2014 was the year the internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin married some actor, Apple watches became a thing, the UK drenched themselves in the Ice Bucket challenge, we learnt what ‘consciously uncoupling’ was (Cheers Gwyneth and Chris), but also the year BeaconHouse Events was founded. This month marks the 4th Birthday, we are done being a three-nager, and looking forward to getting into our stride with the feisty four’s.
Make a brew, and join us as we look back at the events and experiences that shaped four extraordinary years, with each team members highlights… (it’s worth it just to see the picture of us in high-vis at the end!)
Sarah Thackray, Director
Dynamo North East was one of our first client events. Dynamo started as a two man volunteer committee with an idea to find out who worked in the IT & tech sector in the NE. From the seed idea, we now deliver an annual events programme for the network including a conference for over 300, an awards ceremony for over 350, a senior leaders dinner and monthly networking and panel events. We also led the development of a membership model for the network and we now manage, administer and oversee this, as well as advising on the financial strategy for the CIC. A brilliant example of growing with one of our clients!
We started the company with only two event contracts. Today we deliver over 100 events and services annually and work with many regional, national and international clients including The Planet Mark, an environmental standard mark; The European Thyroid Association; The Great Run Company; Dynamo North East; Space Group architects; the University Technical College and many others. Perhaps the pinnacle of our growth to date has been the sheer pride we felt when our small team were selected in a competitive tender process to deliver the design and production for the upcoming Great Exhibition of the North’s Business Summit in July 2018. This contract should propel us into the limelight across the North, not just the North East, bringing us more possibility and opportunities in the future.
We are proud to support the event delivery for such a brilliant North East charity as the Chronicle’s Sunshine Fund. Funding essential equipment for some of the North East’s disabled children is such an amazing cause and one that we are delighted to be able to support. Simply put, our team has become an extension of the charity’s own team. We have adopted their values, mission and culture and continue to support the growth of the charity through the delivery of an exceptional annual events programme.
The future is bright…the future is BeaconHouse Events orange. We have great hopes, and solid plans, to firmly root the company into the fabric of the North East business community. And we are proud that we are already becoming a key part of the region’s ecosystem. We are excited about what is possible, and the organisations – that we are yet to meet – who we can help through the delivery of exceptional events. Our vision has no ceiling, but as we are planners at heart we make sure that our excitement has realistic plans behind it to make sure that our growth will happen.
Catherine Coulter, Director
FOUR YEARS! Wow, well it definitely wouldn’t be the same place to work if a year didn’t go by without us putting the party in pasta as part of the Great North Run weekend. It’s just so amazing for us to be part of an event that brings so much regional pride.
We get to work in the most fantastic venues across the nation but when a client comes to you with a challenge such as converting a modern office block into an exclusive club come cocktail bar come secret garden, well that’s the kind of challenge we thrive upon! Working with Arch Group Northumberland to convert Blyth Workspace for the Tall Ships event in 2016 was just incredible – we absolutely got the opportunity to shake our creative tail feathers and work with some of the most inspiring suppliers across the North East.
Employing staff meant upgrading from our home office and what a learning curve that was! A day spent in IKEA saw us purchase floral cushions and window seating solutions, an awkward office meeting with a tall chap, no place to set a cup of tea and knees up around our ear lobes quickly taught us that an office space needs to be fit for purpose and not an extension of your ‘House and Home’ subscription. Hoults Yard offers us the perfect balance – a cool, trendy establishment that strokes our creative ebb and a collaborative, professional community and suits our scale-up flow. Our first orange wall will always hold a personal point of pride in my heart.
People often ask us how we set up the company, it’s not a story full of drama and big dreams…Sarah and I set the company up because we loved managing events and we’d had feedback that we weren’t bad at doing it. Enter, ‘BeaconHouse Events’ – we stick to that mantra today, we still love managing events and we employ people that feel the same way, you’ll only ever be great at this job if you love it and we only tolerate greatness! We delivered our first couple of events and quickly got a couple more, soon our work continued to grow at pace and we had the confirmation that we were doing something right – the cherry on the cake was winning ‘New Business of the Year’ at the Newcastle Business Awards, recognising our achievements in our first year of business.
Clare Nicholson, Event Coordinator
I take great pride in our continued relationship with Dynamo and its members. It’s a great feeling to know I’ve played a part in growing their events from the Dynamites, to just a casual Monday trip to the House of Lords!
My two-year work anniversary was a real highlight, celebrating 730 glorious days as part of the BeaconHouse team. Excuse the cliché but time really does fly when you are having fun!
