In competition with self
Siobhan: “We’ve always been fairly fearless and are strong believers in trusting our instincts but the advice we still give ourselves is to be consistent. If you keep showing up – it will pay off. Oh, and start with the worst job. Just get it done and then – phew. It’s done.
We are lucky that we don’t feel in too much competition with anyone else. We’re friends with other event organizers, especially those here in London, and ensure we don’t clash with timings or concepts. However, it’s imperative we keep evolving and improving as a festival experience and so we spend a long time after each annual event discussing the pros and cons with as many people as possible – be that sponsors, bar partners, investors, and most definitely guests. After the two years just gone, we’re in a position to change the format of the festival slightly and ensure it’s the best it can be as the landscape returns to vaguely normal. This pre-work is exciting for us and what keeps it fresh after all these years.”
An industry that nurtures
Hannah and Siobhan: “The hospitality industry is a wonderful place to be and there is increasingly more care given to nurturing and promoting talent. One of the best things we’ve seen recently is the outstanding work of Equal Measures – launched in 2021 by two friends of ours Deano Moncreiffe and Hannah Lanfear. They are currently allocating grants for 2022 and Equal Measures is open to anyone underrepresented in the cocktail and spirits industry. This could be due to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, neurodivergence, or another given reason. Great work by great people! If you are truly starting from scratch and you want to get a foot in the door – we suggest either sitting at your favorite bar and talking to the staff about how they got their job or if it’s a more ‘behind the scenes’ area of the industry that you want to go into – just simply send an email. This industry is so welcoming. There’s no one we can think of that wouldn’t appreciate a polite request for a coffee and a chat. Over the years, we’ve hired so many people that way and it’s always worked out great.”
Striking the right balance
Hannah and Siobhan: “Women hold most of the senior positions in almost all of the companies we work with. Many of these women also have young families, have a fairly decent work-life balance, and are all – without exception – brilliant at their jobs. We feel it says a lot about both the men and the women in our trade that this is the case, and we’re extremely proud of the inclusivity the industry as a whole is showing. If we were to make a sweeping generalization (sorry chaps) a female brain is also sometimes better suited to the diverse nature of the work we do – which involves unbelievable layers of multi-tasking and acute attention to detail.”