for corporates in today’s stressful work environments

As the new year gets underway, the annual flood of resolutions are doubtless being listed, vision-boarded and embarked upon. Top of the chart for most people will be things related to self-improvement: taking more exercise, eating more healthily and losing weight. But just behind those very common pledges will be ‘reduce stress’, according to the results of a YouGov poll published in December, with women being more likely than men to have it on their list (46% of female respondents versus 31% of males).

And that’s really not surprising. A survey of over 2,000 people commissioned by the mental health charity, Mind, found that work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives, with a third of respondents saying their work life was either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ stressful, making it a bigger worry than financial problems and health.

Those working in large organisations (250+ employees) are almost twice as likely as those in small businesses (under 50 employees) to suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s most recent statistics. And, while the percentage of staff self-reporting stress-related conditions may be relatively low – 1% in small businesses, rising to 2% in large organisations – there will be many others who are suffering but don’t report it. So, it’s vital that you, as an employer, recognise this growing issue and make sure your staff know they are valued and appreciated and that there are opportunities for them to periodically decompress.

yoga by a lake

Wellness incentives: a growing trend

We’ve seen a big rise in the number of companies offering wellness incentives – in fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of our business. While some companies already provide free or discounted gym memberships, have healthy snack and refreshment stations in offices and provide ‘chill out’ and creative thinking areas, more and more are also introducing trips and retreats to reward their staff.

These incentives are a mix of relaxation, activity, luxury and strategic sessions, giving employees the chance to socialise with both their peers and management. It gives them space to think creatively and perhaps gain a greater appreciation of those they work with, which tends to translate into better relationships back home in the office.

While wellness incentives can be overseas trips of a lifetime (and we love planning and managing those for our clients!) they don’t have to be that extravagant. Travelling abroad doesn’t have to cost a fortune and there are fantastic locations all across the UK that can host tailor-made experiences, like our team away day at the end of last year.

Sleek retreat

Retreating Sleek-style

In a 2019 survey by Career Cast, being an Events Coordinator was voted the sixth most stressful job, behind firefighter, military personnel, police officer, airline pilot and broadcaster. We know that giving your very best every day can take a lot out of you, mentally and physically, so we decided to recharge Sleek’s batteries by whisking the #dreamteam off to a manor house in Somerset for a long weekend of rural downtime mixed with creative planning and goal setting. Taking the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company away from the office – with plenty of fresh air and good food – gave us the chance to look at our business from a different angle and reward everyone with a few extra luxury treats. The result: we made some really exciting plans for 2020 and came home 100% refreshed. You can read more about what we got up to here.

So, as you make your business resolutions and finalise corporate goals for the year, make sure there’s some consideration of what incentives you can put in place to keep your staff motivated and healthy, with a focused and balanced approach to their work.

It’s not indulgence; it’s investment in your most valuable assets.

team wellness incentives retreat

Top tips for choosing an incentive trip

  1. Set a budget
  2. Decide what you want to achieve
  3. Think about the kind of environment that would help you achieve your desired outcome…

…then give us a call and pick our highly imaginative brains 😉  We’ll put together a few different tailor-made experiences, then all you have to do is choose your favourite!

sleek events luxury incentives

You can read more about our approach to bespoke incentive packages online, follow what we’re up to via Instagram and Twitter and, if you’d like to discuss anything, give us a call on 0208 939 1397 or email hello@sleekevents.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.

2020

20 things to prepare you for a healthy and productive 2020

New Year’s resolutions abound once the Christmas feasting is over but in the lead up to a new decade, the goals and dreams of the general public really move up a notch. We’re here to remind you that in a busy profession like events, setting yourself up for failure with extreme targets or lifestyle changes can be more destructive than not bothering to set yourself objectives at all.

This article by Time magazine shows the change in approaches to what is considered healthy choices from back in 2010 when people were making plans for leaving the noughties. When you look at these few examples, you realise that having an open mind and the flexibility to embrace fresh thinking is just as important as sticking to resolutions.

