If you think organsing a great event involves providing your guests with a couple of bottles of cider, a sterile musical playlist via the latest Now compilation and some fairy lights draped around the doorway, you need to check yourself fast! Oh no! These days you have to think big if you’re planning an event and the likelihood you can pull off anything that looks A-list is slight! You need an expert in the field, such as this charming looking chap Steven Duggan who is the director of bespoke events company STEVEN DUGGAN EVENTS Ltd. Here, he tells us he got started and how you can follow in his footsteps!
What exactly do you do?
We design, create and manage some of the UK’s most conceptual, extraordinary and exclusive events. Our aim is to please the eye and operate a tight ship to make sure we pull off ‘the dream’ scenario whether it be brand promotion, an elegant party or a flawless wedding.
What does your day entail?
My main role is keeping in touch with my current clients and informing them of design progress. Other daily tasks include new client, venue and supplier meetings, sending multiple emails, full time brand management and website performance monitoring. Barely time for a party!
How did you get started?
I started formerly designing seasonal events for niteclubs, quickly bursting my way into an office at one of London’s top event planning agencies. I was hired on a full time bases the same day and travelled from 5.30am every day to a travelling job where we had very fast décor turnarounds and returned home by 10pm everyday – if I was lucky! I slowly built a detailed knowledge base, moved to another company with an alternative business angle and finally created our own brand. STEVEN DUGGAN EVENTS Ltd took off within months and we now create events and parties for world famous clients and thriving brands.
Was it’s an easy ride or were there many difficulties?
There have always been obstacles of course along the way. Some major moments where it is a stumbling block to overcome, but as long as you believe you can offer something of quality that people want and create your own edge, success will fall at your door.
What did you before this job?
Previously I was an Interior Architect and an interior designer, designing private homes, retail and warehouse units. The concept development we use today is the same but today’s role is a lot more interesting and challenging for me as it demands a faster work pace – the joy of this job!
What had you studied at school?
I studied a degree in Interior architecture and later studied Event Management & Public relations.
Was there support at school for your job?
School was not that interesting for me until I reached transition year, which in Ireland is 4th year where students learn more day-to-day tasks and practical knowledge. We were given weekly tasks to form mini businesses and sell the finished products at our local shopping centres. This is where i gained more confidence and discovered my interest in breaking into the creative industry where business could be included also. I was never a strong academic but I knew I wanted to fast-track my life to make money early and work to live a life of travel, experiences and happiness.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
The hardest part of the start to finish event process would definitely be the build day. Everything rests on whether all suppliers, build teams and the venue can focus 100% to help me create what I have planned with my client from the beginning. The only thing I can compare the feeling to is if you are relying on someone to draw a picture correctly as it is in your mind. Communication is key, designers taking initiative to getting it done while keeping our high standard is also essential.
What makes it so fulfilling?
Thirty minutes before the client arrives and standing back doing a lighting check. It’s done – and everything from that piece of paper has now come to life. It is incredibly fulfilling to see the client smile as they walk in or a brand selling out because the concept was on-point. Events sometimes are misunderstood, an event can create major awareness to a desperate charity, the launch of a relevant brand and the social life of young lucky teenager! There is one event that has a purpose to all of us in life!
What advice would you give to others?
I would say to create something yourself on what people demand in life whether it be a service, a luxury or a pastime. Take the focus off what makes money and focus on what people want and what you enjoy. Be good at it, love it, and the success will come.
For more information visit www.stevendugganevents.com