She’s an accomplished individual who seems to have been born to succeed. With a strong focus on out-there creative, she’s got a handle on everything from suppliers and logistics to hospitality and accreditation as well catering and security. She brings her cool demeanor and ability to pull the proverbial ‘rabbit out of a hat’ to the Salute fold, a business that offers comprehensive bar- and events management support and infrastructure to all tiers of events.
Steyn’s business prowess was recognised by the trio driving Cascade holdings, who chose to have her head up one of its business divisions, as she’s known for pulling rabbits out of hats. With world economies in lockdown, even the disrupters have become disrupted. Falls true with the event industry too.
Post-pandemic etiquette at events.
Absolutely! I don’t think it’s a question of if, it’s a question of when. It’s going to come back in full force when it does. Why - because people have and will always want to be at events. Having endured over months of isolation and restrictions people are frothing to be together with friends to celebrate.
The world was moving more and more into the virtual and hybrid events space but Covid-19 has pushed the industry in this direction faster than expected. Virtual events have certainly provided a lifeline for many through this pandemic. I think there’s huge scope for this hybrid model that combines elements of a physical and virtual event and is delivered in one unified experience.
Some key benefits will be<!>:
Those who choose not to be vaccinated may face limitations in terms of attending actual events
Those that still do not feel comfortable being at in-person events still have the ability to be a part of them
Capacity limitations can be mitigated by having virtual attendees
Post pandemic budgets will probably be tighter and actual event costs will be reduced due to fewer attendees
Everyone will have different levels of comfort and desire to travel as the world reopens. Clearly articulating the health and safety protocols at your event will be critical to increasing attendance over the next few years.
Key will be working closely with event partners to secure the event ecosystem and being clear of your policies about non-compliance. But I imagine going forward, because at this stage with no major events have taken place, that the following factors would be of key importance:
Making sure guests attending a major event have proof of either vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test
Rapid on-site testing before entry as an alternative
Ensuring that all Covid-19 protocols continue to be followed, especially wearing masks and sanitizing
Strict cleaning and sanitising protocols in bathrooms, bars, and food areas
Ideally, all staff working should only be allowed to work with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result
In my experience, that glass ceiling is pretty much a thing of the past. The majority of key industry players that I deal with in the events industry (clients and suppliers) are in fact women, so in my opinion, women are shining!
In all honesty, they’ve been minimal. Having started in this industry about 16 years ago, I’ve had to work very hard to get to where I am today. My approach has always been on working hard and working smart. Everything I do, I do without the fear of failure, which already makes things far simpler from the onset.
I pride myself in working with the best, at the best price. Women have done the promoting themselves, as they hold most of the key roles in our industry today. In my direct space - I have always given a woman and a man the same chances and opportunities.
Balance is undoubtedly the most stressful element of my workday. On a day-to-day basis, challenges are what I love the most as I’m constantly learning. Each event we quote or work on is different from the next which keeps me on my toes.
For example, when we do Ultra Music Festival, it’s the fact that there were no glitches and all guests arrived home safely, despite the volume of planning, effort, and time that went into creating the event. And that sense of achievement is incredibly rewarding.
Keep doing what you’re doing ladies - this industry is ours for the taking.
When it comes to a mentor - Desti Loeijs. When I started in the event industry, she hired me as a runner and driver on her big stadium shows. I then spent about 12 years working under her wing. Everything I am today, and everything I have learned and achieved, can be greatly attributed to her!
Right under our very own roof at Salute is a youngster attracting the spotlight - Kat Sharman. This woman is capable of anything - continuing to grow from strength to strength. I know we’ll see great things from her.
Twenty-twenty-two is going to hit us hard - it’ll be exciting to see the volume of virtual and hybrid events as people are hungry to get back to life as we knew it.
Some of my fondest event memories were made in this venue, and this was such sad news for the industry as a whole. These types of venues catered to so many different types of events and this is a huge loss. At the end of the day, change is not always a bad thing - I am sure we will see new venues popping up post-pandemic, that will give the industry a fresh platform with which to work.