We grabbed a virtual coffee with Holly Moore, the CEO and Founder of Make Events, to get her tips on how to adapt a business in the face of change, something we’ve all had to get to grips with over the last year.

Launched back in 2012, Holly’s business has gone from strength to strength, even through a pandemic, so we wanted to see what we could all learn from her story and celebrate the success of a female led business in the lead up to International Women’s Day.

Make Events is a creative events communication agency that sits within the House of Make office space in Wilmslow. Also home to HM Events, a luxury event party planning company, and the new ‘Anything is Possible’ brand, which will be a series of live events, virtual events and content all around mindset.

What really stood out for us after following Holly and Make Events for some time, was their swift pivot and adaptation strategy, during what has possibly been the most challenging time for the events industry as a whole.

Holly says:

“My whole mantra through this pandemic is ‘anything is possible’

“What my plan was, when I initially thought this would be a 6–12-month hiatus, was that I just need to get the business through it.

“We’re not built on borrowing or lending – we have no overdraft, no credit card, and no investment. In a decimated industry, to still be able to have a business going under those circumstances is definitely my biggest success over the last 12 months.”

It’s clear that branding is a huge passion of Holly’s and this is represented throughout the offices (from what we could see through our zoom video call) with branded slogans painted across the tables, to a dedicated board room named after one of Holly’s most inspirational women, Oprah Winfrey, aptly named ‘The Oprah Room’.  Everything is perfectly colour coordinated to fit in-line with their brand logo. Holly lives and breathes the theory that ‘empowered women empower women’ and this is reflected through her social media feeds and story-telling behind the Make Events brand.

 

Holly Moore, Founder & CEO of Make Events, and Nick Burrows, Managing Director of Make Events

Holly explains her top tips on how a change in business strategy has been vital to get through the pandemic:

  • Stick with your vision – “Our vision has always been to be the go-to agency. Our strapline has always been ‘create the ultimate experience’ which we’ve then lengthened to ‘create the ultimate experience live, virtually, and tangibly, so that encompasses all our new products and services that we’ve had to adapt to include, during the pandemic.”

  •  Consider new markets – “While we still work with household names, we are now working in the healthcare industry and professional services industry. We had to look at what was out there requiring our services and go after that market.”

  • Keep in your customers minds – “Our strategy was to be the last one standing, and branding has played a big part in this. We’ve remained consistent across our social media channels throughout the last year as we didn’t want our customers to forget about us.”

  • Focus on your brand – “­Custom branded clothing has also massively supported us! I used to purchase grey t-shirts from the high street for my staff and then I realised that actually, you can go to a company like Clothes2order which is obviously not just more cost effective, but more savvy too as you can get them branded with your company logo on it and colour match accordingly. We’ve always made our suppliers wear our branded t-shirts, and done a mix of print and embroidery for the logos depending on the style. Branding has always been an important thing for us. It definitely looks more professional and really gets your name out there.”

  • Look after your mental health – “I had poor mental health for five years, but with the help of pioneering group therapy, I overcame it, and I’m now proud to say that this will be my tenth year with no medication. We all need to cut our self some slack at the moment. The events industry has been hit hard and I would encourage my fellow peers to have a think about what their plan B could be. I’ve had to pivot my own company and think really hard about whether I can sustain the business for the length of time I need to, until we can start doing events again. Do what you need to do to get your mindset in the right place. For me that’s been regularly working out, talking to my friends and family, and just cutting myself some slack.”

  • Set goals and enjoy the journey – “It’s all about being resilient and understanding what it is that you need to do, for yourself, in order to bounce back up when life throws obstacles at you, and I think I do that pretty well. I try to get into a mindset of where I want to be in five years and how I want to feel. When I start to doubt myself, which I do, or when I start to have low self-esteem or feel under-confident, I try to be that person I want to be in five years, and really think like that person. Goal setting is really important, and just because a goal hasn’t been reached yet, that doesn’t mean it should be looked at as a disappointment. It’s about enjoying the journey to get there and whatever result you get in the end, if you’ve worked hard enough, that should make you happy. Anything is possible!