September 30, 2023

Rio Lounge interview: Expert event planner – Jenny Loyd of Inspired Event Management

white rattan furniture hire with poufs

One of the best things about running an event furniture hire company has to be getting to know our customers. Jenny Loyd, of Inspired Event Management, has been in the hospitality and events business for many years. A high end event planner and regular hirer of our furniture pieces for her events, we were therefore delighted when she agreed to take some time out of her schedule to have a catch up. Read on to find out more about Jenny and her career, which has involved working for royalty, high profile sporting events and more!

1. Jenny, we know you’ve had a long career in high end event management and planning.  What first inspired you to become an event planner in the early days?

pool party daybed hire event planner Jenny Loyd‘I have been planning and managing events for over twenty five years and still love it: every occasion is different!  My father used to work in the brewing industry; it was always a treat to go out for a family pub lunch. On these occasions, he would explain why the pub was a such a successful business:  because of the attentive, conscientious staff and manager(s).  So, I suppose I was introduced to the world of hospitality from an early age.  I worked on Saturdays and in the holidays in pub kitchens, and, when I was old enough, behind various bars. Later, I then worked at classic summer events such as Henley, Wimbledon and golf tournaments.  I began to get the ‘bug’ for offering a high level of service: giving customers and clients a really special, memorial time for the right reasons!’

2. Thinking about the industry now: in what ways have you seen the events business change over the years?

‘The industry is far more competitive than it was twenty years or so ago.  Nowadays clients are spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of tent structures, chairs, and even the variety of glassware on offer.  Not to mention the number of photographers and bands/musicians available to hire.  In many ways, for these suppliers, it is even more stressful though than it was all that time ago. Back in those days, a brochure was printed which might have lasted six months or a year, and what you saw was what was on offer.  Nowadays, websites have to be kept up to date, and social media continuously ‘fed’ with new images in order to keep up with competitors – letting customers know that you are ‘available for business’ with the latest range of seating, a new menu, the latest dance troupe etc etc!’

‘But, this is where it is extremely useful to have a Wedding Planner or Party Planner such as myself as we try to keep abreast of all the innovations and have an idea of costs too so that we can make suggestions often with the WOW factor, when appropriate to our clients.’

3. Do you have an all-time favourite event, or type of event to plan? Weddings, corporate events, or something else?

indoor event with silver furniture‘Well…. it’s totally true to say that I enjoy planning almost all events, especially when clients are appreciative and grateful! But deep down, I think it’s the parties that are my favourite as one can really go ‘wild’ with ideas and lighting and throw lots of ideas into the planning pot!  And that can vary, of course, from an 18th birthday party through to a few weekends ago when I did a three day 70th birthday party celebration!’

4. Do you think you have a signature style when you’re planning events or does it really vary depending on the client?

‘My signature style is simply to be ‘ultra-organised’ and not leave things ‘to chance’. In terms of overall event style I will be very much guided by my clients. Each celebration must be a reflection of them and their lifestyle and personality; I throw ideas into the ‘pot’ and clients can take or leave my thoughts.  Often events evolve too as the planning develops and one idea leads to another.’

5. As a wedding specialist, you must have occasionally encountered a problematic or demanding client or two!  How do you keep a calm and reassuring demeanour when the pressure is on?

outdoor furniture hire: events business‘Yes… I suppose I have from time to time! But I’ve had over thirty years experience of working at the quality end of the Hospitality Industry. For example, in my twenties I worked at Buckingham Palace, where I was on the Catering team working at all the Royal Residences and on HMY Britannia. As a result, I have liaised with everyone from members of the Royal Family, to grumpy chefs(!) over the years.  I try not to let anyone’s ideas of grandeur affect my professional planning service! ‘

‘In all honesty, I think my calm personality and sense of humour are helpful when planning weddings, and different members of the same family disagree with how the event should be run.  Ensuring that everyone feels heard, and acting as a mediator between these different family members can be slightly exhausting but we always get there in the end!  And of course, it all ends very happily on the BIG day!’

6. Your social media and website indicate that you love planning marquee events; what do you consider to be the main advantages of a marquee setting?

marquee event furniture hire‘I love the freedom that a marquee wedding gives.  It’s a blank canvas: both in terms of the design/size/layout of the structure(s) and in terms of what range of tableware you wish to hire, what colour scheme you wish to introduce etc.  Additionally, the timings are often far more flexible than at a venue.  I love getting into the detail of planning an event. For example, taking a client to the catering hire company’s inspiration room to look at different table set ups and furniture options, and showing them images of different styles of furniture (always hoping that they will choose Rio Lounge’s of course)!’

7. We know that running an events business can sometimes involve long and unsociable hours.  Do you have any top tips for how to manage work/life balance?

‘I am not sure I have got any specific tips.  I am however, very grateful to my children, who are now in their early twenties, for letting me crack on with all my events. (which invariably take place throughout the whole of the summer!)  After regularly working 12-14 hour days – (and longer on actual event days) – my daughter, from an early age, would tell me what was for supper. She knew better than I did what was in the fridge! But in a way, this has been the making of them, and they both have already got great jobs in London; it’s been no bad thing for them to see their Mum working flat out!  And we have had some great meals out and holidays too to compensate!’

8. We have worked with many event planners over the years and we know that the reliability of the suppliers you choose can make or break an event. How do you go about selecting the best suppliers to ensure smooth running of your events?

evening party with silver faux leather hire furniture‘I love working with super efficient companies, such as Rio Lounge, The products that you supply are of an extremely high quality and always meet both mine and my client’s expectations.  Added to which, you have a great delivery and collection system: this  is so important when one is juggling numerous deliveries in the build up to an event.’

We would like to thank Jenny for taking the time to participate in this interview. We are grateful to all our customers for choosing Rio Lounge. Of course it means even more when event planners come back to book our furniture time and time again.

 

Products featured in the pictures accompanying this feature are listed below:

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with us via phone 01582 232332 or email our furniture hire team.