Kelis does Whisky Mist
After my customary (very) early Monday start which begins in the Cotswolds and ends with a 7am coffee with Peter in our SW6 office, I've enjoyed an eclectic journey this week spanning new venue discovery, late night debauchery, an old school cigar session and, as if upping the steaks for the grand finale, an outrageous Burlesque show at the fabulous Hippodrome Casino.
As the first official weekly round-up of my weird and occasionally wonderful vantage point within London's events scene, I thought it might be a good idea to paint a simple picture of what it is I actually do. Well, the fun stuff anyway (there's a lot of sales and marketing legwork and although I go to great lengths to avoid anything that could be classed as 'admin', I do (the bare minimum of) that too). An industry publication (which I shall not name) jumped on a band wagon to criticise me a few years ago with a claim that I 'swanned around the industry coiffing Champagne!' At the time I was President of ISES and (although it's another story for another time) I genuinely believe that I revitalised a hugely valuable industry institution during my reign. The fact I was almost impeached is a badge of honour in my book (although that's nothing to do with my cigar story this week, I promise)! Some people just don't like people who stick their head above the parapet (dressing up as a retro pilot for our aircraft hangar event or a Victorian Ringmaster reciting Dr.Seuss's classic 'If I ran the circus' when we staged an event in a former circus is just way too off the wall for 'serious' conference industry journalists). But then that's why I'm me and they're....... not.
So, interesting meetings this week include being introduced to a Belgravia theatre which I never knew existed, a fabulous Chelsea girl (Lady, really) who has just returned from organising a party in Monaco on a yacht with eighty million quid's worth of diamonds on board, reacquainting myself with Michael Gelardi (the inventor of modern day corporate entertainment as we know it) - and he has a fascinating tale of how he made millions in his twenties but that's for another time, and a beautiful violinist who had just returned from Madison Square Garden playing to 20,000 fans with legendary guitarist, Jeff Beck. She also leads Nigel Kennedy's orchestra.
Whatever kind of day I'm having, I never fail to be inspired by the variety of dynamic people I come across (almost always unexpectedly) and this week was no exception. Highlights included smoking cigars in Belgravia on the legendary Boisdale cigar terrace (next to Sam Torrence who looks Spanish but sounds Scottish - mainly because he is Scottish but also because he swears a lot!), learning about Michael Gelardi's high profile industry comeback (hold tight for a spectacular launch at our September event), being on the gorgeous Emma Murray's VIP guest list for Whisky Mist's 5th (loud!) anniversary party where Kelis wandered into the middle of the Club and banged out several hits (Milkshake was a Madonna mash-up) and dragging my uncharacteristically weary head (after just 2 hours sleep) to the most fabulous new Burlesque show in town (which included an amazing song about a hot, bald, wet pussy cat - seriously funny!). Oh, and Janine from Eastenders was buying nipple tassels on the table next to us too (which is a whole other league from my rather more innocent Dick and Dom encounter on the tube!)
So, after a 24 hour straight Monday/Tuesday, lots of cigars, even more drinks and marginally more sleep on Wednesday (but not much) interspersed with a huge haul of amazing new venues and event service providers gravitating towards our fabulous new londonlaunch.com site, it's been a pretty great week (so far!)
With some amazing showcase events on the horizon (including the relaunch of an incredible warehouse style venue near King's Cross which I inadvertently Christened during our meeting), and a stand up comedy routine in the making (which I've been roped into for an awesome charity), next week is looking suitably random too. Oh, and I'll squeeze the work bit in there somewhere - come to think of it, that's probably why I don't do bed...