For our latest 'Getting To Know' feature, we caught up with Amy Cowan - Freelance Events Manager with nearly 20 years’ experience. When not working Amy can be found running, watching 80’s movies or feeding her addiction to self improvement books.
Q: In a nutshell, tell us the about your services and the some of the industries you’ve freelanced for?
A: I’ve worked in all sorts of business areas, engineering, software, tourism, charity sector and my specialty – life sciences and pharmaceutical. I’ve also worked venue and client side and it’s surprising how often being able see things from that point of view has really helped in negotiations.
Q: How did you get started in the events industry?
A: I originally wanted to work in Public Relations, not a million miles away from Events, I took a Graduate Development role out of University and moved around the business as part of that but after a few days in the Events Team I knew it was for me!
Q: Most memorable moment working as a freelancer?
A: Don’t make me choose! I worked for a pharma client at a huge exhibition and their team started giving out my number to other company’s staff for help on site! Cheeky but I knew I must have been doing a good job. A personal highlight? Being collected by speedboat from a sailing competition I was running out at sea, I felt like I was in a bond film.
Q: Best location you’ve worked at?
A: Boston, USA, I’d wanted to work there for so long and after planning for over a year our conference coincided EXACTLY with the World Series playoffs between the Boston Red Sox and the St Louis Cardinals. It was a logistical challenge to say the least but the energy in the city was incredible. It’s a beautiful city with some great venues and still has some hidden gems if you know who to ask.
Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
A: I always tell people I mentor or manage now that it’s always thought that being a good event manager means being organized, and it does, but I think it’s more important to be able to be flexible and expect the unexpected. no amount of spreadsheets and labels will help when a hurricane hits or your van is stolen (both real life examples for me 😊)