Anna Horsman joined Geronimo Inns this April in the newly created role of head of events, charged with developing the pub group’s private rooms business. With the FIFA World Cup kicking off on 11 June in South Africa, the former Cuckoo Club events manager has been busy putting a strategy in place to maximise the sales potential of 12 club rooms during the competition.
My big achievement
I joined the Cuckoo Club in London’s Mayfair ahead of its launch in October 2005 as events and marketing manager building it up to what it is today. I found myself in charge of everything from internal events to a Brits aftershow party for Oasis, and numerous corporate nights for the city banks. I’m proud of what I achieved and it was during my time at the club that, thanks to its chef Rupert Blease, I became interested in food and that paved the way ultimately for a move to Geronimo.
How I got to where I am
I’ve taken perhaps an unusual route since graduating from Manchester in 2001. My first role was as a bookings co-ordinator for DJ booking agency Theremin Management, which also has a record label Tortured Records and is owned by DJ Billy Nasty. It got me interested in events and I became marketing officer at London nightclub AKA & The End (now knows as the Den) in 2004 before moving to the Cuckoo Club.
What I like about my job
I love the energy and enthusiasm, as well as humour, within the Geronimo business. Although I enjoyed my time at Cuckoo club it was ultimately a single site and I’d been there four-and-half years, so I’m enjoying the new challenge and freedom to really shape the rooms business that the new role provides.
What I’ve learnt
If you’re not organised you’ll die in this job! With 28 pubs and 12 club rooms I spend my days going from site to site. Essentially I’ve got my lap-top in my rucksack and whatever table is free is my desk, so planning your week is essential. Working across multiple sites is still new to me, so you definitely have to be organised.
We’re making the post of the opportunity of the World Cup and renting out the rooms to both corporate and private parties around the competition. While our pubs are very individual in their character now the group has grown to the size it is it needs a central, standardised booking system for the rooms to make sure the customer experience is the same at different sites. I’m currently putting in place a room liaison at each pub and once that’s complete I’ll be on hand to support and help motivate the team and drive sales at each of the sites, which will be the next stage.
Look out for our FIFA World Cup special feature all next week on BigHospitality, for ideas on how to make the most of the competition and the potential pitfalls to avoid