Meet Sarah Ross – our Senior Event Coordinator.
Sarah knows Church House Westminster inside out and has organised some of the venue’s largest and most intricate events over more than a decade! Fluent in Japanese, Sarah can usually be found showing clients around the building, making their event dreams a reality with her distinctively creative flair.
In this interview, Sarah tells us a bit more about the event planning that goes into hosting events, her highlights at Church House Westminster, and her hopes for the future.
- How long have you been at Church House? It feels like forever! Sometimes I stop counting, but I think about 14 years
- What does your job involve? Take us through from when you arrive until you leave at the end of the day. I usually try to arrive 10-15mins early so that I can make myself a nice cup of tea and have a catch up with my colleagues before I start the day’s schedule of appointments, enquiries and event liaison. Throughout the day I would be taking enquiries by email or phone and discussing event details with my clients for this week, or next month, or next year! Sometimes we would have online meetings, face to face site visits, menu tastings or looking after events happening on the day, so really a very wide range of daily activities. At the end of the day, I take a few moments to prioritise actions for the next day, and try to leave on time!
- What do you love most about your job? There are no same days. Every day there is something new and exciting happening and you meet so many different kinds of people, with remarkable event concepts.
- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I would probably open up a café/bar somewhere on the beach in a warm country and sell my home-made cookies and cakes of the day, along with all the usuals!
- How do you keep yourself motivated? I think about my kids and plan activities to do with them and places to visit with them.
- The most challenging aspect of your job? It would have to be exceeding the clients’ expectations by gathering all the information and putting all the puzzle pieces perfectly in to place to create a fantastic end result for them.
- What advice would you give your younger self? Believe in yourself and be more confident. Try lots of new things.
- Most memorable/proudest moment of your career here at Church House? There are too many, but I liked it when our roof was used extensively during the Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William & Kate) for TV presenters and broadcasters from all over the world . The filming brought the beautiful views we have from our own roof to life.
- What are your favourite kind of events at Church House? I love organising award ceremonies and gala dinners. They really show how our rooms can transform from a more serious day conference to an evening spectacular with all the lighting and production elements.
- What did you do before, and why did you make the switch? I worked in hotel reception. I enjoyed it, but my current job is so much more exciting with all the different kinds of events we can organise.
- What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in the events industry? It is not a 9 to 5 job. It involves early and late shifts and sometimes weekends as well. But if you love events and love organising, then definitely give it a go!
- What song would you sing at Karaoke night? Or favourite dance tune? I wouldn’t sing Karaoke, but you will see me dancing to any house or cheesy music!
- Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island? Bear Grylls – because I like a bit of adventure and he can teach me survival tactics.
- Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? Hand cream!
- Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Jessica Alba
- What is your favourite childhood memory? Travelling the Australian outback, or campervanning around New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes.
- Famous guests you have welcomed at Church House? Prime Ministers, Mayors, Actors, Actresses, the Royal family including Prince William and HM The Queen
- What are you most looking forward to this year? A Covid-free world with the freedom to travel everywhere without any PCR tests!