Meet Elana Kruger – our Marketing Manager.
Elana can usually be found cameras at the ready to capture what is happening at Church House Westminster – whether it be an interview, live video, or delicious food shot.
Naturally, showcasing and capturing the thrill of events in all their forms at the venue is what inspires Elana the most. She is responsible for raising awareness of the venue in a multi-dimensional manner, spreading the word in terms of our environmental accreditations and practices, digital event solutions, and award-winning client service.
In this interview, she tells us a bit about herself, her job role, and her career in events.
3 years and 2 months.
- What does your job involve?
I look after our digital marketing and communications. This includes our website, social media, advertising, email marketing, and PR. We are committed to building a collaborative community of event organisers and suppliers to enhance events at Church House Westminster. I liaise regularly with online venue finding and event portals (both old and new) to raise awareness of the venue. A huge part of the job is content creation – be it news-worthy stories, videos, webinars, or showcases.
- What do you love most about your job?
No day is the same, it’s quite varied because there are the technical aspects like SEO and also the exciting (read: fun!) aspects when we are putting together content ideas. I love working with organisers to showcase their events as case studies, because every event is so different, it is fascinating to find out how we can support organisers to be even more successful in what they do. Finding a winning formula for them is a win for everyone.
- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’d be running my own boutique riad in Morocco, somewhere on the coast.
- You’re a mental health first aider. How do you ensure that well-being is top of the agenda for you?
It is important to look after yourself, especially in this fast-paced industry. The demands are not just physical pressures but also mental pressures, which can be huge. Learn to say no, be present, and remember to always count your blessings.
- The most challenging aspect of your job?
Some days can be hectic, requiring a real balancing act. It’s essential to prioritise, and to be realistic – with myself and others.
- What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And, life is short, make today count.
- Most memorable/proudest moment of your career here at Church House?
That’s a tough one as we’ve achieved so much as a team. Recently, it has to be winning Silver at the 2021 London Venue and Catering Awards in the category ‘Best London Venue Covid-19 Response’. We had to completely reinvent ourselves when the pandemic hit. Our achievements over the last couple of months are a result of creative thinking, working collaboratively and never giving up, never saying no, and constantly pursuing new opportunities.
- What is your number one tip for elevating event experiences?
Put yourself in the shoes of your attendees, why would they leave their home to attend your event? Focus on community-building in the lead-up to the event and provide plenty of opportunities to socialise, learn and build valuable connections.
- What did you do before, and why did you make the switch?
I started out in events, then progressed to pro-active sales at various London venues, before finding my marketing niche, first in restaurants, then private member clubs and other iconic venues.
- What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in the events industry?
Find a good mentor as you are starting out, join industry associations and learn as much as you can. Look for inspiring role models. The industry is so varied, you are sure to find your comfort spot, allowing you to reach your full potential.
- What song would you sing at Karaoke night?
Imagine – John Lennox, or at the moment it’s Last Christmas – Wham!
- Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
Either Dave Grohl or Paul McCartney. Just imagine the stories they’d tell…
- Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
TED Talks Daily podcast!
- Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Gillian Anderson (as if!)
- What is your favourite childhood memory?
We used to holiday every Summer holiday in December on the south-coast of South Africa. The whole family would be there for the month and Christmas Eve we’d go to Midnight Mass at an amphitheater, before opening our presents, handed out by Santa in his surf shorts! Christmas lunch was a massive BBQ plus desserts on the beach.
- Famous guests you have welcomed at Church House?
The list is just too long! Just last week we welcomed Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn, to Church House.