Then there were five
What is the story of how you joined Broadsword?
In 2014, we made the decision to branch out and build our own event agency. The founders of Broadsword were friends from previous roles and we decided to join forces. Matt became Commercial Director from the get-go and at the start of 2019, Anna took on the position of Managing Director and when Covid hit, had been working in the role for just over a year. It was a steep learning curve and the last few years have been full of some of the most difficult personal and professional challenges, but the experience has filled them both with confidence in their own abilities and really made them who they are today.
What challenges did you face when starting out?
Establishing ourselves in a new environment, gaining confidence and carving out our own career paths was challenging. We joined Broadsword with a vision for growth and building a really strong culture – but in the first few years, these two objectives would often jar, as there was so much necessary change in a short period of time. Keeping the team at the centre of everything was key.
If you could go back, would you change anything?
Be more patient with ourselves; it takes time to learn new skills, gain knowledge, build relationships and earn the trust of your colleagues. All of these things are fundamental to leadership.
What’s one piece of advice you would give somebody wanting to start a business?
Be prepared to ditch the plan or change the plan. If you start a business, you’ll have a vision and like being in control, but the unexpected will always happen along the way. The trick is to adapt the plan, roll with the punches and keep your eyes open for new opportunities.
Most memorable event?
In 2015, Tim Peake was blasted towards the stars on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He was the first UK astronaut in space for over twenty years. The Science Museum opened its doors to the public, with 11,000 visitors and Professor Brian Cox and comedian Dara O Briain broadcasting BBC Stargazing Live to 3.8 million viewers to cover the launch. Broadsword designed and delivered the event, enabling all the guests to watch the launch live. It was such an honour to be involved in a moment of such national significance.
What do you think the future will bring?
There will be events, in many shapes and sizes and different formats, influenced by the political landscape, technological advances and sustainability goals. But the last few years have proved that people need people. People need to communicate with people and people want to be surrounded by other people. They will always find a way to do so, whatever the future brings.
What is your favourite part of the events industry?
People. It’s an industry that is all about people. So it is always interesting and evolving and varied. The events industry has the power to be a force for good, to effect change, to inspire future generations. That’s what we love.
As with any team, the vast range of personalities becomes evident whilst in social settings, on group projects and as you spend more time around one another. Different personalities and skill sets make up the culture of a company, and as Bruce mentioned in our previous insights article about the beginning of Broadsword, that’s why it works! The end goal is working towards the common ‘good’ for the team and company, so although challenges come, understanding one another, and respecting each person’s differences is necessary for the longevity of relationships in a work environment.
Anna Green, our MD, wrote an article about personality styles and the profiling method Broadsword uses to discover which style and colour each employee fits into. The four colours are: Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue and it is great to acknowledge each individual’s colour and how a mix of these primary colours integrates in an agency to create and deliver incredible events.
If you would like to read more about the importance of personalities and self-awareness in business, you can find that article here.