Five things people will actually remember from your 2023 events

Your event is an experience, and whether you are planning an awards ceremony, a festival or a conference, you want people to remember your event for all the right reasons. Everyone wants to be ahead of the curve and while A.I. and digital technology can add extra dimensions to an event, those big flashy moments don’t always add as much value as focusing on the everyday details. Research shows that people actually prefer personalised experiences at events, which means they want to feel like you have thought about what THEY need or want from the experience, not just picked an off the shelf generic solution, however fancy that might be.

We spoke to our team here at BeaconHouse Events to find out from their experience what makes an event to remember…


1. Things to discover People love being the first to discover something new, so surprise and delight your delegates with little touches that will make them smile. This could be regionalised or themed wording on signage, places to relax, selfie stands and photo points or pop-up entertainment as they move around the venue. Not only will your delegates remember these moments, it also gives people something to talk about and share on social media after the event is all wrapped up.


2. Service with a smile Events take a lot of planning but if the staff on the ground are tired, stressed or aloof, it will undo all of your hard work. Try and provide as much information as possible in advance but have attentive, visible team members throughout the event space to answer specific queries or help out with any issues that might need solving. Encourage staff to make an effort to remember names, offer extra information that might be useful and enjoy the experience. Customer focused staff who go above and beyond, who are friendly and proactive are going to make everyone’s experience more enjoyable and leave delegates feeling positive towards you and your brand.


3. Feeling like a local If you are welcoming delegates from out of town they might not have a lot of time to explore the local area or find the best places to visit. Always put someone with local knowledge at the registration desk, armed with information on great places to eat nearby (not just your local golden arches), things to do in downtime (like free walking tours), local gyms, art gallery opening times or day trips. Help your delegates make sustainable choices as much as possible when they are travelling to and from the space, send out public transport routes, e-transport information or car sharing options for people that aren’t familiar with the area.


 4. Not having to ask Keep in mind that there will be a mix of people with different preferences or requirements at your event, so make sure alternative options like vegan food or non-alcoholic drinks are not only available but visible. If someone has to ask for an alternative it can make them feel out of place, and they are going to remember how they felt in that moment over any free gift or fancy venue. When it comes to catering we always try to make sure that everyone feels included and can enjoy the same experience, there’s nothing worse than a soggy salad when everyone else is enjoying a hearty meal. Take into account any religious or cultural accommodations and communicate them clearly, this could include halal food options, spaces for prayer or catering timings during Ramadan.


5. Making connections Meeting interesting people and having great conversations is one of the best and most memorable things about bringing people together. Build in moments where people can organically connect outside of formal networking sessions and create spaces that encourage informal conversations – sometimes that is where the best ideas flow! Plan personalised socials and networking based on how individuals like to spend their time so there is the chance to meet people with similar interests and get value from the more relaxed sides of the event too. Not all socials have to involve drinking, things like yoga, city runs, historical tours or craft sessions are a bit different, fun and definitely memorable!

To speak to our team about your 2023/24 business goals and how events can form part of your strategy, give us a call on 0191 691 3456 or email

Earth Day: Our four year ESG strategy

Our strategy aims to deliver considered, achievable actions, help us to reach responsible carbon neutrality and drive sector-wide change from inside our organisation.

This strategy is incredibly important to us as a business and is the product of over a year of research, team consultation and expert guidance. It outlines our key commitments to the environment, people, governance and financial resilience. These plans include steps to reduce our carbon emissions by 5% year on year, with the aim to be a carbon neutral business by the end of 2027, alongside supply chain engagement, research into sustainably sourcing materials, digital solutions to limit single-use print and staff training to upskill the team on the future of events both in-person and online. Alongside this we have a commitment to educate and empower the next generation of North East talent, supporting local charities and initiatives and giving our talented team opportunities to sign-up to support education initiatives, including Girls Network and founders4schools as well as supporting individual young people to thrive in the sector through mentoring schemes.

This launch of our strategy also coincides with the exciting news that we have been awarded the Standard Good Work Pledge by North of Tyne Combined Authority. This award recognises our efforts to be fair employer, our commitment to staff health and wellbeing and our demonstration of social responsibility in the region.

