Provision Events team
- Sport and fitness
Provision Events gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to work in a fast-paced events agency.
Provision creates and delivers sports and event production all over the world.
How I got the job…
Sophie Colwell, Head of Marketing:
I don’t have any formal training for this job, I started work straight from college as an intern in the third sector (ie, for charities and voluntary organisations) and got loads of experience. I did a lot of on-the-job training and also looked around for other training I could do – and developed a particular interest in communications marketing and events. I just trained and trained really! I shadowed people, went to live events and sought out a mentor, which is really one of the best things you can do.
I worked for a charity for a long time on a variety of events and also managed their marketing and communications. I was really interested in the sports side of it, and a friend of mine told me there was a job opening at Provision.
Matt Lomasney, Managing Director, Production:
My background has always been in events. I studied event management and golf management at uni and, while I was there, I also worked anywhere that would take me! As an intern, as a placement, and as a runner at events in London.
When I left uni I got a job at an exhibitions company, which built and delivered different stands at shows. From there I worked at several agencies, building up knowledge and moving around picking up skills and worked up to a point where I was overseeing builds in the UK and US for some big brands. While I was at one of these events, I met they guys at Provision and saw all the amazing builds going on. I joined Provision overseeing the production side and my role developed into managing director.
My typical day…
Jack Mitchell, Production Executive:
There’s no typical day in events, I might be in the warehouse, doing a test build, or talking to clients about what they want for their event, or out at a live event, making sure it’s running smoothly.
Albert Ellison, Designer:
I’ll probably be briefed in the morning by a director or account manager, needing a concept drawn up in 2D, or visualised in 3D for a client. I’ll start researching a client’s brand and any previous experiential activations they’ve done before to get a feel for the company. I’ll create a mood board, initial sketches, then start modelling activations in 3D, creating realistic visualisations of the project, which will then be built.
[Activations and experiential marketing are ways to get people involved with a brand, by allowing them to experience it first-hand – at events, for example].
My day is so varied, but I always look at all our social channels at the start of the day, interact with brands we’re interested in working with and the different sports we’re interested in working within. Looking at social media makes sure we stay relevant and know what we’re talking about, to clients.
I have a whole list of all the jobs from all the clients we work with – from chasing visuals, to working with the production team on ordering structures – anything from cable ties to a tool kit. There are so many different parts to working with a client and I am responsible for pulling them all together.
My most memorable moment…
A particular highlight was working at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. Arnold Palmer is considered to be the greatest golfer of all time, and we were asked to create an experience that celebrated his life. His daughter was so happy with how we portrayed his life and that was an amazing, emotional moment.
An activation I did for Fab, the ice lolly brand – a project that really helped propel my career. It was a children’s obstacle course, with a dome in the middle. Around the outside there were 50 ice lollies, like a picket fence. Every element was so complicated from start to finish. It won a couple of global awards for exhibition stand design.
Gary Whelan, Client Services Director:
I was involved on a huge event for Adidas to launch a new pair of trainers. We took over a park in East London and built a giant ‘X’ out of shipping containers. It was a 10-day event where people came in and could try on the trainers, do an exercise class and run around the park. We illuminated a mile-long running track. The floor of the event space was kinetic and, as people moved around, it generated energy to power the outside lighting.
The worst part of the job…
Like any designer, the back and forth changes can be frustrating – it takes so long to model something, that even one small change can mean another hundred other time-consuming changes. But you deal with it! Designers are perfectionists and it’s part of our job to push the limits of what’s possible. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing your job.
Not worst, but the thing I find most difficult is understanding the production side of the business. I have to have an overall understanding so I can coordinate things for clients. It was a baptism of fire understanding how activations are built, I had to google a lot!
It’s an intensive job, with long hours and weekend work. It can get quite stressful with the deadlines, and if things are not quite ready, which you’re not fully in control of as a partner company is delivering them. But I love it!
The best part of my job…
Seeing a project come together. You put so much time and effort in, so when you see people enjoying it you feel a great sense of achievement.
Being onsite for the first live day of an event – everything that you don’t see, that has gone on in making sure it runs smoothly and that everything is in place on site, takes countless hours and so much work. But when you see that first person come through and experience what you’ve put together, it’s a great feeling!
The variety – every day you’re working on something different. It’s so creative, so we get to use different parts of the brain to come up with solutions to our clients’ challenges, or fun ways to deliver activations and events. It also means you see an end to it and next day we’re thinking about the next one.
Working with an amazing team, people at the top of their game. We work at 100 miles an hour and you need to keep up – and I personally thrive in an environment like that. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and I’m among creative minds.
I read that events is the second most stressful profession in the UK, but what comes with that is a love of what you do, and everyone I know does it because they love it. And when you’re onsite and it looks great and the client is happy that’s what makes it worthwhile, it’s so rewarding.
The key skills/attributes needed…
Problem solving – with design you’ve always got to find ways to make square pegs fit into round holes. Be greedy with your attitude to learning, watch video tutorials online, look at others’ work online and challenge yourself to reach their standard. And experiment with your own designs out of work time.
Working in an agency you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. For us it’s all about events – especially sports events. If everyone is passionate and likeable, then everything else falls into place.