New Tech Event for the NE…Loading…


Well let us tell you…it’s time for a conference. When arranging meetings, you create memorable experiences, there is nothing that can be compared. With a unique atmosphere, a crowd passionate about the same subject, you learn, meet old friends and make new pals. Delegates leave conferences feeling energised and full of new ideas, with a new tote, t-shirt and stickers for the laptop in tow.

So we were thrilled to be asked by experts in the field, Opencast Software, to bring together like-minded talented specialists in the software industry to deliver the first ‘Build IT Right’.

Build IT Right Conference 2019 aims to showcase the very best that the industry has to offer, highlight trends, expand knowledge and inspire delegates.

Here at BeaconHouse Events we have a proven track record delivering a wide range of events regionally and across the UK, including the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, BIM Show Live and Dynamo North East events, so we are well placed to create an interesting and informative event for professionals in specialist fields.

What is in store?

  • Inspirational keynotes from high-profile speakers. We have secured broadcaster and author Timandra Harkness as compere and gurus Simon Brown,  creator of C4 software architecture model, and founder of Structurizr,  plus Dave Farley the co-author of Continuous Delivery.
  • There’s also a call for papers open currently if you’ve got an idea we’d love to hear about it Submit Here.
  • Delegates will be able to ‘sharpen the saw’. Everyone needs a break from work to hone their skills and advance learning with new tips and tactics.
  • There is the opportunity to meet people FACE to FACE, the room will be full of experts looking to network, maybe you’ll get a selfie with your business idol, you certainly can’t do that online.
  • It will be fun (well-organised fun we promise!)

Who’s going to be there?

Built IT Right welcomes delegates who speak HTML, CSS, SQL, Java, Bash/Shell, Python, C#, PHP and Klingon.  The audience will be made up of Software Developers, Software Testers, UX Design, Agile Practitioners, Solutions Architects, Software Development Manager / Team Leaders / Development Head, plus aspiring software development professionals.

When attending conferences, you sacrifice money and time, so you need to know it’s right for you. If you have an opinion on How to ‘Build IT Right’, this cool-sounding event has cool people going, that you’ll definitely want to meet.

Are you ready to Build IT Right in Newcastle?

Build IT Right
Crowne Plaza, Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle upon Tyne
Thursday 4th April, 2019.

A – Z of Events

This year, with a summer of long nights, an unexpected heatwave, extended stays in the local beer garden and a string of World Cup successes September has arrived with a jolt. Back to routine it is. The lure of the beer garden diminished, desire to exercise outdoors evaporated, we have the ‘new academic year, new me’ mentality. Swathed in knitwear, armed with a fresh set of stationery (naturally), it’s a new term. As the leaves fall and the slow-cooked Sunday roasts beckon we are re-doing the A-Z the Event Managers way…

