100 Days at Mask

New Head of Mask Penny Porter gives us a round up of her first 100 days at the helm of the UK’s top bespoke event management company. We’re talking highlights, unusual events and inspiration for some incredible theming – and what you can expect from Mask in 2014.

How would you sum up your first 100 days at Mask?

A whirlwind of getting to know some fabulous clients and a brilliantly talented team. What is really nice, is that I still have plenty more to get to know.

What has been the highlight of your role so far?

Finding out the extent of the Concerto network – it seems like there is almost nothing we don’t do, the sense of potential is exhilarating.

What is one of the most unusual bespoke event you’ve been involved in?

A lot of my work has been a balance of big brand work, and with 20 years across the event & PR industry, often working with talent. I thrive on originality – for example, I led the campaign that converted Bluewater shopping centre into an racetrack for Jenson Button’s F1 world championship homecoming for Virgin Media’s SpeedWeek.

Other unusual moments would be leading a TV launch which was a pop-up breakfast at The Vinyl Factory, with Joanna Lumley re-enacting the most disruptive moments from the world of television (such as whipping Basil Fawlty’s red Austin Estate with shrubbery to celebrate Fawlty Towers) and working with Henry Holland to create a Shoreditch Summer party a few years ago in Village Underground when we managed to convince Agyness Deyn to perform a set on stage. She had never sung before but she belted out a great Kids In America.

Tell us something we might not know about you

I spent much of my 20s in New York and know Manhattan like the back of my hand. I have a lot of favourite venues there too and get back there at least once a year.

Where do you get your inspiration?

A mixture of old and new – I love pioneering design, in style, food and venues, but I also love bringing in timeless references. A walk around the British Museum is as inspirational to me as a session in Dover Street Market or a morning stroll down the High Line in New York. Our creative team are out and about in London daily – we make a point of absorbing all that is culturally stimulating.

We love live events, from The Drowned Man (amazing) to the Book of Mormon, and we’re always exploring new venues for our little black book. It’s great to get a sense of potential from a new venue before it opens – that amazing sense of space before the party begins. I think that’s a bug that everyone in our industry has – the desire to inhabit a great venue runs in our veins.

What can we expect from Mask in 2014?

I have spent my first few months ensuring that we are operating at best practice in terms of client service.  For example, we have introduced Client Service Charters, which give clients a firm framework of confidence in our service and delivery, and we will also be measuring client satisfaction, both formally and informally.  It should be a given, in our industry, that attention to detail and accountability are paramount, and this new framework gives our clients reassurance that our structure is solid.

In terms of creativity and originality, we are up there at the cutting edge, and this requires a mindful engagement with the world! We are all members of various institutions, from the V&A to various members bars across London, and as I referred to earlier, we are always engaged with London, so we are confident that our venue knowledge is extremely competitive. In terms of standards, we continue to raise the bar and ensure that our clients can come to us knowing that they will receive unrivalled service at a fantastic level of delivery.

Finally, on top of continuous self-improvement, we are developing our offer. A lot of us have come from TV, music and fashion backgrounds so we naturally bring that pedigree with us: LFW on and off schedule shows, wrap parties, big brand launches, consumer events, you name it we have it – and we’re ready to embrace 2014 with full vigour.

Mask specialises in bespoke events like no other. Our creative team thrives on delivering bold, innovative responses to client briefs.
Contact us to find out more.