Sometimes in life, things have a habit of working out, and Nicole Peppi and Suzy Richman are inclined to agree when it comes to their new event management business, ‘Getting This Done’, which came about through a chance meeting. Both have extensive events management experience within the charity and corporate sectors, but it was not until they volunteered on a school committee that their paths crossed.
Suzy explains “I have a grandchild at Beit Shvidler Primary School and Nicole has a child there too. We were asked to sit on a committee for the school’s 10th anniversary dinner last year. We worked well together, and I think that due to our similar backgrounds, we just seemed to click. It was a great experience, and we both said how lovely it would be to work together again one day.”
That day came along sooner than expected when Suzy was approached to work on a fundraising event. She didn’t want to turn down the work because of other commitments, so over a cup of coffee with Nicole, they recognised that they could project manage this together. Nicole explains, “After Suzy and I initially sat down to discuss this, we put a proposal in place and within a matter of days met with the customer. It all happened really fast.”
Their combined involvement accumulated over a collective 40+ years of working in the charity sector means that they are well-known within the community, with a wealth of knowledge and contacts, and both have excellent track records in creating successful events.
Suzy’s experience covers both corporate as well as not-for-profit organisations and start-ups, and she has held various roles over the years ranging from Project Manager to Chief Operating Officer. She started her career working within the professional services, where she set up a secretarial and typing agency to the legal and medical professions. This led her to become involved with The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists where she first gained experience of fundraising and event planning culminating in the hosting of international conferences. Following this Suzy moved on and gained more experience in managing many different kinds of events.
In 2008, she was invited to join University Jewish Chaplaincy where she served initially as Operations Manager, and then Chief Operating Officer. Suzy has also set up her own consultancy, Suzy Richman Consulting, where she offers a range of services including interim management, advising on strategies, event and project management. A key factor in her success was engaging effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and external agencies, which gave her valuable first-hand experience of operational, strategic and governance challenges.
Nicole has gained most of her experience working within the charity sector and since moving from Manchester to London in 1998 has worked for many large Jewish organisations. She started off working at Jewish Care, holding a variety of roles in the time she was there. When she left in 2011, Nicole created Peppi Consulting to provide events consultancy & management services. Nicole was very much in demand. After taking time off to have her first daughter, she was contacted by a previous director who by that time had become Fundraising Director at Kisharon. He was looking for additional support for their annual dinner. She explains, “I was only supposed to be there for a few weeks, but they later approached me, and I have continued to work with them since as well as supporting other charities.”
For Suzy and Nicole, the chance to start a business together is something that they are excited about. Nicole explains, “I always wanted to do something that incorporates my interests and skills. Since meeting Suzy, and starting up ‘Getting This Done’, I feel that this is a great opportunity for both of us. Working with someone else, especially with so much knowledge, is great and we both recognise each other’s strengths and we complement each other. Playing to our own skills and experience means that our clients will benefit from our combined expertise and we can offer a completely collaborative service.”
Both Nicole and Suzy believe that ‘Getting This Done’ is ideally placed to work with smaller charities and organisations that may not require full time events support, but at times may need help with the larger scale events, such as fundraising dinners, or smaller bespoke events such as seminars and conferences. Nicole explains, “We are able to work closely with the client to create the perfect event. By getting us on board early, we can help with key areas of budgeting and planning, as well as managing the whole event.”
When it comes to running successful events, Nicole’s key piece of advice is to stay calm and keep smiling. Suzy agrees “often clients may be quite stressed and anxious, so it is key that as the experts, we retain a professional air and are able to set their minds at rest.” Being flexible, open to change and able to think on your feet are also key skills for event management. Nicole adds, “It is essential to be super-organised throughout the project, and luckily we both know exactly what needs to be done. We are very efficient with a good eye for detail, and people know us, trust us, and understand that if we are involved, we really will get it done.”
For both of them, all the hard work is worth it when they see that people are having a great time. Suzy explains, “Watching guests leave with smiles on their faces says it all. We love to see an event come together on the day, often after months of preparation, long hours and last-minute changes.” Nicole adds “At events, we like to go that extra mile and add the personal touch. We aim to introduce ourselves to as many people as possible so we can put names to faces. For months you speak to people on email or on the phone so meeting with them is an important aspect of the event”. Nicole continues, “I have always loved wearing the headsets and running around to check everyone is doing what they should be. People used to call me Kylie and wanted to sing into my microphone!”
When it came to coming up with a name for the business, it didn’t take them long to find one that worked. Nicole explains, “At a previous charity, my nickname was ‘The Dinner Lady’, and whilst charity dinners are a big part of what we do, we didn’t want this to be the only area that we specialised in. Plus, the name made it sound like we worked in a school, so we had to come up with something else. ‘Getting This Done’, was one of the first ones that we came up with, and we think it really reflects our can-do attitude, and our ability in getting this done…for you.”
If you would like to speak to Nicole or Suzy about helping you to organise an event, please contact them on 0203 488 2951 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively visit their website www.gettingthisdone.com
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