05/03/2018

In the Spotlight with Mark Field, Victory Services Club

Mia Spotlight on Mark Field FIH

 What is your job title

Operations director, Victory Services Club

 Describe your day to day duties

I report directly to the CEO and I’m responsible for over 120 members of staff. No day is the same, which I think is indicative of the events industry in general; it’s a role that flexes with the seasons, the task in hand and the over all strategy of an organisation.

 

I tend to arrive at the Club about 6.30am, having replied to my emails on the train so I can arrive with some clear headspace to start the day. I create a plan and a ‘to do list’ for each day, but I have to be flexible because I never know what each day will entail; I like to make sure that I’m always available to everyone in the team so this means that sometimes my plans get pushed back to the next day. Customer satisfaction is paramount and I would never tell one of our 63,000 members that I’m too busy to see them. I oversee many different departments, but I don’t micromanage. I believe in empowering my management team so they have responsibility to do their job with the best of their ability. That said, sometime the team aren’t completely confident in their own abilities (even if I am) so I’m always available if they feel that a client needs my input or reassurance. If they need me to be present for a new client show round, I will be there - even though the events team know their job far better than I do. I also like to ensure I take a strategic overview of the business and keep the bigger picture in mind every day.

 How long have you worked in the sector?

I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since leaving college, and the events industry since I came to the UK in 2001. I first worked for Hand Picked Hotels and then Phyllis Court in Henley on Thames, moving to London with the Carlton Club before joining the Victory Services Club in 2012.

 When and why did you decide to join the mia?

Victory Services Club joined the mia in 2008 because their AIM programme was the key industry accreditation scheme and a great way of benchmarking our venue.

 What do you value most about your mia membership?

We really value the AIM accreditation programme. In 2008 we were the first London venue to achieve the Gold accolade and we were awarded Gold again, for a fourth time in 2017. Since I joined the Club in 2012, I have overseen two AIM reviews and I’m extremely proud of my team for continuing to achieve Gold; we view it as the ultimate benchmark of quality, as a vote of confidence in our facilities, our high standards across what is on offer, and particularly, in our staff.

 What is exciting you about the meetings and events industry at the moment?

The UK events market is still very buoyant, but it’s a very competitive market. The market has been subject to a huge explosion of venues joining the events sector, and as competition increases, we all have to up our game. An increase in venues means more choice for buyers, so we all have to be more flexible and accommodating which in turn creates a challenging but exciting time for us all.

 What do you think are the greatest challenges that the industry is currently facing?

One of the biggest challenges facing the industry is attracting and holding on to good staff. As the number of venues increase, so too does the number of available positions. The right people are in demand; it’s all about supply and demand and at the moment there simply isn’t enough supply for the number of great positions available. This is happening across the board across every level of employee. Brexit too is casting uncertainties which impact on the labour force as more people consider whether London is a positive environment to work in.

 What’s your favourite meeting destination?

Las Vegas because of the sheer scale and grandeur of the offering. It’s an exceptional destination which holds a fascination for me; I would have loved to work in one of the hotels to find out how to manage a hotel with not 500 bedrooms, but 5,000. The hotels are vast but all concentrated in one main street. It’s quite simply an amazing and unique meeting destination.

 How can people find out more about Victory Services Club?

We would extend a warm welcome to any mia members; come and see us, meet the team and have a show round.

Go to our website: www.VSC.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @VSCVenue