60 Second Interview: Penny Porter

Head of Mask, Penny Porter, oversees all our bespoke events. Penny brings with her 20 years’ experience in the industry, and has been responsible for a wide range of events, from big brand projects for Virgin Media, Wrigley and Sky to innovative ideas for London Fashion Week and much more.

What did you study at University?

Fine Art & Art History at Goldsmith’s. It was incredibly valuable in that it rewired my brain.  As a result, I’m a relentless magpie, collecting and storing brilliant things I encounter every day.

What is the best event you’ve seen recently?

In terms of production, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. I’m really interested in sets, use of space, costume and lighting, and the attention to detail was outstanding.

What blogs do you read?

I love Nik at Nite (smart TV & popular culture blog). She doesn’t miss a trick and gets the subtle jokes that writers put in which only a few viewers will get. We like to do that in our events, ingenious little touches knowing that only some guests notice.

How important is being competitive?

I’m a big believer in team work. So in the workplace, it’s not about the individual, it’s about teams working together to deliver something outstanding. In terms of the marketplace, we are condent that our offer is extremely competitive as we have built our team with people that are driven by client delight, best practice and added value. As for me, I take Bananagrams very seriously.

Where will we see Mask going?

We will fearlessly embrace originality, creativity and English eccentricity. Whilst our business is built on parties, we’re expanding our offer to provide more considered, ingenious events that are game changers in terms of originality and experience.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Look at the spaces in between the lines, not the lines themselves. It was from my Art A level teacher, who I adored. I was really struggling with still lifes. She taught me to look at the spaces, not the outline of the bottle. The most creative, ingenious solutions can only grow in those spaces: we think of client briefs as the lines and it is our job to carve out ingenious, original solutions in the spaces between.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I’m doing a University of California course at the moment called Society, Science and Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead. It’s the perfect heady mix of academic application and popular culture.