Lola is our Assistant Editor. She started at the company as a Journalist Trainee and progressed up the ranks after a few months of working with us. She is also a First Class Honors graduate in Hispanic Studies from the University of Nottingham and is currently studying for a Masters in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. Lola runs a personal blog in her spare time, which has over 6,500 all-time views! She also speaks 4 languages and has spent time living in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as her home country, England.
Kwame Knight is the Creative producer of Events by Knight, an events management company based in London. With almost two decades of experience in event planning and production, Kwame has produced everything from fashion shows to luxury weddings to corporate conferences, brand launches and everything in between.
The service offered by Kwame is exceptional, and each project receives a bespoke approach which is completely tailored to what the client(s) wants.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the high-end events sector?
By chance, really! I come from an entertainment background; I trained as a contemporary dancer & choreographer at Trinity Laban it was called The Laban centre back then. After training I pursed a career in the commercial dance scene working for artists including Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud, and the Sugababes.
As a choreographer, people often asked me to organise other elements such as set design, backdrops, PA systems & room décor. As I was so used to organising things, the transition into event planning was seamless.
Event planning has the same sort of characteristics as choreography in that you need to be organised, you need to be great at time management and delegating, I also found that I really enjoyed it, right from the very first event I produced.
I have a passion for organising, I have a passion for managing, and I have a passion for creating, and event planning combines all of those passions in one – it's really good fun, I love doing it.
What makes Events by Knight different to your competitors?
Our bespoke approach to every event we work on! It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, because every single event is different. What one person envisions is going to be completely different to what somebody else dreams of, so every project we take on is tailored to suit the individual client’s vision of what they want.
We start from the initial enquiry right through to the aftercare. Every project I work on is like working for a friend, it’s a very personal thing. I take on these events because I want my clients to have an event that they will always remember as having been an amazing experience, rather than just being another event.
What's been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Definitely the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything I did before the pandemic was live, from corporate conferences to luxury weddings to milestone events, it’s always been live.
So, for us the pandemic was challenging, because it meant we had to stop doing live events. For the first few weeks I really struggled to get my head around how we were going to make the transition to virtual events, because our service is so bespoke that at first it seemed like it was going to be impossible to offer the same service virtually.
I spoke to some experts in the field and they started showing me options on what was possible, it was fascinating understanding the possiblities within virtual events and to be able to bring the same sense of connectivity online as we do in our live events.
There was one event where we had 2,000 guests from all over the world online for a corporate Christmas party, and to think that we managed to connect so many people in different locations was really amazing.
The pandemic has really made me realise that absolutely anything is possible, if you can just change the way you see things. There will always be challenges, for example, a supplier might not turn up, the power might go out at a venue, but what you need is a contingency plan, and if you’ve got that, then you’ll be alright.
You need to remain cool and calm-headed and work to find a solution, rather than focusing on the problem. With the pandemic, at the beginning, I was far too focused on the fact that we couldn’t do live events, when really, I should have been thinking about how else we could bring people together and give them that sense of connection.
Events are all about connection, and as human beings, we need that connectivity and togetherness. So, once I understood that all we had to do was find a new way of connecting people, I was able to overcome that challenge.
Who would be your dream client to work with, and why?
It would have to be producing the opening ceremony show at the Olympics, for a few reasons. Firstly, the Olympics shows are watched globally, so everybody across the world would get to see my work. I also love that it brings together so many nations together to celebrate. The shows are so spectacular, and the planning and creativity required would make it my absolute dream job. Seeing that materialise on a global stage would just be incredible.
What's been your favourite event that you’ve worked on to date?
I love every event that I work on, but of course some stick out more than others. I'd say there are two that stand out the most. The first is a live fashion show I produced at the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. We had to use the walkway that connects the two towers as the runway for the fashion show, and it was just spectacular. At 452m above sea level, it was the tallest fashion show ever, and nobody had done anything like it before at the time. It was such a challenge, but it was incredible to watch it happen, and I was so proud of it.
The other one was a corporate event that I produced at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Central London. I had two hours to get the space ready for the event, because obviously it’s a functioning museum and you have to wait for all the guests to leave, so I literally had two hours to get everything ready before the corporate guests started to arrive. The logistical challenges leading up to the event and during the event were immense, but when I finally pulled it off, that feeling of wow we did it was just incomparable to anything else, it was amazing.
How do you ensure client satisfaction on every project?
By totally understanding what my client(s) want, right from the initial enquiry. Truly understanding what they want to get from the event and how they want to feel during and after the event is absolutely essential to helping me create an experience that will live with them forever.
I make sure to find out exactly what the client wants, and then I work alongside them to ensure that their vision comes to life. This isn’t about me telling them what’s going to happen and how it’s going to go, it’s about me extracting their vision from their minds and then showing them that it can be done, then making that vision a reality.