Team SES

Three years ago, we opened our doors, bright eyed and ready to take on the world. We knew what we were offering was something special, we just needed the opportunity to prove it.

Well, three years down the line, we can confidently say we didn’t have one ‘break through’ moment per say, instead it was lots of little moments, late nights, emails and calls. Months and months of hard graft, seizing every opportunity we could, here we are – bigger and better than ever!

Don’t let anyone fool you – there are lots of Instagram accounts that tell you to be successful, you have to wake up at 4.30am, read three books and meditate before navigating your inbox and sourcing new business – all while managing to stay fed, exercise and maintain some kind of social life.

While we’re not typically up before our 7am alarms, and our first twelve months in business can only be described as ‘winging it,’ we’re proud to have established ourselves as strong players in the immensely competitive game that is event management – we couldn’t be happier with the business and network of clients we have built.

In the beginning, our MD Kate had the idea for SES, and began taking on interns and placement students to help her carry out the day to day tasks, giving her more time to work on building those all-important relationships that played a crucial part in our plans for expansion. This is where Natalia, our Creative Design & Marketing Executive, and Caitlin, our Event Manager came in!

Where are we now – with a strong core team, and an army of dedicated freelancers helping us facilitate our incredible service offerings – we’ve racked up a stack of glowing testimonials and secured repeat business from 95% of our clients.

None of this would be possible without our incredible, hardworking team, who go above and beyond every day. We asked them about highlights from the last three years, and what it’s like to be a part of the SES family, here’s what they said:

Tina Hutchinson – Head of Operations

Tell us a bit about what you do at SES?

As head of operations I have a ‘helicopter role’. Hovering over all aspects of the business from HR to Marketing, I love the variety and no two days are the same!

What has been your highlight since joining?

Without a doubt my highlight so far has been the ‘Month of May’ – the whole team pulled together to deliver multiple amazing events, for loyal clients, generating our highest revenue ever and several amazing testimonials. I am extremely proud to be a part of this team.

What do you love most about working for SES?

The company culture – Kate’s open approach breeds trust and teamwork. We all want to do our best for her, and each other. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and as women in business, I love to see this embedded into the company!

Caitlin Doyle – Event Manager

What do you love most about your job?

It’s cliché, but every day is different. We have such a broad range of clients from a variety of sectors, that no two events are the same. I’ve met so many brilliant people on our journey so far, from the Mayors of the North and CEO’s of household brand names like Nando’s, to Adam&EveDDB. I wonder who will be next!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since joining The Secret Event Service?

As the saying goes, expect the unexpected. In the world of events, even perfect planning can’t prevent the occasional thing from going wrong. I’ve learnt that problem solving is a skill, but solving problems quickly and calmly is a talent that will carry you far in this industry – that and three shots of espresso on event delivery day!

What is your proudest moment from your time so far with the SES?

We’ve hosted so many brilliant events so far, but one I am really proud to have been a part of was when we successfully ran two large-scale virtual conferences on the same day. As a small team, this was no mean feat, however, we pulled it off with four laptops six screens, a team of incredible professionals and copious amounts of coffee. As a result of all our hard work, we won further business, and received brilliant feedback from delegates and clients alike.

Natalia Bate – Creative Design & Marketing Executive

What do you love about your role?

Being an incredibly creative person, I love that my role allows me to truly express my artistic personality. Utilising and constantly learning how to use creative platforms like Photoshop, Canva, Vimeo, and so much more is where I thrive! Not to mention working with the best most kind-hearted people in the world. I love being a part of such a flourishing and thriving team!

How have you played a part in our success?

I began at SES when we were just one year old as an Event Executive, being Kate’s first full-time employee! This allowed me to really get my teeth stuck into building our brand, forging strong relationships, and supporting our amazing clients. Since then, my role has moved to taking care of all things marketing, yet during my time at SES, I’ve supported numerous events, including our very own Secret Business Lunch, boosted our growth through driving marketing campaigns, and worked hard on creating and developing a strong and recognisable brand.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since joining The Secret Event Service?

Honestly, this company has taught me the true importance of outstanding company culture. I’ve never felt so valued and appreciated in the workplace! The culture at SES is truly something we should be proud of, and I feel our whole team would agree, including all our extended freelance team!

Kate Hutchinson – Managing Director

What made you start SES?

I always new that my ambition was to work for myself one day but I can’t say I ever expected to go into events. I was absolutely dead set on making it in the fashion industry and was fearlessly focused on this goal. However, after a rocky start in London, I returned home to Yorkshire sure of one thing – whatever I did next, I would work hard and succeed. I fell into events and found my feet immediately as I was a committed hard worker and over-achiever. After just shy of 2 years in the industry, but with more than 200 events under my belt I decided to use that all-important house deposit to set up a business instead!

What is your proudest moment from your time so far with the SES?

I don’t think I have just one moment but this last year I have been more proud than ever. We were just 18 months old when the pandemic hit and frankly it did almost wipe us out – but we weren’t to be defeated. We got our heads down, learnt a new skill and now we are masters at virtual event delivery!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since starting SES?

I genuinely learn things in this job every single day – and I love that so much; it’s what keeps my passion alive! The biggest (and hardest) thing I’ve learnt is that I am only one person – I cannot do it all on my own. Luckily, I have an insanely incredible team that I can rely on which makes my job possible!

The last three years have been a whirlwind to say the least, especially with the pandemic forcing us to adapt, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without those challenges! We’ve achieved so much as a business, and can’t wait to see what the future brings, for SES and as an industry.

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