A is for AV. Technically, your best friends on-site. Making the lights brighter, the sound clearer and your set look fantastic. NOTE: They can normally be bribed with sweet goods.
B is for BeaconHouse Events. The go to event management agency.
C is for Canapés. Big ones, small ones, fishy ones and vol au vents. They’re our tasty, bite sized fuel source.
D is for ‘Day Delegate Rate’. A package to include all your room hire, food, refreshments and AV (we prefer the DDR with continuous coffee and Fox’s mints).
E is for ETA. We live for schedules with accurately estimated arrival times. Cue hilarity when we also had a conference that was shortened to ETA. What is the ETA of ETA…ETA? ETA? What?!
F is for Festive Soirées. The Christmas Party beckons, you’re sick of trying to please everyone “no, Sharon we can’t have an ice-luge and free-flow Grey Goose”. Remove the stress, let us put the HO HO HO in your holiday season.
G is for Green. Events can produce a lot of waste, we constantly work to reduce ‘one use’ products and seek green alternates as part of our environmental promise to our clients.
H is for Hospitality. Trust us to ensure your guests are wowed and welcomed. We know the best locations, food, drink and entertainment on the market and we always deliver the information with a smile.
I is for Initiative. We have it in spades. Why not have Amazon Alexa’s on hand to give delegates key information, directions to conference rooms and other FAQ’s.
J is for Joy. We go above and beyond to make all the “I’s” are dotted and all the “t’s” are crossed, delegates, sponsors, guests and clients all leave our events with a smile on their face and a ticket for next year.
K is for Keynote. The experts everyone wants to see and hear. We’ve had the pleasure of working with inspirational names such as, Bank of England’s Mark Carney, the infamous Wayne Hemmingway, Tim Smit from The Eden Project, Julian Leighton of Orangebus, Dame Stephanie Shirley, Sir John Thompson, and Snapchat’s Nick Bell to name a few.
L is for Lanyards. They adorn our necks, they become collectors items, colourful, recyclable, sponsorable…they’re great. But, keeping 1,000 lanyards from getting in a knot – that mystery is yet to be solved.
M is for MC. A master of ceremonies, a voice of God, an emcee or compere. Some of the best have an extensive Rolodex of jokes and of source are on our speed dial.
N is for Name Badges. We are exploring some inventive badging solutions at BHE HQ currently. Expect high quality, eco friendly badges at an event near you soon.
O is for Open Bar. A rare species, not often spotted in the wild and close to becoming extinct. Note to self: Plan fundraiser for dwindling open bar numbers, perhaps with an event with an open bar…
P is for Poseur Table. A tall table exclusively for posing on. However, we’re extremely flexible and always allow chatting and drinks resting. We are nice like that.
Q is for Queue. Well versed in queues and crowds, we manage 24,000 guests through the Great North Pasta Party queue annually. Helping the Great North Runners carb load for over 12 years.
R is for Risk Assessment. It’s not always sexy (although we do look good in hard hats), but we are dedicated to Health & Safety across our portfolio.
S is for Solving. Solving problems clients didn’t know they had. It’s one of our superpowers.
T is for Tall Boys, a cost-effective type of banner used at events to maximise branding. It’s cheaper than a pop up banner and more effective. You are welcome.
U is for Umbrellas. Branded umbrellas are a great idea for a multi site or outdoor event. You’ll probably see us in a poncho though, got to have them hands free for the clipboard.
V is for VIPs. We’ve hosted so many we’d love to tell the tales, but then we’d have to kill you.
W is for White Tie. The attire you’d wear to the Embassy and then exclaim, ‘Ambassador with these Rocher you are really spoiling us!’
X is for X-traordinary. We specialise in creating an event experience that is absolutely extraordinary for our clients. We call it ‘standard’.
Y is for YES! We make it happen. Can find a flying pig for your festival? Yes. Can we jump in to help deliver the event in a week? Yes.
Z is for Zoo. A potential venue for your event. Plenary with the platypuses, break out session with the baboons and cocktails with the camels. A perfect day.

We’ll see you soon for your next lesson…


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!

Decoding The Dress Code

The invites for Windsor Castle have a strict code ‘Dress: uniform, morning coat or lounge suit / day dress with hat’ but what do those options actually mean?

Heavily decorated and in the military? Polish those medals and you’re good to go.

Standard for most formal British weddings. Morning coats with tails are always a dapper option for gents.

Don’t get too comfortable, lounge does not mean casual, but dark business suit according to the authority on etiquette, Debrett’s. A full cashmere tracksuit or god forbid, a velour Juicy Couture number would have her Majesty banishing you from the Palace.

If you don’t have a hat, you are not getting in. Go big or go home, fascinators need not apply. I’d take inspiration from Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, as they’ve proved at previous occasions, they have a keen eye for striking design.

And for all your non-royal invites…

Perhaps the most popular dress code for formal events in the social calendar. For men, a tuxedo, complete with bow tie. For women, it is slightly more vague. A full-length dress is normally preferred over a short cocktail dress although generally speaking any respectable, formal dress will do in these modern times. And we are all for the tailored jumpsuit option à la Bianca Jagger.

