The Creative Force Behind Unforgettable Events at The Inner Temple: An Interview with Adam, our Operations Manager
In the world of event planning, making events memorable requires a mix of careful planning and creativity. Behind the scenes, Adam, one of our Operations Managers, makes it all happen seamlessly.
Adam has been in the event world for over nine years. He started in the entertainment business and made his way to where he is now. His journey has given him unique experiences that shape the way he manages events.
For Adam, making an event successful isn’t just about getting all the details right. It’s also about building a good relationship with the people hosting the event. He believes that understanding what they want and paying close attention to all the small details are key.
In this chat with Adam, we get to learn about his career journey. We’ll also hear about some interesting and surprising requests he’s had to deal with.
In your opinion, what makes for a successful event? Are there any strategies that you find helpful:
A successful event is based on the time taken to get to know a client and make them feel at ease. Whilst planning all the details of the event it is important to understand the client’s end goal. Working together you can then bring all elements of what the venue has to offer to achieve that goal. Attention to detail is also key and having strong systems in place to cover all eventualities is essential. Whilst your client may be focussed on technical or digital elements of the event, you as the Event Manager might be focussed on what is happening back of house to ensure all of the catering requirements are on track at the correct times, even when client-facing. Without a strong team around you, it is easy to feel pressured and time-constrained, so it is also extremely important to get to know the team around you and invest in them to ensure everyone has the tools to develop, feel confident in their abilities and progress, this takes time but is worth it for the eventual outcome.
What experiences or moments in your career have had the most significant impact on your approach to event management?
I think working in places where I have felt undervalued has taught me many priceless lessons in my career. I have always and would always treat people the way I would want/expect to be treated, but having been employed in places where you don’t feel respected or appreciated for the work and effort put into a role, my work ethic has been reaffirmed. Having a structure in a workplace where you feel support from above and below is a model, I would always use to create an environment where people can flourish and feel valued. I think you can use that in any job or industry, however in hospitality where things move at such a rapid pace and the work can be extremely intense and stressful, it is essential to make your teams feel appreciated and understood. I also like to be approachable and bring an element of fun to a workplace during downtimes so that it isn’t always too serious.
What’s the most unusual or unexpected request you’ve received from a client, and how did you accommodate it?
A client recently asked for a specific type of furniture to be in place within hours of the request. It was important to maintain a level head and use the resources around me to look at solutions to source what was required using known suppliers in an efficient manner. As pressured as this request was, my team supported me in finding a solution and the issue was resolved very quickly with a very happy client.
Another time I was asked by a bride’s father if snakes were allowed in our (award-winning) gardens at Inner Temple. I thought it was a joke and an unusual thing to say. The bride saw my face and turned to me to say, “Adam we will not be having snakes at my wedding”, it was actually very funny. Needless to say, we did not have snakes or any animals for that matter at the wedding.
Can you describe your typical day when you’re preparing for a major event at our venue?
As the Operations Manager, my day-to-day work life is never the same so there isn’t really a typical day for me. There are constants, but they are not always in a fluid timeline as things break down, get damaged or people/the team need time to discuss problems or issues, this means I can be pulled away from my desk for long periods of time. Therefore, preparation is integral for a smooth operation and so it is vitally important to get all of your planning for the day in place ahead of time. For example, if you are running a large dinner, it is important to structure any dietary requests and allergens in a detailed and concise manner that helps all parties. If you can get this done along with your staffing levels prior to the day you are freed up from the inevitable eventualities, issues or ad-hoc requests that occur. A structured briefing for the team is also key to a successful event. If everyone knows their role and responsibilities throughout an event with clear expectations, the event is more likely to run smoothly and be a huge success.
What initially drew you to a career in event operations, and how has your journey in this field shaped your approach to managing events at our venue?
When I started in events just over 9 years ago, I came from a career in the entertainment industry and found I had a lot of transferable skills to offer. In the years previous to this I had worked in hospitality as a means to tide me over during quiet times, never really thinking it would become a passion and a career for me. I love dining out and trying new trends in both food and beverage and I like to try and incorporate this into what we offer in our venue. We should always be looking to build and improve on what we have been offering.
Being supported in our venue and given the opportunities to learn, develop and grow has been immensely rewarding and allowed me to build confidence in myself that I may not have elsewhere. Changing careers often leads to something called imposter syndrome and I think looking back it is something I suffered from a lot throughout my life in all jobs. I like to pass on my knowledge to the team/s around me and discuss experiences encountered by the team and myself to widen my own knowledge base. No matter the level of seniority of a team member, everyone has a journey and story which everyone can hopefully learn from and be inspired by. No one should feel personally above anyone else, and we should learn from each other. I think working as a team is the biggest approach I bring to a workplace and something that brings me happiness and fulfilment in my work.
Through Adam’s experiences, we’ve uncovered the importance of preparation, teamwork, and understanding client needs. It’s a reminder that successful events are a blend of creativity, precision, and a commitment to building strong relationships. As we close this chapter, we celebrate the hidden craft that ensures every event at The Inner Temple is truly exceptional.