Explaining why we have launched our strategy now, and what it means for the business and the sector, our co-founder and director Sarah Thackray said, “Since forming in 2014 our vision has always been to drive positive, lasting impact with every event we do, whether that be a conference, exhibition, awards ceremony or festival, and now is the right time to also focus those efforts internally and look at how we can make lasting change from within the business.

“We recognise that the event industry has a major impact on our planet and by doing our part we can lead the way in making sustainable change in the sector. It is our job as a responsible employer and business to forge the path of what is possible and to collaborate with other organisations to learn from, and inspire, each other. We don’t want to make grand statements and big promises, we are committed to working with our team, our suppliers and our clients to make consistent, considered changes which will move us closer towards our goal of being carbon neutral within the next five years. We are proud to be early adopters of TRACE, a digital carbon measurement platform to help the event industry reach Net Zero. TRACE helps us to gather data on our carbon impact at each event, which in turn gives us the ability to work with clients to benchmark and track success alongside their ESG strategy.

“The inclusion of financial resilience was important to us as a team, without a robust business model you simply don’t have the capacity, skills or resource to invest back into the wider community. Everything that we have planned works in tandem with our growth plans for the coming years and allows us to support our clients to achieve both their business ambitions, while supporting them to reach their own ESG goals too.”

Over the past year we have been working closely with innovation sustainability manager Katrina Appleyard to develop an ESG strategy which will form a key pillar of both our internal and external delivery from 2023-2027.

Discussing our work together Katrina, innovation manager for sustainability at Dynamo North East said, “BeaconHouse Events are taking responsibility for their own organisational impact before they are under any legislative pressure to do so which is incredibly refreshing to see. As part of our work together I carried out a lot of research into how the events sector is approaching sustainability globally, and while there are a lot of organisations looking at how they can produce green events, there is nothing being said about what it means to look internally and be a responsible events company from the inside out. While BeaconHouse were already behaving in a way that was socially conscious, this strategy has helped them to pin down what this looks like and make it much more explicit when it comes to achievable actions.

“The fact that BeaconHouse Events are even considering what they can control, and how they can make positive change from within the business, automatically makes them leaders in their field. The events industry is in a unique position in that they are built to bring people together and address societal issues, however that often has a direct impact on the environment when you consider things like travel or single-use materials, so there is a lot of learning to do within the sector on how to address this juxtaposition.

“This won’t be a linear journey for any organisation and there will be a lot of learning along the way. A big part of this process will be trying different approaches to see what works, and educating both clients and peers within the industry along the way, collaboration really is at the heart of it. What is inspiring to me about the work this commitment from BeaconHouse is that they are striving for social change and business habit change which is much bigger than simply looking at the impact of their events in silo.”

Sarah continued, “We have worked closely with Katrina on this strategy and her comprehensive guidance and expertise has been invaluable as we shaped our vision and goals.”

Our ESG strategy is based around key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, which look to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. We particularly wanted to focus the strategy on areas where we could make meaningful change as a team, including Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, Quality Education and Good Health and Wellbeing; all areas where we can strive to have an authentic and last impact both in the North East and across the events sector as a whole.

To find out more about how we can help you to work towards your sustainability goals or to understand more about how we are making changes as a business contact

Hot off the stress: Top tips to reduce stress and burnout

Stress is a major problem for our sector, and knowing how to manage it can improve mental and physical well-being as well as minimise health-related issues brought on by life in what can be a stressful sector. Here at BeaconHouse Events we’re committed to giving our team the knowledge to understand what stress looks like in our colleagues, as well as the space and tools to preempt a situation or tackle it head on.

This Stress Awareness Month we sat down with the team to learn their top tips coping under pressure and how they juggle busy client portfolios while keeping themselves healthy and effective…


Go outdoors Build time into your diary to get outside and into the fresh hair – it really can blow away the cobwebs and help you approach a problem from another point of view. This can be anything from a walk around the block between meetings, eating lunch outside on a sunny day or something more extreme like sea-swimming or planning a hike on a weekend. It’s not just a nice thing to do either, studies show that being in nature lowers your stress-hormone cortisol and decreases your heart rate!


