Hannah is part of a strong team of four who are responsible for making sure that events at the stadium go to plan on the day. Sounds like a pretty tough job eh? We chat to Hannah to find out more..
Name: Hannah Sheppard
Job title: Event and Customer Service Manager
Number of years at Twickenham: 2 1/2
Favourite food: Anything Mediterranean
What are your main duties as event and customer service manager? I work as part of a team ensuring the smooth running of the conferences and events held at the stadium. This involves anything from running bespoke intimate dinners in the Twickenham Cellar, to pitch side BBQ's, to 3000 delegates over three days utilising all of our conference space. We also are constantly working on projects to innovate and improve our services, trialing new products in the industry with anything from popcorn to mobile charging solutions.
Where were you before Twickenham? I previously worked for two very different events companies, with Smart Hospitality travelling to events such as Paris Air Show and with the IoD, a private members club in the heart of London.
How does working for a caterer compare to working for a venue? Working for a caterer has its own set of challenges and rewards, very different from working in a venue. With Smart I could be getting a fridge van out of a muddy field at 3am, at Twickenham it would be dealing with stadium power outages minutes before an International Rugby game. I would say that the opportunity for developing the services and products and seeing the business grow in a Venue just tips the post!
Is there an event that you've overseen that stands out as being the best? I have had the great pleasure of running the O2 conference that returns to us every year. Each year they bring us a new challenge on our catering offer. I love the opportunity that is given to us to be creative in our delivery of food to the 3000 delegates, meaning that no two conferences have been the same. They are a great client to work for and the positive feedback means that we have developed a great working partnership!
Dare we ask about one of the more stressful times?! Probably entertaining the 800 guests that attended the Rugby Aid after party… with an international match the next day utilising the same room for a three course sit down. We had to turn the room around after a very stimulating evening between 3am and 6am with many of us returning that day in time for lunch service.
Finally, have you got a favourite space at Twickenham and if so why? The pitch has got to be my favourite 'space' at Twickenham! It is ever-changing (at the moment being completely resurfaced). It is incredible to see the untouched grass before an international, it really does look fantastic. One of the perks of the job is being able to see it at any time of the day, from views from level 6 to being pitch side it really is the centre point of the stadium.