Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE)
After starting my career in the film industry, it was a natural progression to move into destination management.
I worked with Green Route Africa, a destination management company, on a project-to-project basis over several years. As a freelance Operations Manager, I helped plan and arrange the logistics for their corporate incentive groups visiting various parts of South Africa.
From putting together costings and site inspections for groups of 10 to 1000 people; booking hotels, meeting venues and transport; arranging sightseeing excursions and corporate gifting … to providing ground support during team building events; escorting guests on tours; setting up for gala dinners and helping conference delegates at the hospitality desk.
It was varied and exciting work and I had the opportunity to do it in some interesting and exotic locations.
Clients included large corporates and multinationals across the spectrum, including Wuerth, Merck Serono, Starwood and Landmark Wholesale UK.
Whilst working with Green Route, I was asked to set up and run their CSR division – Green Tribe – which was an immensely rewarding experience.
My work for Green Tribe included researching and creating CSR proposals for Green Route’s international clients and project managing the building a pre-primary school on behalf of one of their clients. You can find out more about my Green Tribe work here.
Digital Project Management
During this time, Green Route underwent a rebrand, so I was also contracted to oversee the development and rollout of their new website and the creation of accompanying online marketing materials.
This led on to work with the digital marketing agency Liquorice (Digitas), helping them in two different areas:
- I was contracted to implement a new SaaS project management system over a four month period, to consolidate and replace three different existing systems. Tasks included first understanding how their business worked and their system management needs. Then being trained on the system so I could train the staff. And finally preparing the implementation across 3 offices.
- I then provided staff cover for one of the digital project managers for 8 weeks. Work included: overseeing staff allocations; traffic management; and project tracking on digital marketing work, such as banner designs and Facebook adverts, website upgrades and email newsletters.
I worked with the Consumer Insight Agency during a 9 month contract, mainly creating client pitches but also arranging consumer immersions for clients such as Brandhouse, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson.
A consumer immersion takes company members deep into the heart of their customers’ environment, to help them understand who their customers really are. From what their needs and problems are to why they buy specific products to solve those problems. We would arrange for small groups of clients to spend time with actual consumers in their homes and lives over a 12 to 24 hour period.
So, back to the beginning. I cut my teeth in the film industry, first as a production assistant and then production manager, working on TV commercials for international clients in both South Africa and the UK.
Commercials are a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of organising, as you get to be involved in a project from beginning to end, within a fairly short space of time.
From research for storyboarding; getting quotes; setting up location recces; booking crew, catering and equipment; arranging permits and making sure everyone’s on set when they need to be … to getting the rushes to the processing house at the end of the shoot day; ensuring the editor has what he needs to do a great job and finally reconciling the budget afterwards.
It’s high-pressure work but energizing too. The cherry on top is seeing the end result of that hard work, live on the big screen for all to see.
Production Companies I’ve worked for:
- Map Films, London – TV commercials for Dove and Max Factor products
- Cricket, London – Corporate videos for Land Rover
- Blue Source, London – Music videos for James and Groove Armada
- Rolling Pictures, Johannesburg & Cape Town – TV Commercials for a variety of FMCG goods
- Velocity Films, Cape Town – Film servicing for an international TV commercial
- Platypus Productions, Cape Town – Holsten Beer, Truworths Fashion File, music videos, corporate videos