It’s good to talk Make time to spend time with your direct reports or team leaders for a weekly check-in to plan tasks and prioritise workload. These sessions are great for getting another point of view on a problem or to ask for support if you need it. Spending time discussing a problem one-on-one can help to manage expectations and allow you to plan your workload accordingly. Find the people that energise you, both in and outside of work, and if something is on your mind make sure you share it with a colleague, friend or family member, a problem shared really is a problem halved!


Get enough ZZZs Sleep can be elusive when you’re counting tasks instead of sheep, but a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to avoid feelings of stress. Research has even shown that people who sleep better feel less negative emotions and are able to be more resilient in the face of a stressful event, and recover faster. If you’re struggling to get to sleep, try to keep to a regular nighttime pattern, keep your bedroom cool and quiet and avoid working, looking at your phone or watching TV right before you fall asleep.


Take time out to do something you enjoy Plan in time to do things that you enjoy and stick to it, that can be anything from reading a good book to watching your favourite TV show and spending time with friends. Taking moments to allow your brain to turn off will let you approach your task-list feeling refreshed and with renewed vigor. Try a ‘self-care’ day once a month where you totally switch off.


Fail to plan, plan to fail Build in a point at the end of the day to clear your inbox or at least make a note of the bigger tasks you need to tackle the next day or after the weekend. Ending the day with a good plan of what you need to achieve next means that you can end the day feeling confident that nothing has been missed and leaves you able to fully switch off. Be intentional about planning your time, or try time blocking in your diary, and be present in the task you are doing with no distractions to make the most of the time you have put aside for it. If there is a job that you are worried about, try to get it out of the way early so it is not hanging over you for the whole day.


Be present At BeaconHouse Events everyone has each other’s back, including our clients. Really be aware of the people around you and offer support if you see someone is struggling or not acting like themselves. Take time out to ask a colleague if they want a coffee or to take a walk, it can really turn someone’s day around! Knowing that you have a support system around you and a culture of trust is a huge benefit when there is a curveball to content with.


Look after your health Looking after your physical health can have an enormous impact on your mental wellbeing. The BeaconHouse team do a whole range of things to keep our bodies and minds in top condition, including gym memberships, midweek football, running, long dog walks, netball, zen-days and outdoor swimming!


Find your groove Get your favourite song on in the car, in the shower, on your headphones – anywhere at all – and sing along as loud as you can. We love everything from noughties indie rock to 90s trance in the team but it’s less about what you listen to and more about how it makes you feel!

If you are interested in joining the team, we would love to hear from you. Visit to view our current vacancies.

*World Scholarship Vault

Law, order and cold-water swimming…meet Sophie

After considering a career in law, Sophie met BeaconHouse Events co-founders Sarah and Catherine during her university year in industry, where she really got a taste for events and realised that this was the sector where her skills and passion lay. She joined the team 2017 and is a now a Senior Events Manager using her experience and people engagement skills to lead large, high-impact events for clients across a wide range of sectors.

We grabbed a coffee and sat down with Sophie to talk about what she does why she loves working in corporate events, what a typical week looks like for her and the virtues of cold water swimming…

What made you first consider a career in event management?

When I first started looking for university placements, I was looking at the different aspects of marketing and engagement and while a lot of those looked really interesting, I started to think about what I enjoy doing outside of work – and naturally I’m a planner! In my friendship group I’ve always been the one that enjoys organising the trips or the birthday parties – I’m pretty detail oriented and love an agenda or organised fun, so it was a fairly natural fit once I understood what would be involved if I did this full-time as a career.


Did you know a lot about the industry before you started in the industry?

Not at all. My first role was at another events agency, ‘Benchmark Communications’ whilst I was studying and the kinds of events that we were working on there were big scale, with thousands of attendees from sectors like academia and healthcare. It was a total crash course – new vocabulary including ‘delegates’ and ‘plenary’, it was all totally new and I enjoyed soaking up every minute.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I always wanted to be a barrister, even throughout secondary school that was always the path I was going to take. I was even part of a mock-law team where we would debate cases and observe real trials in court – I loved it. Then, when I was looking at options for university there was a lot of talk in the media about there being too many people applying for law school and speculation about what the job prospects looked like for people coming out of a law degree with so much competition. My favourite topics at A Level were Business Studies and Economics, so after that I started to look at other avenues where I could continue learning about those subjects and potentially do law conversion later which is how I ended up gaining my degree in Marketing and Business Studies and never looked back.


