Originally published in M+IT Magazine
In our series of Changing Times interviews with event organisers, we find out the ways in which the meetings industry is adapting and surviving in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Holly Moore, founder and CEO of Make Events is one of the most positive and prolific social media posters. Her messages are positive and full of brio.
The Manchester-based House of Make has staged some of the most celebrity-packed celebrations. A high point was arranging Kylie Minogue and Ronan Keating to perform at a client’s event. Tinsel power at its finest.
Moore is thinking creatively to work with clients in these unprecedented times. She is currently organising a fashion show, which could be filmed and then live streaming out the new clothing range to the client’s sales people.
“We will be doing some kind of digital experience for their team building event – and then get everyone together in the summer,” she says.
The message is positivity all the way. “We are being optimistic – in August and September it could all be back on.”
Make Events clients include BetFred, Puma, AutoTrader, Vimto, LNER and The Hut Group. Moore has close and longstanding relationships with many of them. “I had an old client contact me today and he said ‘when this is all over I’m going to need you – we’re going to throw one hell of a party.’ If this all blows over, what an amazing summer it will be.
“There’s a possibility it could be a boom time in six months and that all the events will be back on again in the summer and organisers will be twice as busy. We can ride the wave.”
Moore started Make Events in 2012 at her kitchen table and has built up a business with an annual turnover of £3m. She aims to fight tooth and claw to get through the tough times. “I solely own the business. This is like my baby. Never had an overdraft. Everything has been self-generated, bootstrapped, I guess. I have been very sensible with the profits. In my head, if the worst case scenario happened, we will be OK.
“I’ll be absolutely damned if we go down without a fight. I’m not going into the headspace of its going to fail – because it’s not. I’ve got such an amazing team here. If I said to them, let’s open a wellness café, they’d probably do that!
“We’ve just done an address to 1,500 people on our database, wishing everyone well. We are going to have a virtual happy hour on Friday. We are organising that now as we have a bar in our office just to create a bit of fun.
“We have some amazing clients. One was due to have a conference in April but have postponed it to October – and have already paid us. That was just so amazing. Not necessarily from a cash flow point of view but more a guarantee that it’s definitely happening, and don’t worry about it.”