Moving Towards Our 25th Year

team photo
January 08, 2020 / Posted by Ele Hardman / in 25th Year / 1873 Views

Penny’s reflection over the years

As we move towards our 25th year, I can’t help but feel apprehensively excited. It’s hard to remember what it was like in the early days. I do remember relying on the fax machines and our mobile phones were huge, but not very smart. Since then, there has been a revolution in communication and technological advances we could never have imagined. However, the one thing that has remained constant is my desire to connect with our clients, really get to know them, understand their priorities, objectives and targets. For First Choice Conference & Events it’s always been the number one priority to support and inspire our clients. Become their trusted advisor.


In this economy it’s easy to get swept up in the fast pace of work and then forget the importance of connecting with real people. At FCCE people have always been the focus for the business. My amazing, talented team, our loyal clients and professional suppliers. Although a small business, my senior team of Five have 53 years of service between them without counting my 25 years! This is amazing and makes me feel so proud of what we have achieved. Watching my team develop in knowledge, skills and experience, over the years, has brought me great joy. Knowing each other so well and knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Supporting each other through the good times and the challenges, has been an unexpected benefit of creating this business in 1995. There is a real family feel to FCCE.

Our fantastic clients

Our client base has obviously changed over the years and it has been fascinating getting to see various industries and the dynamic of that sector. A sprinkling of clients who we worked with back in the 1990’s, still work with us today. Although they may have changed jobs and companies, they have remained loyal and have been a valued part of this 25-year journey. These strong connections with employees and clients really have, been the foundation of our ongoing business success.

Our brilliant suppliers

I am also drawn to reflect on the numerous supplier relationships we have cultivated over the last 25 years too. So many of which have been enjoyable, supportive and mutually beneficial in terms of ongoing success. Naturally over time many people have moved around the industry and it’s always great to rediscover lost colleagues turning up in new jobs in this fantastic industry. Again, for us, it’s been about friendships, collaborative partnerships, mutual support and shared success providing our clients with solutions to their event management needs over the years.

FCCE’s chosen charities

One of the benefits of running a successful company is the opportunity it presents for me to give back to communities and people who are less fortunate and are forced to face challenges in life. Over the years we have supported many charities, some of whom are our clients too. The charity partner we have chosen for our 25th year is Winston Wish the UK’s largest child bereavement charity. We have a shared history with this wonderful Cheltenham-based, national child bereavement charity, who recently celebrated their 25th Year too.

My husband Ian worked with the charity in their early years supporting the founder Julie Stokes who received the OBE in recognition of her work for services to children and families in 2006. Having worked with Winston’s throughout 2019 on various initiatives, we have learned so much more about them. Their much-needed work helping families understand childhood bereavement, offering advice and support through an array of childhood bereavement services and providing in-depth therapeutic support for bereaved children in individual and group settings. We look forward to a successful partnership and connecting more.

Here’s to the next 25 years!

I started this blog by saying I couldn’t help but feel apprehensively excited! As I reflect on my words and look forward to our 25th year celebrating with the team, clients and our partners there is great excitement, the apprehensions about what will happen and how well we will rise to our challenges are subsiding because I know that with a strong, talented team around me, loyal clients and professional partners (friends) taking center stage, 2020 will be an amazing JUBILEE year of celebration.

Penny x