Meet Selina: Events Manager and Dog Mum

Meet one of the faces of Easy Weddings! Selina Arnall is our resident Events Manager and is a regular sight at industry events and on our @easyweddingsevolve Instagram.

Selina has more than two decades’ experience planning events and is focusing on bringing the wedding industry in Australia together. You might have already met Selina, but we bet there are a few things you don’t know about her.

Here’s a bit of behind-the-scenes info to get to know Selina!

A bit about me…

Originally from the South West of the UK, I came to Australia backpacking when I was 21 and fell in love with Byron Bay making the move back 5 years later to stay for good. I took six months to travel around this amazing country and finally settled on Melbourne to become my new home.

I have now lived in the beachy suburb of Elwood for 11 years and I am a dog mum to an eight-year-old Parsons Jack Russell Indie.

When I am not planning, managing or attending events, Indie and I love nothing more than hitting the road for a camping trip or adventure. I am a huge red wine drinker who loves a whiskey by the campfire, an avid snowboarder during the winter months, and a keen solo traveller. If you’ve met me before you won’t be surprised to hear that I’m a lover of wearing the colour black, hence my nickname Melbourne Black.

I also have a terribly dry sense of humour (which the entire office can attest to) and my favourite season is autumn closely followed by winter.

My experience planning events

I fell into events at the age of 17 and have been working in the wonderful world of events for over two decades. At the time I was actually studying Sports Science and Psychology and managed to get myself elected as the President of the Students Union organising all the social mixers, sports awards and the gala event nights.

I did one week at Bath University with my sports studies before quitting to follow my passion for Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University where I acquired graduate and postgraduate qualifications in the subject of events. I have never turned back and was lucky enough at an early age to work for some amazing companies, including becoming the Head of European events and travelling Europe organising B2B events. I love combining my passion for travel with the love that I have for my career.

Working in events in Australia opened me up to the B2C experience, weddings became a part of that at some amazing venues in Victoria, before moving back into the B2B industry. I have a wealth of event management experience in corporate and hospitality industries delivering an array of events and media campaigns for clients including QT Hotels & Resorts, published events in Vogue Australia, Chandon, Swisse, Easy Weddings and more…

Watch this space!

What makes me stand out

I specialise in corporate and special events such as conferences, media launches, influencer events, gala dinners, award ceremonies, team days, business forums and all their associated media and marketing. But my niche is salvaging events that have been handed over to me or creating last-minute events to execute.

I am not your typical event manager. Although I do like to be super organised, meticulous with details and plan ahead, have events locked in and progressing forward at a steady pace, it’s the short lead events that really make me tick. It’s the buzz of “can I pull this off?”, “can I deliver all the elements and expectations without a scratch on me?” I always have done thus far, so I hope I haven’t jinxed this!!!

A walk-through planning a B2B event

Every event is so different with different requirements, lead times, needs and expectations, ticket sales and sales processes. But my top steps to planning any event would be the following:

    • Develop the event’s goals and objectives
    • Organise your teams (marketing, finance, sales etc.)
    • Establish the event budget
    • Create an event master plan with timelines for each team
    • Set the date
    • Book the venue (sometimes date and venue are vice versa, depending on what’s important to your event)
    • Event branding, social and marketing development, how your event is perceived is critical to its success
    • Establish partnership and sponsor opportunities
    • Create your PR and marketing plan
    • Bring together all the event elements, and your on the day roll-out
    • Post-event feedback if required

Sometimes there are extras that can be added into the mix depending on the goals of your event. Something like EVOLVE has closer to 20 steps!

How do you choose speakers for events?

I get out and about to as many events as I can, research what topics are hot right now and who is killing it at presenting them. It’s always harder to choose for events that already have a presence as you need to go bigger and better than the time before, make sure the content stays fresh and relevant and ultimately drives bums in seats to your event.

The Wedding MBA in Las Vegas was a fantastic opportunity to choose some fabulous speakers to bring over to Australia. Their content is so unique and really in-depth – I really did learn so much, as well as having three dedicated days to see and listen to as many speakers as possible with access to them after the event to chat further and really nut out what I wanted to deliver in Australia.

I choose speakers that are thought-provoking, high energy, and who really are themselves in what they are presenting. They have been there, done that and now have the tale to tell. I think that raw, authentic vulnerability makes a difference for the audience. It instigates a genuine connection, creating a path of learning and the desire to succeed.

What is your top piece of advice for anyone hosting an event?

It’s just an event, it’s not the be-all and end-all. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Write lists, don’t hold information hostage in your head, ask for help, create a plan of attack. And the biggest pressure point is to stay calm, whatever happens.

If you start flipping out you can bet your arse your attendees/guests/clients/peers will notice it and that could be the difference between make or break. Just let it go. Don’t sweat the small stuff, events always find a way of working themselves out!

Where can we find you?

If you have any more questions about events at Easy Weddings or just want to get in touch for a chat, you can contact me at events@easyweddings.com.au.

I also write more about the wonderful world of events regularly on my blog, taking a look at the behind-the-scenes goings-on both mentally and physically for an event planner, as well addressing topics on the task at hand.

Get to know more of the team at Easy Weddings here!