Cocktail dresses are usually more vivid in colour and have a more ‘interesting’ design for the ladies, and gents are stuck with a dark suit and tie again. There are some jazzy ties out there…

When the Ambassador invites you to a reception this means full evening dress. The most formal evening dress code with women expected to wear a floor length dress and gloves for shaking hands and dancing only removed for eating, and Tiaras (yes, really) are only acceptable for married women. After all that effort let’s hope you get a chance to exclaim ‘Ambassador, with these Rocher you are really spoiling us!’

Arguably most common for formal day time events, such as conferences. These occasions are often more work than social and therefore you are representing yourself and your business. Suit and tie is normal for men, and for women, a tailored dress, skirt or trousers and blazer are perfect.

For a more relaxed event, some organisers will opt for a business casual dress code. For ladies no jeans or trainers – simple as, or if you must, balance out denim with a tailored jacket. For males this could be trousers and collared shirt, but you can leave your tie at home (saves you from tying it on your head later if there are too many complimentary beverages).

This is not what it says on the tin, unless of course your fancy dress is mimicking Little Bo Peep or Marie Antoinette. Fancy dress can always be amusing. However, if you have to hire something we advise you learn from Prince Harry’s mistakes and avoid the Nazi uniform and ALWAYS opt for the head of the panto horse.

6 Great Reasons to Volunteer in 2018

What’s that? You just heard about this great new series to watch…here’s why you should give up your time instead…



Your employment prospects will immediately improve, FACT.

Who do you think is getting an interview for that job? Elmo with a one page CV, no experience but ‘likes socialising’ or Anita with volunteering experience at three high profile events including the UK’s LARGEST Pasta Party?

“Oh hello Anita, what’s that? Strong with two sugars…no problem” *Anita settling into her new job.



You will learn new skills working on events. If you like filing that’s fine, but you could be honing your customer service skills on registration, greeting international speakers with a winning smile, making a dent in your 10,000 steps doing stage management, access to restricted events, learning how backstage events operate or gaining knowledge from inspirational industry speakers…for free.



Trying something new by taking on an event volunteer role will expand your horizons, give you a sense of pride and identity, and leave you beaming, glowing or perhaps perspiring after a shift with a great event team.



We hire friendly. We are a friendly bunch and so are the rest of our recruits it’s a prerequisite. You’ll meet likeminded people and bond over shared experiences. Unless your middle name is ‘Lazy’, we know you’ll fit in.



We event hard and party (eat left over conference buffet) harder.



No, seriously! Research has found that volunteering can boost your immune system and help you sleep better (not just from exhaustion)!

It can be hard to know where to begin if you’ve never volunteered for an event.

Fortunately, we can steer you in the right direction. We offer opportunities to work on a wide range of events from glittering VIP dinners, conferences, exhibitions, festivals (film to wildlife!) and everything in between. We’ll be able to match you with an event that suits your availability and interest area. Volunteering doesn’t have to be a full-time commitment; the odd shift when you are available really makes a difference.

Sign up to hear about our opportunities here:

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At BeaconHouse Events we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to administer your account for volunteering opportunities. Your details will not be shared for marketing purposes.

Perfect gifts for the organised person in your life…

So, if you’re a disheveled friend, loved one or co-worker of a super deserving event organiser, here are some gift-giving ideas so you can channel Mr Claus rather than the forgetful Mr & Mrs McCallister in Home Alone.

BeaconHouse Christmas Gift Guide

Pact Coffee            3AM Journal                Hydration Dot
(l-r, An event organisers food groups are as follows; Caffeine, Carbs, Jelly Beans, Caffeine and Caffeine. Buy this subscription to their heart; Pact Coffee,
Sometimes the best ideas come in your dreams; 3am Journal, Racing about onsite means organisers sometimes need a little watering, keep your event organiser hydrated with this nifty gadget which logs water consumption; Joseph Joseph Dot Hydration)


Tom Dixon            Minimergency Kit            Diary 2018

(l-r, Stylish, organised, copper, tick tick tick; Tom Dixon Desk Organiser,  They are always prepared, but make sure they are always prepared in style; Minimergecny Kit, We are all for the cloud based diary management, but couldn’t resist this agenda; Sloane Stationary Diary)

Birchbox            Spa Vouchers             Granola For Gangsters

(l-r Travelling all over means a subscription to miniature beauty buys is a no-brainer: Birchbox Subscription, Hold the Sellotape, vouchers for a Spa would be the perfect retreat for a tired event organisers tootsies. Locally we recommend Seaham, Ramside and Rockliffe Hall: Spa Vouchers, And just because…Gangster Granola)

If all else fails, warm their hearts with a festive knit.