We polled our office this week and prepared our top 20 list of recommendations for preparing yourself for a happy, healthy and productive 2020…

1. Set goals and ambitions for the year – keep them realistic as many people drop their New Year’s resolutions by about midday on 2nd January!

2. Declutter – whether at home, work or both, start the year off without the mess.

3. Practise what we preach – we talk about personal and professional development as a way to stay ahead of the game and an easy way to do that is to watch inspirational speakers via TED Talks. Try setting yourself a minimum of one a week.

4. Manage stressStress Matters is an organisation specifically for the events industry who have a fantastic programme for employers to sign up to for their employees. Why not make the pledge? And we’ve also had the team in from POINT3 Wellbeing who have helped us embed wellbeing into our workplace culture – stress less and smile more!

5. Dry January – it’s a busy time of year so why not attack it with a clear head and a smug, hangover-free smile. We could list the benefits of a month off the booze but you all know the score.

6. Start something new – get out of the rutt and try a new hobby or activity. You can meet new people, do it with your family or set out on a different route for your dog walks. Whether it’s baking or downloading a mindfulness app, changing it up can bring fantastic rewards.

7. Give back – you know the random acts of kindness you hear about on social media? Something as simple as putting your name down for a charity event, donating blood, or buying one extra food item for your local food bank can get the ball rolling.

8. Enjoy what the Arts have to offer – there are lots of new shows opening next year and some great ones continuing or if the theatre isn’t your bag, what about the band you always promised you’d see live?

9. Want to get fit but not sure where to start? Join ClassPass – it gives you the variety and flexibility to work out at many different venues.

10. Carry a reusable water bottle – you can stay hydrated and reduce your plastic waste footprint. We have our new Sleek branded bottles or you could try a Chillys bottle – these guys were no.1 on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 where we were thrilled to be placed at no. 19 in Britain’s list of fastest-growing companies.

11. Start your day earlierread the Miracle Morning to find out why getting up just 15 minutes earlier can make a huge difference to your day and life.

Still with us? Keep reading on – we promise it’s worth it!

12. Shop local – we like to support small businesses (just like us!) and shopping local is one way to help your community thrive and make personal and professional connections at the same time.

13. Car-free weekends – or could that be carefree weekends? Try to avoid using the car at the weekend as much as possible – walk, cycle or take the bus instead. It’s a good habit to form, reducing CO2 emissions and keeps you fit!

14. Write a to-do list – if you find it hard to drop off to sleep at night, write your list before going to bed to avoid waking up at 3am with random thoughts running your head. Or prepare a next day priority list for work before you leave the office each evening so you don’t drag work home with you.

15. Meatless Mondays – get on board with the campaign that encourages people to improve their health and that of the planet. You don’t have to become vegetarian but plenty of us are flexitarian without even knowing it.

16. Get creative in the kitchen – if you find yourself on a food delivery app because you’re too tired to cook or don’t fancy the same old spag bol, add some pzazz to your mealtimes with a new cookbook. To help with Meatless Mondays, we tried the River Cottage veg recipe book and loved it so much that we’re going to set up a recipe book swap station in our office kitchen.

17. Enjoy work travel – we’re on the go with events further afield every year. To balance the environmental impact of essential travel with our own wellbeing, we recommend taking time out from every work trip to explore. If the world is your oyster, you need to dip your toe in the water from time to time!

18. Reduce your screen time – we know you have work to do and you can’t just close your laptop in the middle of a task BUT you can schedule in periods of downtime. Take a coffee outside, arrange a catch-up with colleagues or go for a walk at lunch. The important thing is to feel comfortable with your mobile out of your hand and your computer turned off – especially when you’re at home.

19. Reconnect with people – make time for family or old friends. Pick up the phone rather than sending a text. We all know that Christmas heightens feelings of loneliness – you can make the difference to someone’s day with a quick call or dropping round with some cake!

20. Appreciate what you’ve got

Finally, we all agreed that we don’t really stop and take stock of what is already working well in our lives. We’re all going to list 20 things we love about our lives to remind ourselves of the people and things we care about, our achievements and how those will affect our happiness, health and productivity throughout 2020 and beyond.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our friends from the team at Sleek Events!

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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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