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Lauren Watson - Events Manager

Lauren Watson

An event manager who had ambitions of becoming an air hostess until a career-changing opportunity took off with Warwick Conferences is flying the flag for working for the organisation.

Lauren Watson, aged 23, from Coventry, is taking a leading role in a new careers initiative by Warwick Conferences. It has launched a dedicated platform on its website to better showcase its employment opportunities and dynamic working environment. Lauren’s impressive progression from apprentice to event manager in just three years is featured to inspire others to join and develop their careers with Warwick Conferences.

The award-winning conference, meeting and event venue based at the University of Warwick is a major employer in the region’s hospitality sector. Around 250 permanent staff work across its venues – Scarman, Radcliffe and The Slate – and Conference Park, with facilities to host small meetings to large-scale events for up to 1,200 delegates. They are regularly supported by temporary staff sourced through Unitemps, the on-campus recruitment agency, during peak times and for larger events.

Lauren had always wanted to be an air hostess and studied travel and tourism at Coventry College before deciding upon a career in events and successfully applying for an apprenticeship with Warwick Conferences. Ahead of completing the apprenticeship, gaining a Level 3 extended diploma in hospitality, Lauren was made a member of the front of house team on reception and subsequently promoted to an event manager.

She said: “Although it was a massive step to go from a receptionist to an event manager, the apprenticeship had given me a real insight into all areas of the business and I’m loving every minute. It’s so varied.

“One of the events that I am currently working on is the British Science Festival which will be coming here next September. I’m really looking forward to it because it is such a flagship event.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work my way up and everyone here has been really supportive.”

The new careers section promotes a wide range of opportunities, from chefs and food and beverage assistants to event production and management roles, and gives an insight from members of the team into working at Warwick Conferences.

Andrew Taylor, head of conference centres at Warwick Conferences, said: “We are a people business and our people are essential to our service delivery. The fact that we achieve 79.9 per cent repeat business speaks volumes.

“We want to be able to attract the best and be known for developing great people. It’s not always about the skills that someone has, it’s about their attitude and desire to achieve an ambition.

“Lauren is a fantastic example and we hope that her, and other team members, sharing their experiences will be a powerful tool in achieving that. We’re a great place to work – and some members of staff have been here for over 30 years.”