We’ll be supporting the local Christmas Jumper campaign from The Chronicle Sunshine Fund on 15th December. Make like Mark Darcy and pull out that seasonal sweater with the office team for a good cause. Text ‘SFCA17 £2’ TO 70070 to donate.

Our favourites:

Christmas is Coming              Feliz Navidog             The Boss of Christmas

Once you’ve tackled your shopping list, let the ‘wrapologists’ take care of the gift wrapping.

From 8th December to 24th December The Children’s Foundation will be wrapping busy shoppers presents in exchange for charitable donations in Eldon Square.

The Elves of BeaconHouse will be volunteering their nimble fingers on the 15th and 18th, so come along and have your presents beautifully wrapped.

Reader, I think you’ll find that is Christmas…done.

Event Management in Newcastle: A day in the life of an Event & Marketing Manager

Over the past month I have been planning for an international film festival, worked onsite at an #OfficeRocksNE networking event, overseen marketing activity for various charity events, as well as seeking out new venues. Venue finding is such an important element, the clients we work with expect the best and we deliver. If Carlsberg did venue searches…

My day usually starts at around 8.45am. I begin by checking through emails and tasks via our project management software Basecamp. I have quite a task list to get through today. Firstly, I need to send out some enquires to suppliers. I am researching award trophies for the aforementioned Newcastle Film Festival. It is a blockbuster of an event which was dreamed up a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away by the inspirational Jacqui Miller-Charlton, and trust me it’s going to be out of this world. The date for your diary is 29th March – 1st April 2018. I’m so excited for you to see what the team has been planning and you can find out more on the website.Once I find a supplier suitable for the job of creating awards to rival the Oscars, we’ll send a proposal to the client to choose from with our recommendations.

Next, I pop my marketing hat on (it’s sparkly – naturally). We are currently recruiting for a couple of new positions, Event Coordinator and a maternity cover Event Manager, so I’m making plans on how we will advertise. I take time to create content that can be used over social media and in a newsletter to the team of lovely volunteers and event staff we’ve worked with on previous events. (Deadline is Wednesday 8 November if you are on the hunt)


Morning over and it’s lunchtime. We are based at Hoult’s Yard, so enter – Yard Food. Their ‘sammiches’ and soups are the hearty fuel that fires the BeaconHouse team engines.

2pm: This afternoon I’m looking at a newsletter for a charity event we produce with The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, Celebrity Question of Sport,. It will be held at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead on the 30th November with some pretty special guests. I create some copy for the newsletter, edit a template that my colleague Bex, the Event Manager on that project had already started, then send over for final approval. We’ll schedule the newsletter to hit that afternoon or for mid-morning the following day as we are targeting a list of business emails.

Tonight we have the #Dynamites17 Award Dinner, my colleagues have been onsite at the venue all day. I’m heading over at 4pm to lend a hand. I’ll be taking over the client’s social media to live tweet the winners. Before leaving the office, I flag any emails that need a response tomorrow and update Basecamp, satisfyingly ticking off tasks completed, and updating any outstanding duties.

Upon arriving at Newcastle Civic Centre I get stuck in with the team, adding the finishing touches to the tables, making sure each setting is perfect. Then we take a moment check off all jobs on the event schedule led by Clare who is running this event. Next up it’s the ever-so-glamorous quick change in the loos to be ready to receive sponsors, award shortlistees and guests to the event.

Once the champagne reception is complete and guests are sitting, the first accolades are awarded. I observe the action in the room and provide commentary on twitter and engage with conversations occurring on the event hashtag. Twitter is excitingly busy with chat regarding the hosts spectacular on-brand orange suit! Being super organised, I have all sponsor and potential winner tags ready to go as it’s essential we tag the correct accounts in a timely manner. Dinner is served to the guests and the events team re-group upstairs for some slightly less fancy fare. At this point I’m able to excuse myself, while my colleagues continue providing onsite management and merriment until the early hours.