What skills do you think attracted you to law, that you now bring to event management?

Definitely that eye for detail is important but I think more than that, it is about being a critical listener with clients, and the rest of your team; to really understand what problem they are trying to solve and what they are trying to achieve. Having a cool head under pressure is definitely a bonus too, you have to be pretty unflappable to work in the events industry!


What does a typical week look like for you?

A lot of my clients are tech focused which is a really interesting and fast moving sector to be part of. Currently I’m working on the DIBI Conference up in Edinburgh which is a gathering of UX professionals and tech creatives, as well as working with Opencast on their internal events programme which is a large, ongoing project. My week is usually split between client work, strategy meetings and 1-2-1s with the team on their development; it usually comes as a surprise to people that 90% of our time is spent at a desk. It’s  the 10% that you spend onsite delivering an event that is usually the most seen, but most of our role is about strategy, research and planning, all before we ever set foot in an event space.

I tend to work with clients who are all pretty different from each other, and the types of events we are planning with them are diverse, but what keeps it really interesting is that they are all at a different part of their lifecycle. That means in a single week I can be working with clients on initial scoping for a project, while other clients are in that middle development stage or in full delivery and evaluation mode.


How do you like to work with clients?

I like to think of us an extension of our client’s team, we really get to know their business and work with everyone from people and experience teams through to internal communications leads to do everything logistics wise, but also being a sounding board for ideas and sparking creativity about what is possible. We take on a really collaborative approach, it’s a great feeling to be welcomed into so many fantastic teams in the region and across the wider UK to understand the amazing work they are doing.


What do you enjoy about mentoring the next generation of talent in the industry?

It is incredibly rewarding to see the next cohort of talent come into BeaconHouse Events and into the industry. As a team we have a real spread of experience – we have always found that there are people with such great talent out there with perfectly transferable skills for events, seeing that talent and drive come out is incredibly rewarding. Events is a great career to learn on the job and it is so fulfilling to see people as they grow in confidence and thrive.


What do you think surprises people about your role? 

I spent seven years with ASM Global – the company behind the new Sage complex, Utilita Arena and Playhouse Whitley Bay – whilst there I very much worked on those conventional experiences that people tend think of when you talk about event planning, things like Disney on Ice or a major ballet production. The corporate side of things does tend to get forgotten a little bit.

What is surprising to people is how much cross-over there is between those big consumer events and what we deliver for our current clients. By looking at how we design events to learn from those consumer experiences, we can help people to connect in a more authentic way, to adopt new innovative ways of learning and to make memories that they want to talk about and share. We want people to be engaged with the content we are producing and are always looking to learn and adapt the format of events to make them really enjoyable for the people attending. With the emergence of digital and hybrid events making the competition much higher for people’s attention, there needs to be a real pull to get delegates to attend your event over another.


What has been your career highlight so far?

I can’t choose one event to be my favourite, because I like them all for different reasons, but when I look at the range of events that I’ve been lucky enough to work on that makes me feel very proud. We’ve had everyone from a Prime Minister at an event to Deborah Meadon from Dragon’s Den and I’ve delivered experiences for tens of thousands of people. When you look back at the accumulation of all of those together it is pretty amazing.


Outside of work what can we find you doing?

Other than enjoying the Newcastle’s foodie venues, I love being outdoors and making the most of the North East coastline. Last summer myself and Katie, another event manager here, took up sea swimming so we try and go once a week now, even in the winter! Sometimes we do ten minutes…sometimes longer, depending on how cold it is but it is completely addictive and I really miss it when we have to skip it for whatever reason. We go on a Monday lunch-time and it totally sets you up for the week – you end up with endorphins for the whole day afterwards.


And finally, what would your dream event be to work on?

I’m obsessed with skincare (my one piece of advice would be to wear SPF every day and no-one is listening to me in the office!) so it would have to be a huge expo type event with expert speakers, what is new in active ingredients, little villages of people exhibiting the latest products, French pharmacy style pop-ups, the works.

If you are interested in joining Sophie in a career in events, we would love to hear from you. Visit to view our current vacancies.