My Working Life: Ali Blows

My Working Life: Ali Blows
The head of commercial events and business development at the National Theatre on the family dynamic at venues, Duphy the Labrador and offsetting the negative impact of events. My parents are Welsh – so I support Wales when it comes to rugby – but I was born in Surrey. I moved to America when I was 13 then went to university in Birmingham, but my...

The head of commercial events and business development at the National Theatre on the family dynamic at venues, Duphy the Labrador and offsetting the negative impact of events.

My parents are Welsh – so I support Wales when it comes to rugby – but I was born in Surrey. I moved to America when I was 13 then went to university in Birmingham, but my parents moved to Budapest from America so I would go home to Hungary!

My mum was a solicitor but retired after she had my brothers and me. My dad worked for an oil company which is what moved us around. They’re both now enjoying retirement playing golf multiple times a week and going on holidays.

I have two older brothers who I’m very close to. They’re both now married to lovely wives and one of them has a beautiful one-year-old called Magnus Blows. My parents were very dedicated to getting us out and about experiencing as much outside of school as possible and all of us played lots of sports and were never indoors.

I was a nanny while I was at school in America which I loved. My first job as an adult was working for CreativEvents at the NEC as catering staff.

At school I was on a committee which planned student events. This then continued at university where I studied biochemistry and was social secretary for the school of biosciences, planning their events. I then went into catering and then Novus Leisure.

I left event venues for a while but missed the family dynamic of being part of a big machine. I definitely got my wish joining the National Theatre as it is so much more than an events venue. I love being part of something which gives so much back to the world – approximately seven million people worldwide watching an NT production last year through coming to the NT, NT Live, and travelling productions!

I have particularly enjoyed working on the re-launch The Deck, our stunning rooftop venue offering amazing views of the Thames and the London skyline. We’ve held so many great events there the past year, including awards, weddings, parties and even some filming and photoshoots.

I am single and love it. I do have a six-year old Labrador called Dunphy though who I love. His favourite things to do are eating banana peels and finding muddy puddles to roll in. Even on the warmest, sunniest day – he’ll find one!

My last holiday was to Dubai – I had a friend who lived there for the past few years, so it was great having free accommodation. She’s moved back to the UK now though, so I need to find a new sunny destination.

The thing I love most about events is that cliché that no day is ever the same. But also, the people – hospitality professionals are all very likeminded which isn’t always a good thing, but certainly makes it fun!

The biggest topic that needs addressing in the industry is sustainability – especially how we can ensure all areas (including catering, production and AV) are not negatively impacting the world in the long term.

Every event is so different; I think it’s more about the clients. You can have a very small, straight-forward event but the client is lovely and creative so you can have fun with it. Weddings are always very rewarding, as are events for charities. I’m very fortunate to always have super nice clients who I’ve worked with over and over at different venues throughout my career

Source: exhibitionnews.uk