Working in events isn’t for everyone. You need to gear up for seriously hard work, have a level head, expect the unexpected, don some comfy heels…but wow… it also has its perks, seeing your client smile after a year of preparation, working in amazing spaces, learning new skills every day, being part of a team that really cares about what they do, NEVER having the Sunday blues, and the FREE food helps! It certainly is the job of a lifetime for a to do list loving type like me.

STOPTOBER: Our non-alcoholic alternatives

And what perfect timing, after a summer of beer garden excess (albeit under shelter) and before the onslaught of the Christmas party season. We have half the BeaconHouse team signed up to be Sober Heroes.

During a function or conference, it’s a given that if 5pm has landed somewhere wind down beverages will be provided for some socialising prior to dinner. However, if you want to keep people engaged throughout a conference and cater for all your guests, we’d recommend providing a more sophisticated non-alcoholic offering alongside the glasses of Sauvignon. Not only will some of our suggestions work as amazing ice breakers, they are delicious and quite importantly they look fantastic on Instagram!

Alcohol free doesn’t have to be boring, here are some ideas for your guests to ensure they are not stuck with a standard glass of orange juice (heaven forbid, from concentrate!).

Move over Shirley Temple….mocktails are undergoing a makeover. Turn that Mojito into a ‘no-hito’ Our BeaconHouse concoctions are below;

The Beacon: orange juice, lemon juice, orange marmalade and orange peel.
Shake the juices and marmalade with ice to combine, strain into a martini glass and garnish with orange peel.

Faux Fizz: peach juice, sparkling grape juice and lime peel.
Add some peach juice to a flute, and top with sparkling grape juice, garnish with a curl of lime peel.

Monumental Earl Grey-tini: strong cold earl grey tea, lemon juice, sugar syrup and lemon peel.
Mix the Earl Grey tea, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain the liquid into a Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

No-hito: sugar, mint, lime, soda water.
Muddle sugar and mint, fill a glass with crushed ice, squeeze lime in glass, add mint and top with soda water.

Let us introduce you to Seedlip, a non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ which brings the depth of flavour you’d expect from a copper pot distilled gin, but without the flashbacks of dancing the funky chicken in front of the WHOLE conference.

Teetotal G&T: Seedlip, Tonic and Pink Grapefruit or Petit Pois. For the perfect serve mix 50ml of Seedlip with 100ml Fever Tree Tonic and garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit or a small handful of petit pois.

A brewed concoction, probiotic tea believed to have health benefits related to digestion, mental clarity and mood. Have we just found the drink to make EVERY guest happy? No need to thank us, we always aim to please. This tea can be mixed into mocktails or served with juices, as it has a slightly apple taste, it mixes perfectly with raspberries and elderflower, or for an amazing health kick ginger and lime.

Kombucha Cranberry Spritz: kombucha, cranberry juice, fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.
Fill a glass with crushed ice, add kombucha and cranberry and stir gently, garnish with rosemary sprig and fresh cranberries.


Virtual reality drinking is the newest trend we are working on, so guests can enjoy drinking…without drinking! We anticipate seeing delegates ‘sipping’ with VR headsets at events across the land…or perhaps that was just a dream we had…

If you’d like to discuss our ideas on drinks over a couple of Faux-hito’s let’s not wait until 5pm, get in touch soon!

We’ve moved!

We’ve spent three years in the city centre – our old office at Clavering House served us extremely well and we made great memories (and events) there. Hoults Yard is a fantastic creative space offering us a wealth of new opportunities to explore and we are really looking forward to growing our team.

