Six years ago, Lynn Gardner joined NAEC Stoneleigh as Account Director and has seen many changes in that time, none more so than in the past year.

We asked Lynn what has the last year been like for her and where does she see the event industry/ NAEC Stoneleigh in a post COVID-19 world?

“The last year has been exhausting and relentless! The events and hospitality industry has been decimated, and the hits keep coming. However, I have witnessed how everyone has simultaneously pulled together in one form or another.

For me, I have been busy helping existing event organisers rearrange the dates of their shows and supporting them, informing clients on the venues COVID regulations, and what has been put into place and what will be required from them for their event to run.  

As a business, and the simple fact that we have not hosted many events since mid-March 2020, we have had to make decisions regarding sales strategies and look at how we can utilise our event space including using our outdoor space to host events such as cinema’s, using our exhibition halls as for alternative uses including longer-term rental, storage and auction space, and adapting our meeting rooms to virtual meeting spaces.

I am adapting to a world that’s different from the one I left behind, one in which social expectations are increasing all around, creating a new normal that will, out of necessity, be asking more of me, the world has changed, and we ae ready to move forward and adjust with it.

For me, and all the team, it has also changed our roles, whilst many are still on furlough, some of us are working flexible furlough and remotely, zoom meetings becoming the norm, and the starch business approach of earlier years being replaced by a more casual approach. Shirts and tie’s replaced for shirt, shorts and joggers, attending online award ceremonies with ladies wearing beautiful evening tops, accessorised by slippers and jogging pants! I have got to know the children of the family, who suddenly wish to join in our meetings, and family pets that also wish to be included! All this highlights what we are all about and how close we are as an industry family.

So, every time I sit at my home work place I remember the respect I have for my work colleagues and the industry. Every step forward, is a small step to onwards and upwards as they say”.

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