Today we have something special for you. Not just a fellow WeBlogger, or my partner in crime BUT also someone who can rock a granny alpaca cardigan with extreme skill. Emma Hudson, deputy editor of Access All Areas and Engage, reveals all about her time in Poland, the Invictus Games and her love of Cava in the latest of our 60 seconds with… series.
Describe yourself in five words or less
“That girl’s obsessed with puppies.”
What was your first ever job?
I worked at IHOP (an American pancake/breakfast chain) as a hostess when I was 16, but quit after three weeks. A week after I left, the place got raided and shut down for employing illegal immigrants in the kitchen.
How long have you been in your role?
One year and nine months.
How did you get into the events industry?
I’d just moved to London and was living in a flat off Petticoat Lane Market. I was broke and unemployed, but I wanted to get to know my area. I went for a walk and found myself in Brick Lane Coffee, where I saw an advertisement on the corkboard (!!!) for a start-up website that needed an editor. It was focused on the behind-the-scenes crew in the live entertainment world. I got to speak with amazing people, like lighting designer Howard Harrison, and covered events like the press night of Book of Mormon when it opened on the West End.
What do you like and dislike about the events industry?
I love how there’s always something going on – it’s very hard to be bored when you’ve got a venue opening, a festival, a company launch party and an international sporting tournament happening in the same week (yes, that is what’s going on this week).
Saying that, the industry can be quite backwards and old-fashioned in many ways. A lot of things are done because “that’s the way it’s always been”, which can be very limiting and actually stunt the industry’s growth. Even things like making sure you’ve got an equal number of men and women on a discussion panel – it’s baffling to me that in 2015, as we celebrate a film about women winning the right to vote (Suffragette), we simultaneously are dealing with just the basic issue of inclusivity when it comes to women in any industry, not just events.
How has the industry changed since you first started?
Well, I’ve only been in the industry three years, so nothing too dramatic has happened in that time. But I’ve definitely seen event organisers start to realise and get on board with the importance of smart technology and social media. Though you’d be surprised how many companies still don’t even have a Twitter account.
Best event you’ve been to?
Hands down, the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games. It was so inspiring to see the wounded veterans from all over the world celebrating their achievements during the tournament. Everyone who played – including Ryan Adams, Ellie Goulding and the Foo Fighters – really seemed just honoured to be performing in front of these heroes. Prince Harry did such an amazing job – I’m no royalist but I really think he used his power and influence for a great cause at the Invictus Games. It didn’t hurt that my fiancé and I were sat literally two rows in front of him – and we’ve got the selfies to prove it.
What have been your key achievements to date?
It’s a weird one, but I think moving to Poland when I was 22. I taught English for a year in a medium-sized city called Radom, about an hour and a half south of Warsaw. It was so scary, and I was quite lonely that entire year (it’s hard to make friends when the temperature is pushing -30 degrees), but I got to travel so much around Europe, and the isolation helped me focus on what I really wanted to do. I wouldn’t be in London if it wasn’t for my time in Poland, and for that I’m proud. Also, once you’ve moved to a city in the middle of nowhere, where you know no one and don’t speak the language, everything else kind of just seems like a breeze.
Do you follow sports? Which team do you support?
I’ll get into any sport that is currently playing an international tournament. So right now I’m representing my Aussie dad by cheering on Australia in the Rugby World Cup.
What would be your last meal on Earth?
Steak (medium-rare) with mushrooms on top, tater tots (I don’t know what these are called in England), spinach on the side and a bottle of red wine.
If there was a film about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
I got stopped on the street on Saturday night because this girl thought I was Emma Watson – it’s the third time it’s happened. So I guess I have to choose her.
What do you do outside of work to let steam off?
I drink lots of Cava with my friends.
First song that comes to mind?
Shattered & Hollow by First Aid Kit. Been stuck in my head all morning.
What are your goals for 2015?
I don’t really have any for 2015 – all my energy is currently going to putting the monthly magazines to press and planning my wedding in April 2016.