It’s a common misconception that event management is all tasting canapes and arranging flowers, and although it doesn’t make up the majority of my time, I’ve been privileged enough to be assisting with some pretty special events for clients including big birthdays and weddings that included lovely flowers and tasty samples. It’s such a pleasure to build a strong personal relationship with the client and there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have played a part in helping their vision for a special celebration, come to life.
The awesome BeaconHouse crew continues to grow, and while these are four of my highlights, it was also fantastic to be able to welcome Bex, Sophie, Katie and Helen to the team, and of course teach them the ropes, i.e. try and incorporate orange in everything you do. #WeHeartOrange #TeamworkMakesTheDreamwork
Sophie Flanagan, Event and Marketing Manager
Start a new job, start working on an International Film Festival, get to meet mega talented film professionals (and the one and only Jools Holland!!), watch up and coming films, handling Box Office and tickets for over 200 events, manage six screening venues, award the Geordie ‘Oscars’ to the deserving filmmakers. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick and triple tick. Yep organising the first year of Newcastle International Film Festival was exhausting, but extremely rewarding!
My first event onsite with BHE was The Chronicle Sunshine Fund’s Sunflower Ball. Helping to deliver an unforgettable ‘Arabian Nights’ themed evening, providing unique experiences to guests and creating lasting impressions all whilst smashing the fundraising target was such a fantastic feeling.
As event professionals, we want everything to be beautiful. So the introduction of BHE Snap of the Month competition is a once-a-month highlight, I did win the first month, but I am yet to regain my crown, here’s hoping for May. *Quickly scrolls Beyonce’s feed for insta inspo*. Check us out
Putting my marketing geek hat on, a personal highlight has been tackling the beast that is GDPR. Data audits, opt in forms and cleansing data, oh my! It’s like a digital spring clean and it feels so good.
Katie Whitehouse, Event Coordinator
My first ever event with team BHE was the North East Futures UTC open evening held at the BOILER SHOP and hosted by Ubisoft. Over 200 people attended to learn more about this fantastic new school, there were great speeches, great food and lots of fun had by all on the Ubisoft live gaming stands. A perfect first milestone. I only wish I could give out Ubisoft games at every event – we didn’t have a single no-show on our attendance list!
One of our charity clients is The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, we produce an event called ‘The Glass Slipper Awards’ celebrating inspirational women across the North East. Wonderful lunch and delicious cupcakes were had by all but most importantly, we helped the charity raise a brilliant sum in 2018 which will change the lives of children with disabilities in the North East. Go team!!
Decamping to London for the Digital Agenda Impact Awards, held at the unique Oval Space, meant I got to assist delivering my first event outside of the toon! The awards celebrate all digital innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us, and they certainly made an impact on me!
Newcastle International Film Festival brought cinema across the city, needing over 100 volunteers. No small task, but I recruited, trained and managed and kept 120 volunteers hydrated over the Easter weekend (hint: never under-estimate how much water you need onsite for an event of that scale!). It was fantastic to see the event run smoothly with their assistance, and a pleasure getting to know all the talented individuals.
Helen Barthorpe, Event Manager
BIM Show Live 2018 was the first large scale event I worked on at BHE. At the end of four busy, high energy, long, snow-filled days we got to the end of the conference. The client was so happy with the event that he personally thanked and hugged us all! We all then proceeded to the pub…well deserved beer always tastes better!
I’ve loved working on Wild at Kielder Festival. It’s been great to help pull together a full and exiting programme of activities. It was funny when my boyfriend asked me “How has your day been?” I said “Brilliant! The Alpaca walks are nearly sold out!” to which he replied “That’s a sentence I never thought you’d say..”
Being a part of the GEOTN pitch was a fantastic experience. Preparing the pitch with Cat, Sarah and Wayne Hemingway was exciting and bursting with ideas. The pitch itself was very serious and nerve wracking. We left the pitch feeling good but unsure who we’d be up against. To win the bid was a fantastic feeling!
Our first BHE team building evening is definitely one of my highlights. The Escape Room was a great way to see everyone’s true personalities. We all came together and succeeded as a great (and very competitive) team! Afterwards, we proceeded to eat all of the tapas and drink most of the drinks in Newcastle.
Proof of our victory at the escape room:
Here are BHE HQ we are looking forward to another year of highlights, thanks to all our clients and supporters, we couldn’t have done it without you. We will see you for (orange) jelly and ice cream on the 5th Birthday!