Today we are launching a new blog post series for you that will allow you some insights behind the scenes at Thistle.

For our weekly Know-How Squad series, we are going to interview our carefully selected Squad members to provide you with a little insight of each of their positions within the company. We will ask them to share memorable moments, sources of inspiration at work, the daily challenges they are facing and much more.

Here is our first member of the Know-How Squad to be featured. Let us introduce you to:

Clare Convey, Meeting and Events Sales Manager at The County in Newcastle

Part of Clare’s job is not only to organise meetings and events, but she is also responsible for promoting and selling the facilities at The County and ensuring the guests are happy on the day.

Clare has worked in the hotel industry for 21 years across many different departments. She started as early as 16, working part-time as a waitress in hotels. Despite the fact that she planned to join the police force and studied science for her A-levels, she decided to stay in the hotel industry as she loved the work with people and ended up studying Hotel Management.

Although a Meeting and Events Sales Manager, Clare can often be seen rolling up her sleeves and helping out on the floor, which very well displays her hands-on approach.


Our questions for Clare:

Which tasks are part of your daily routine as Meeting and Events Sales Manager?

I am responsible for promoting our company to bring business and events into the hotel. This usually involves creating awareness of our services, staying in touch with regular customers and following up new leads. I also conduct research to keep up to date with the developments within my field.

What do you love most about your job?

Selling our services and keeping in direct contact with customers are two great features of my job. It gives you a real sense of achievement, especially when you’ve worked hard to get there. It makes you feel like an important part of something. And that truly materialises when the feedback cards have EXCELLENT ticked all over them.

What do you like doing when you’re not at work?

Being part of Inspiration, a 300 voices strong community choir for The Sage, Gateshead where I am a Second Soprano. Singing is my passion and it really takes the stress away after a busy day.

Who has inspired you in your career?

One of my General Managers in the early days was a real “old school hotelier”. He taught me the importance of great customer service and I still use his advice to this day.

Who would be your dream hotel guest?

Probably Pavarotti. He is the greatest tenor of his time and I love his music.

What are some of the daily challenges you are faced with?

I always need to be right on top of everything to make sure we meet the customers’ needs. This is sometimes hard as each customer has a different view on what is a job well done.

What is the most memorable moment you have experienced in your career?

I could write a book about that – there have been so many!! Every day is so different in this dynamic environment. I’ve met influential and famous people like Take That and Sean Connery. The funniest stories I’ve experienced were as Duty Manager when I had to tell a man to stop riding his mountain bike down the corridor and another one to please stop playing his electric guitar in front of the hotel in the middle of the night. People can be funny sometimes.

Which skills are most important for the job of a Meeting and Events Sales Manager?

I think one must definitely be able to negotiate and generally be a good communicator. One should also be able to judge the situation and customer quickly enough to adapt to its needs. Patience is another important skill to have but overall, you always have to be on top of things to succeed in this industry.

Which books would you recommend for people to get tips related to Sales and Events Organising?

I don’t think there’s a book that will teach you how to be business-savvy and great at your job as a Meeting and Events Sales Manager. Just throw yourself into it. You learn best from your job itself. Just be confident of what you can do and always, always be willing to learn!

What are your top tips for ensuring a business conference runs smoothly from start to finish?

- Diversify your presentation methods
- Never underestimate the power of food at a meeting
- Take regular breaks throughout the day

Inspired by our questions for Clare, you might want to ask her some questions yourself. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box and we’ll have Clare answer them for you! Enjoy and fire away.

For other profiles and more info, visit our Thistle Website.

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