The move comes during an exciting time for the team here at BeaconHouse. Thanks to a string of fantastic new events as well as the continued development of our existing portfolio, our company continues to grow. Watch this space for more news on how we’ll be looking to grow…

For all those with an impending move, make your relocation a breeze, see what we learned during our office transition;

  • Create your new office floorplan in advance. Once you have the measurements of the new space you can consult your inner Phillipe Starck. Take some time to envision where your existing furniture will fit, if you need to upsize/downsize desks and just where you’ll put those new ceiling hung sitting pods you have your eye on.
  • Cleanse your clutter the week prior. Nothing quite rids you of all old printed documents, promotional literature, or that magazine stash from 2009 than thinking you’ll have to pack, carry, load, unload, carry, and unpack it. Side note – arrange for an extra bin/recycling/shredding pick up that week. You’ll need it.
  •  Totes are your best friends. Us event professionals have a wealth of eco-friendly event branded cotton tote bags – perfect for carrying books, folders and easy to unpack, all whilst looking oh so stylish. You’ll find a number of the trusty totes handily hooked on the back of your door, stuffed inside a bag of bags, with forgotten conference pens inside – this is their day to shine again!
  • You need a solid, motivational playlist for the day. Some classic recommendations from the BeaconHouse Team include: David Bowie – ‘Changes’, The Kooks – ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’, The M People – ‘Moving on Up’, Ray Charles – ‘Hit The Road Jack’, Fleetwood Mac ‘Don’t Stop’, Sia – ‘Move (Your Body)’, The La’s – ‘There She Goes’ and of course from the Madagascar soundtrack – ‘I Like to Move It, Move It’ or the original from Reel 2 Real.
  • Assign a ‘Chief Vegetation Logistical Manager’. You’ve got to make sure those not-so-succulent-anymore green leaved friends make it to the new office. A study showed adding plants to an office environment boosts productivity, creativity and general well-being, read more on The Telegraph. Plants, as essential as your kettle.
  • Moving is never a piece of cake, but it should come with a slice of pizza. As is customary for any move large or small, food that can be eaten straight out of the container without the lost cutlery should be firmly on the agenda. Pizza is one of the strongest motivators out there.

Once you are in your new digs, host an office party, show off your space, let the blackboard wall be christened and brag tastefully about your ‘relaxation station’ aka the ping pong table you’ve always dreamed of. We of course can help organise a welcome bash should you require!

Whilst all our mobile telephone contact numbers remain the same our new office telephone number is 0191 691 3456.

For those who want to send us love letters via the post or come visit (we gladly accept canine visitors, see above) you can find us at Office 004, Maling Exchange, Hoults Yard, Walker Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2HL.

We thank you for your continued custom and support, and to all our new neighbours we’ll see you for a brew and brownie at Yard Food soon.

Creative applications…

In my career I’ve had the joy of going through more than a few recruitment drives as an employer, some experiences have been better than others but I ALWAYS learn something.

As a small, growing and young company BeaconHouse Events want to employ people that fit our ethos, our personalities and our way of thinking. We want quality recruits that understand what we’re looking for.

We never write ambiguous job adverts, we always ask for exactly what we’re looking for. We try to inject some of our own company personality into our job adverts, in doing this we expect the responses to reflect the tone.

My advice for putting together a CV and covering letter would be as follows…


No more than two sides

Don’t waste space listing all your BTEC, NCQ, baccalaureate, GCSE, AS and A-level grades. It’s great that you have them, but that’s all we need to know, just mention them, condense as much as you can and move on. If you have further education qualifications, list your degree and grade but again don’t elaborate – we can ask detail in the interview.

Call a spade a spade. Look at the difference:

A spade.

A large or small metal tool with a wooden or plastic handle that I have used on occasion to turn over the dirt in my garden.

I know what you’re talking about. Keep it high level, I know what a spade is.


Keep it relevant

Only list the employment/responsibilities/experience that is relevant to the position you’re applying for – everything else is noise and can be talked about in the interview. Take heed of the intricacies of the job description/advert – if it’s written as light hearted and creative don’t write a super formal covering letter.


We know what we do

Don’t just reiterate everything you read on the website – I already know what events we organise. As an applicant to the position I would already expect that you would have looked at the website, so copying and pasting the words that I probably wrote for the website doesn’t tell me anything about you other than that you can use the copy and paste function.


Your interests – are they interesting?

