A week in the life of Laura!
Monday 8th July
I am definitely the early bird of First Choice Conference & Events! I get to the office before 8.30am as I like to get in and have my healthy breakfast whilst checking my emails and planning my day before the rest of the team arrive and the sound levels increase! Mondays are always a busy day for me with a number of internal meetings taking place to ensure everything is ticking along and the team are happy with the tasks they are working on for the week ahead.
After a quick bite to eat at my desk, there’s an off-site strategy meeting for the remainder of the day. The senior management team get together every quarter to discuss business strategy and come up with fresh ideas to move the company forward. We have a very exciting few months looming, having just entered our 25th year of business and recruiting two new members of the team who started with us in August!
Once our strategizing is over, my work day is done. I’m back home around 6pm to a very excited Beagle who is always happy to see me, but more importantly keen to get out for a run in the evening sunshine. My husband Carl is working tonight so after watering the garden, its dinner al fresco followed by a spot of TV and an early night – I’m so rock and roll!
Tuesday 9th July
Tuesday starts off similar to Monday – in the office bright and early. The morning is spent working on proposals for clients and making some client calls to follow up on proposals to see how things are progressing and if we can provide more options, or if the client is ready to confirm!
The afternoon brings another meeting, this time with Daniel and Cheryl for our monthly client strategy plans. We look at our client portfolio to see who we haven’t seen for a while and needs a visit from one of the team. We like to keep in regular contact with our clients and see them as often as we can. This meeting usually only takes an hour, but with our new team members joining us soon we need to discuss what accounts they will be working on with the rest of the team, so it turns in to a rather long meeting where tea and cake are essential support items!
Carl is home this evening and we both pull into the driveway at 6pm. Its dog walking duties first, a lovely stroll in fields with a few boomerang shots on Instagram. It’s my favourite time of the day taking Bailey out for a walk, I find this a perfect way to relax after a busy day in the office.
Its Carl’s turn to cook dinner tonight – chicken salad with fresh lettuce and new potatoes from our garden. Whilst Chef Irwin is busy, I spend some time watering the plants and generally tiding up – my garden is one of my favourite places to spend my time and I love being able to grow my own veggies.
After dinner and an hour on the sofa (my current favourite show is Instant Hotel, which some of my colleagues also love so we can have a post-show debrief) it’s another early night for me!
Wednesday 10th July
Heather is at First Choice H.Q for three days this week, so we use it as an opportunity to have a catch up to see how things are with her. Heather works from home in Sheffield and she is in the office one week a month, so it’s good to have a cuppa and catch up.
At 11am we have our monthly Espresso team meeting, where we spend time as a team discussing how we are performing as a company and talk about any changes or developments taking place. We also award our ‘Superhero of the month’ award to a team member. Then we have a short training session with Ian – this month its on ‘life hacks’ (simple ideas to use in everyday life). We are looking at how we can potentially transfer some of these ideas to make us even more efficient in the office.
Then it’s a full afternoon at my desk working on enquiries for clients. My ‘work husband’ Ross will make me a 3pm brew, otherwise he will get the ‘Laura look’
Home by 6 and a very uneventful evening, my husband is working late and he’s already taken Bailey out for a long walk before he left the house, so I have an easy dinner of homemade chilli (no processed food in my house!) and I spend the evening on the sofa cuddled up with Bailey. I’m not sure who ends up snoring the loudest.
Thursday 11th July
It’s a normal start to the day, arrive at my desk, go through my emails and make a plan for the day (as you can tell me now, I love my plans!)
At 11am, Milly and I head off to the newly refurbished Tortworth Court as one of our clients is having a 2-day event there. We’re popping along to say hi and make sure everything is running smoothly, so it’s great to find a very happy client upon our arrival. We also organised the AV at this event – festival themed – so the stage is covered with fake grass and the backdrop is lit up with multi coloured lights. Whilst we were there, we also bump into two of our other clients – it’s a small world in the events industry! We started working with them after they were recommended to us by an existing client, so it’s great to have the opportunity to catch up with them as well and talk through up and coming events we have booked for them.
After work, it’s a quick dash home to get changed and meet a friend before we head to Bath to see the stage show ‘Here comes the Boys’ – a dance show including 3 of the Strictly Come Dancing male professionals. I am a massive Strictly fan and from September onwards, you will find me on the sofa every Saturday night watching the show.
Friday 12th July
In work nice and early again as I have a half-day today, so want to make sure I have everything complete before I leave the office at 1pm.
We are lucky as a company to receive invites from hotels to go and stay at their properties to view their meeting space so we can see what they have to offer for our clients. Viewing properties is such an integral part of our job, as having knowledge on venues means we’re able to recommend venues that fit our client’s specifications.
Carl and I head down to Celtic Manor for the evening, as we’ve been invited to the Celebrity golf tournament between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales! After we check in, we head straight to the terrace to enjoy the last of the afternoon sunshine before making our way to the evening welcome reception, hosted by the brilliant staff at Celtic Manor and the new ICC Wales. The reception kicks off by welcoming the celebrity teams and finding out who is being paired up for the next day’s golf, followed by a delicious BBQ on the terrace.
We are well behaved and head to bed around 11pm to get ready for the early start the next day. I practice my ‘cool act’ that I’m going to put into practice around the celebs tomorrow.
Saturday 13th July
Up early for a Welsh breakfast overlooking the valleys, followed by a short journey to the Golf club house which is our base for the day to watch the golf.
I fully admit I’m not the biggest golf fan and I have no idea about the rules, however it’s an extremely enjoyable day and is all for charity so I throw a few golf terms into my conversations and hope that I haven’t mixed up my lingo with another sport!
We are lucky to be hosted in the Hospitality suite located at the final tee, so we can see all of the celebrities returning after the morning’s first round, followed by a delicious 3-course lunch (no-one does food like Celtic Manor!)
We are back out on the course after lunch to walk off all of the food we’ve eaten and watch the second round, and I get some cheeky photos with some of the celebs, meeting Keith Duffy from Boyzone is a huge highlight for me.
The day finishes around 6pm and we headed home after picking up Bailey from the babysitters (my parents). Bailey has absolutely no interest in golf, only her next snack!
Sunday 14th July
As Carl works in hospitality most weekends, my usual Sunday consists of cleaning the house, sprucing up the garden and taking Bailey for a hike. However, as Carl has this weekend off, we head out shopping! Its neither of our favourite past times, however we have a very busy and exciting few months coming up and we need to get some DIY complete on our home, so we spend the day shopping for paint, internal doors and soft furnishings for our bedrooms.
We get home around 4pm and settle down to flick between the Wimbledon men’s final and the Cricket World Cup and enjoy a yummy home-made Shepherd’s pie.
An early night follows to get ready for another busy week at FCCE!