Sandra Stewart

Meet the Flock...

Smiling headshot of a woman
  • What do you want the industry to know about you?

    Born and bred in East London, both my parents are from Jamaica, but I sadly lost my father 25yrs ago to cancer. I’ve been fortunate to have had a full working career since 18yrs old. I’m loyal, warm, extremely independent, it would take a lot to knock me down and not brush myself off! I’m professional and dedicated, can’t be dealing with sitting about and laziness, got to be on the go.

  • Thinking about your knowledge and expertise, what would your superpower be?

    I’d be ‘Super Wise’ - know when to comment, observe, then act accordingly.

  • What is the most challenging event you have worked on and why?

    DSEI 2015! It’s critical how much communication is important in terms of handing information over from one Event Manager to another. It was my first year working on the event and there were a lot of elements unknown to me. The struggle was real but my strong relationship with the client and team got me through, which I really appreciated. I went on to venue manager this event until Sept 2019.

  • What was your first event and what’s your lasting memory or ‘take away’ from it?

    So Beautiful’ but not so beautiful! A hair/beauty event. The client had not undertaken any marketing to promote the event, which in turn meant no visitors or VERY few visitors to the event. An everlasting memory, when you are opening a show and don’t want to do the general walkaround as you know exhibitors are going to jump on you for answers, as they just see the venue as the issue in these circumstances. Lesson: some organisers vary in experience and lack what is required to launch an event. You sometimes need to second think for them, as a successful event for the client is also a successful event for the venue. Don’t take for granted that your customer/client knows what they are doing, but support and identify weaknesses in a polite professional manner. Be patient.

  • What value does The Ops Nest bring to you?

    Keeps me connected with colleagues and industry friends. The information is invaluable, plus it is an open and honest forum with trusted members. Ops Nest was definitely my saviour through lockdown especially when placed on furlough.

  • What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in our industry?

    Don’t automatically think you will get the 3 G’s: glory, glamour, and gratitude, but it is hugely rewarding when you have worked really hard on an event and seeing the end result regardless of what it took to get there. You really must have a passion for the industry.

  • What could you not do without onsite?

    Continuity of Event Managers or Venue! You could ask the same question to 3 people and get 3 different responses!

  • What’s your mantra?

    Be careful what you wish for! This is based on a request I had to challenge myself as a manager and one came around which I didn’t want to deal with but had to. Managing people is never easy and your style must be flexible. You cannot treat each person in the same way, it costs nothing to listen.

  • If people would like to connect, where can they find you?

Do you want to join the Flock?