Following the latest governmental relaxations, Autoworld is in the throes of preparing an end-of-summer which promises to be well filled. The ideal opportunity to meet the museum’s “Events” duo, Lauren and Alex.
This young duo ensures the smooth running of events not organised by the museum, because Autoworld is also known, in events’ jargon, as a Green Key awarded “Special Venue".
Lauren is 26 years old and joined Autoworld in August 2019. Alex is 28 and has been in the museum’s “Events” department for five years. An atypical crack duo, because even though Alex started out showing Lauren the ropes upon her arrival, she is now holding the department’s reins and asks Alex to assist her since he started working part-time … That, in full conviviality.
Autoworld is a “Special Venue”, that is to say, a distinctive and non-traditional venue in which to hold an event, whether it involves a cocktail for a few people or a large-scale gathering. In normal times (namely non-pandemic), Autoworld can welcome up to 1,500 persons! In other words, a question of good management! “We are very fortunate”, Lauren and Alex comment almost in unison. “We hardly ever need to do any prospecting because we receive spontaneous requests. We have such a remarkable location! We are members of the BSE, the Brussels Special Venue, which directs requests to some forty exceptional locations in Brussels, but we also have regularly returning clients because they are highly satisfied. We are also fortunate to be located a mere stone’s throw from our major ‘event’ client, namely the European Communities.”
Lauren and Alex share out the clients which they each manage from A to Z, ranging from visiting the premises, preparing the proposal, seeking out the catering and technical partners etc… through to the debriefing and invoicing. “One of us takes full charge of the client, which reassure him or her no end. We are entirely at the client’s disposal, and we are also present during the event. We only leave the premises when we are absolutely sure that everything is under control, often during the dessert when it involves an event with a meal”, Alex explains. “Indeed, but there are also times when we remain right through to the end and sleep on the museum’s office sofas around one or two o’clock in the morning…”, Lauren adds with a wink. The fact is that Lauren lives in Alost and Alex in Diest (even though he likes to add that he is from Mol!)… too far to return home at that late hour …
“We experienced some rather strange moments during the Corona period”, Lauren added. “Seeing many of the staff members had been temporarily laid off for technical reasons, those that remained had to jump in here and there: shop sales, ticket sales, management of the Friends, secretarial duties… “. Notwithstanding their young age and their qualifications, Lauren and Alex enjoy pitching in and assisting in other departments where necessary … “We are truly multifaceted”, Alex added with a smile. “We are at the heart of managing the planning and the logistics. We are therefore also asked for advice at that level.”
After more than one year of reduced activities due to measures linked to the pandemic, recovery seems assured at the start of this new school year. “We have high hopes”, Lauren enthusiastically comments. Similar to 2019, the September calendar is already full, and October seems to be going in the same direction. The companies are cautious. Whereas previously they reserved one year in advance, today they decide at the last moment, but we remain confident.” And Alex quickly adds: “anyway, our contracts are flexible and include a postponement or cancellation clause should the client be unable to come due to the ever-changing norms. »