Conference News September 2021 - Page 19

19 Fast Forward 15

NO CHALLENGE TOO BIG

Martin Fullard meets Fast Forward 15 mentee Freyja Talbott-Haworth , who went from Wembley to the Red Carpet
reyja Talbott-Haworth has recently completed the Fast Forward 15 mentorship programme , which was launched by Fay Sharpe to help women gain in confidence in their careers .
Talbott-Haworth ’ s journey through the events industry has been , in her own words , “ a mixture ”. After graduating with a degree in event management and media studies , she began her career working for the Football Association at Wembley Stadium . While there , she worked on events including the FA Cup final , boxing matches featuring Anthony Joshua and concerts for pop stars such as Beyoncé .
Talbott-Haworth , however , wanted to progress up the career ladder , and had one eye on the Fast Forward 15 programme from an early stage , applying while still at Wembley . Eventually , she found herself at ITV , which as coincidences have it , was where her desired Fast Forward 15 mentor from her previous application was head of events .
“ I didn ’ t get the mentorship at the time [ while at Wembley ], but I made the connection , which was great ,” she tells me . “ I then saw that she was hiring at ITV , and I applied . She offered it to me on the spot on the day , which was amazing . I was running the red
Freyja Talbott-Haworth
carpet , which was really something , and meeting so many ITV talent .”
Talbott-Haworth took it in her stride but notes that the red carpet event was labelled “ the baptism of fire ”.
She says : “ It was probably the most terrifying thing I ’ ve had to deal with , considering I ’ d gone from 80,000 fans at Wembley to just getting some celebrities down the red carpet . It was very stressful , and at one point I turned to the head of events and asked if I still had a job . She said , ‘ you ’ ve done it , you ’ re great , keep going ’.”
Eventually , Talbott-Haworth moved on to GLG . “ This role is very different to anything I ’ ve done in the past , but I absolutely love it ,” she says . “ It ’ s a great organisation and an amazing team .”
Being a mentee
One commonality between the Fast Forward 15 mentees is that they say they are given perspective , and Talbott-Haworth is no exception .
“ My mentor was Geoff Allwright , UK travel manager at Airbus UK , and he was just amazing ,” she says . “ He is probably the purest person I ’ ve ever met in my life . And he brought so much balance and so much perspective . I ’ m quite an anxious person , and as an event planner , my brain is always worrying .
“ Geoff brought me a lot of perspective , and he helped me take a step back and learn to analyse a situation a bit more before I got too stressed by it . He massively helped my confidence . This time last year I never would have put myself forward to speak to a magazine or to do panels , which I ’ ve done now .”
It is warm testimony , and she recommends others apply . “ If you can apply for it , then you absolutely should . It has been life-changing and for my career and I ’ ve changed a lot as a person in the past year . It ’ s made me a better event specialist and has given me more direction in terms of my career as well .” CN www . conference-news . co . uk