I like reading about applicants’ interests. I tells me more about the person they are but try to make your interests stand out. A lot of people enjoy reading, going to the gym and traveling. I appreciate a CV that stands out, a keen interest in bungee jumping or extreme cake making would give me something to talk to you about. I’m not suggesting you rack up loads of debt trying new hobbies just think of your more alternate interests or creatively describe why you enjoy reading!


I care more about the covering letter than the CV

The covering letter shows me much more about your writing style (very important for gauging your copy writing skills as an employee). It also gives a snapshot into your personality and shows me whether or not you understand the job you’re applying for and if you’re applying for the right reasons.


List your references on your CV

I don’t know why but when people say ‘references available on request’ it makes me think they have something to hide. It also means I have to contact you to you to request the information and THEN call the person. I’m not lazy, you just haven’t made it easy for me to contact someone that’s going to tell me wonderful things about you and if it were me I’d make this VERY easy. Why do you think we put testimonials on our website?


Nice font – Nice layout

Don’t worry about a border or cramming the pages with information. Less really is more, after reading the tenth CV I scan read…I know it’s not fair but it’s true – I’m ruthless with a highlighter and if I get bored you get a red line.

Let it be noted; this advice lists my personal preferences as an employer. I have no formal training as a recruiter, but have recruited many excellent staff over the past ten years. Should you choose to follow the advice in this blog I hope it gives you food for thought, it does NOT guarantee recruitment at BeaconHouse Events.

It all starts with an idea…

That’s where all good events start – good ideas. After that obstacle, we help you apply the mathematics and logistics to make sure the idea works and that there is a ready market available.

So what do you do when you have an idea? Where do you start? Let’s use a conference as an example…

Is your idea unique?

Is there another conference out there that is successfully doing what you want to do? If so, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve stopped before you started. If anything it gives you a great research project – look at the website, the social media platforms, the programme, the marketing collateral – work out what makes that event successful. You may decide the market for your idea has already been exhausted – but hey, at least you found out before you spent time and money.

If you’re lucky and your idea is unique it’s time to move onto the next step…


Can the event afford to exist?

We nearly always follow up an original briefing discussion with a detailed budget. Your event budget will show you what you have to spend to manage the event successfully and what revenue you need to ensure you deliver the event ‘in budget’.

We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to be as detailed as possible when putting together the event budget. Use ‘worst case scenario’ figures in the expenditure and be under-generous in your revenues, allow for a 10% contingency of the total budget cost too. It’s very easy to think ‘I can get that for cheaper’ and lower the expected costs in your expenditure. It’s a much more difficult task to question how to achieve the revenue – be balanced, be realistic.

If you want to spend £100K to have an all singing all dancing conference that’s fine, but you need to balance the budget. Be realistic and answer the following questions:

  • Will delegates pay to attend? How much?
  • How many tickets will you sell? How will you sell them? Is there a service charge application on your sales platform?
  • How can you attract sponsorship? What will your sponsors want from their packages? Can you offer sponsor packages with good ROI for both parties?
  • What do I NEED to put this event on and what is a NICE TO HAVE? (You can always add ‘nice to have’ elements in later)
  • Have you spent enough on marketing? If no one knows about your event they won’t know to buy a ticket and you’re likely to have a quiet event with disappointed sponsors.

It’s not an exhaustive list but it will get you thinking along the right lines.


Can you deliver the event?

Having an idea is one thing. Having the time to realise the idea is another (of course this depends on your day job, your work/life balance and your life choices!). Create a production schedule; this will help you to plot out the busy times in the delivery of the event. Again, there’s no steadfast rule for this, different types of event have different types of preparatory periods.

Using a first time conference as an example, allow ample time to plan the event launch, create the brand and consistently adopt this throughout your marketing. The first few months should be focused on finding a venue, negotiating supplier costs, approaching speakers and attracting sponsorship. These factors will determine the viability of your event. If enough time and effort is put into this stage the other delivery factors should fall neatly into three further categories; production, customer service, and delivery. And always, always update your budget.

