Meet Sue White, our Head of Client Relations.
If you’ve been to Church House Westminster, you’d have definitely seen Sue White introducing organisers to the ins and outs of the building and making sure the day’s proceedings go like clockwork. She’s no stranger to finding creative solutions and pre-empting the expectations of attendees, ensuring that an incredibly memorable experience is what guests and organisers take away with them.
We were fortunate to find some time in Sue’s busy schedule, especially now that in-person events are in full swing here at Church House Westminster, to find out what is the secret to her success.
Q&A with Sue White
- How long have you been at Church House? It’s hard to believe but I first joined Church House 14 years ago! Although I must say that it feels as if the last 15 months should have a special mention for the curveball our industry was thrown by the pandemic! Never before has the saying “change brings opportunity” ring truer.
- What does your job involve? I care for our clients, from the time the organiser first arrives at Church House, and the time to set-up and prepare behind the scenes, I am there to make their lives easier. I ensure that they have everything they need, and that means that the answer to every question is always a yes for our clients. I anticipate event requirements, ensuring the detailed planning done by our coordinators in the lead-up to the event is perfectly executed. Integral to this is connecting our catering team and audio-visual technologists to complete the experience. For those considering a career in the event industry, being a jack of all trades in a client-facing role is crucial – being cool under pressure, donning a big smile, and going the extra mile. Most of our clients organise repeat events here at Church House Westminster, which shows that they trust us in delivering a successful event every time.
- What do you love most about your job? No two days are the same, and no two events are the same! The clients I meet every day are a big part of that and they keep me on my toes.
- You’re a mental health first aider. How do you ensure that well-being is top of the agenda for you? Now more than ever it’s so crucial to look after yourself. Make time for yourself, actively schedule, and do things you enjoy. Put your well-being first. It’s also important to build good relationships with your colleagues. Reach out regularly, check in on everyone and let them know that you are here for them.
- The most challenging aspect of your job? Now that we are getting busier and seeing back-to-back events with tight turnarounds, for example, a day conference followed by an awards dinner, it can be complicated but fortunately, it involves all of us working together as a unit to ensure both events happen without a hitch. We know we can rely on each other, which makes it so much easier. Clients tend to mention our team by their first names when they contact us after the event to say how well their event was received. It is all hands on deck and everyone is more than happy to help where they can.
- What advice would Sue White give to her younger self? Don’t take things so seriously. Refuse to sweat the small stuff. Focus on what is really important.
- Most memorable/proudest moment of your career from your time at Church House? A couple of years ago I was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and I am delighted to say that my husband and I were presented to HM The Queen and we were over the moon to have an opportunity to have a little chat with her.
- With Step 4 of the government’s roadmap unlocking Step 4 on 19 July for events, what are you most looking forward to? Hands down, having more people in our lovely building! I have also noticed where we used to always chat about the weather, conversations are understandably still Covid-related, which I think is in part due to the impact it has had on so many lives. It is also clear that so many have missed organising and attending events in person.
- What song would you sing at Karaoke? I don’t sing but instead would have a good old dance to soul music.
- Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? Coffee and those who know me will know why.
- What is your favourite childhood memory? When I was young, Easter used to be a really special occasion and I still remember having a large family lunch with all our aunts and uncles and eating so much chocolate to the point that you felt sick. I also was fond of Christmas and seeing the Christmas lights in London from the top of a red double-decker bus.
- A famous guest you have welcomed at Church House? It has to be Hugh Grant. I remember a client commenting on arrival that a gentleman looked a lot like Hugh Grant, to which I replied “That’s because he is Hugh Grant!”.