Head of Events
Travel Places: Melanie, you joined Travel Places back in September 2014 to work in our Events Operations across some of the most high profile and largest movements we’ve ever done such as the Commonwealth Games, Paralympic movements, America’s Cup and global Scouting jamborees. You currently co-manage the event team and are lead on The Football Association and Scout Association accounts. That sounds like a very busy, and varied, event calendar. What does a normal day look like for you?
Melanie Failes: There is no such thing as a normal day and that’s what I love about working for Travel Places. My time is split between the planning and implementation of the events I am currently working on, account managing key clients and overseeing the Events team alongside Melissa (Beadsworth). I am lucky enough to travel overseas with the clients that I work with and especially onsite there is no such thing as a normal day.
TP: What have you recently been working on?
MF: Like everyone, my workload in 2020 has been significantly different from other years, but our work with many of the elite sports team has carried on as planned. Most recently we had the international matches. England played against Denmark, Belgium, Wales, Iceland and Ireland both home and away and Travel Places managed this process alongside senior staff at The FA to arrange the accommodation and requirements for all teams.
TP: I can imagine those requirements were hugely impacted by the pandemic. What challenges have you come up against?
MF: Covid-19 has been the challenge that all of us have faced, and as a company, like the rest of the nation, every client and every member of staff has had a different experience of the year. Some of our clients have continued to operate and travel overseas but we have had to face a very different landscape to what we previously knew, whilst other clients have stopped everything and haven’t travelled in over 9 months. Whilst working with The FA we likened the experience to the moving staircases at Hogwarts, you thought you knew where you were headed, then just as you reached the top the staircase moved, and you were working towards something completely new and different!
TP: Looking back over the last 12 months what was your favourite event that you worked on?
MF: I love coming up with new solutions to new problems, so I would say that 2020 as a whole has been an enjoyable challenge for me.
TP: And what’s coming up?
MF: We hope that 2021 is going to a brighter year for our team with overseas travel resuming and sports events returning to some form of normality. Unfortunately, we now know that the Scout European Jamboree has been cancelled and so that leaves a hole in our Scout calendar for 2021, but we have the Moot in 2022 and hopefully, the World Scout Jamboree in 2023 to look forward to. All being well the Football calendar will be as busy as always and we hope to see a return to travelling for the many youth teams we support. On a personal note, I am looking forward to the prospect of new clients joining our roster and bringing us new experiences and challenges so as a team we can continue to grow and improve on what we do.
TP: What is your favourite thing about your job?
MF: Most definitely the people I work with. Our Events team have some of the best talent in the Sporting events business and we are so proud of what they have achieved. The relationships they have forged with our clients and how they have responded to the challenges of 2020 have been exceptional. Whilst we might not have been together in person as much as we would have liked, we have continued to work together as a strong team and I really look forward to what 2021 wants to throw at us.
Find out more about what it is like to work at Travel Places here.