There is no precise recipe for ‘event delivery’ but to reiterate, planning is key. Seek advice, talk your idea through (get a confidentiality agreement signed if you’re worried), choose partners to work with that you feel understand your idea and that are as enthusiastic as you are about delivering it. Find your team; trying to deliver an event yourself can be time consuming and the amount of work involved often underestimated. Using the expertise of industry professionals such as designers, marketeers, AV teams, event dressing agencies etc can be the maker or breaker of your event. Getting support isn’t always as pricey as people might assume and the right support can result in your event making a much larger profit, making the impact you wanted to, and not result in news headlines for the wrong reasons.

This is just a taster; the hope is that the information here might inspire you to take any event idea to the next stage and prepare you for what those exciting next steps look like.

Myths about event managers

We’re not. But, we’re professionals so we appear to be! Truth have it it’s likely we’ll have been on our feet for 20 hours in uncomfortable shoes. The last time we slept properly was weeks ago. The last time we ate something ‘nutritious’ was the sultanas in a garibaldi biscuit we nabbed at the first tea break – before that a month ago…before the endless office take outs and the conference brown buffets began.

We love our jobs, we love the work involved, we love delivering and problem solving and everything that being onsite throws at us and hey if you can say all that then why wouldn’t you be smiling?


“Is your whole life just dresses and parties?”

Absolutely not. The ‘parties’ are a very small part of what we do and we manage them so that other people are having fun and ultimately that means we’re working. So yeah, we get to go to a lot of parties but that doesn’t mean we are partying. We’re always the last to leave the dance floor but usually it’s because we’re trying to prevent the conference director from pole dancing on the stage set.

We get to admire the finery our guests arrive in but often we wear black and comfortable to be ‘unseen’ event ready ninjas.

Even when we do get time off to go to parties you never really enjoy yourself, you’re constantly looking for things you’d have done differently and anticipating the next issue that might need your instant attention.

Lucky though that this attention to detail usually means you’re a popular guest – always ready to lend a hand and used to operating on very little sleep. We work hard and we play hard.


“So, do you basically just walk around with a clip board?”

Yes. Actually this one is true BUT contrary to popular belief the clip board is not there to make it look like we’re busy, we are in fact busy and very mobile, having a clip board just gives us a hard surface to write on. Experienced practicality.


“Can I borrow a formal dress? You must have loads.”

We don’t. We don’t have a clothes allowance and what we do have are ‘staples’ i.e. dresses that won’t be remembered that you can get away with wearing time and time again and that if needs be allow you to sprint lengthy distances at a moments notice.

Chances are there was previously a much bigger selection but after one got ripped lugging boxes to taxis, another fell fate to pen marks from the aforementioned clip board and one proved see-through at that crucial moment during the award presentation on stage…you now stick to black, plain and roomy.


“You look so calm, you’re never stressed.”

That’s because we’ve done our job well. But saying we’re never stressed is untrue, working hard to make sure everything is stress free onsite is what we do best and boy oh boy does it result in LOTS of hard work. We also get a lot of practice though and having that experience to make sure your event goes hitch free and we’re a calming presence onsite – we live for that.


“Event management – it’s a Mickey Mouse career.”

No. No it’s not. Still not entirely convinced as to what this means but usually it’s meant derogatively.

Mickey Mouse meaning it’s child’s play? Easy? True, it gets easier with experience but that’s just professional know how. In our company alone we’re multi-lingual masters students with advanced (acclaimed…thank you) degrees in project management and business, we work day to day with top achieving CEOs and company directors that in a ‘proper’ job we’ d have to pay to get in front of.

Mickey Mouse meaning the bright buttoned popular rodent who would become the mascot of The Walt Disney Company, experts in production, entrepreneurship and turning over billions year on year? Yeah, we’ll take that.

As an event manager it’s true, every day is different but it’s because we work with such a range of different people and that’s what makes our job so special. Being able to adapt to all these different situations and events keeps us fresh and constantly attentive. So forgive us, usually we’ll talk too much, have far too many stories and always be busy. But, when we’re there we’ll make sure you and everyone around us is having a damn good time…of course in a well organised manner.