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Getting to know Samantha Cahn
26 September 2017
Samantha Cahn is a surprising individual that we think has the potential to be a leader in our industry. After studying arts/law, she tossed all that aside to join the events industry (not exactly an economical decision). Less than 10 months after commencing her first events job, she has been awarded the inaugural David Grant Creativity Fellowship – a $10K investment into her professional development.
With an enthusiastic nature, a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn from her peers, we’d love you to take a moment to meet one of our industry’s future leaders.
Give us a snap shot of your career to date
My career is only 10 months young, having only completed my studies in the middle of 2016. Although I graduated from arts/law, I made the decision not to pursue a career in law. I was inspired by a number of people in the industry who told me about the type of collaborative, creative, challenging, fast-paced and rewarding work that fills their days and knew that this would be the industry for me. I began with Precinct on a 4 month contract and on its completion was offered a full time position. So far I’ve loved working as Project Coordinator on a variety of projects including conferences, awards nights and workshops. I also love that I’m constantly learning from my colleagues. A career highlight so far has definitely been being selected as the inaugural recipient of the David Grant Creativity Fellowship and winning a $10,000 grant towards my professional development. I can’t wait for the opportunities it will bring.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
The second event I worked on was a 2200 person conference in a room the size of two soccer fields. It’s the most memorable so far because of the scale and because after SO much planning it was so amazing to see something of that size and detail come together. Transforming a vacuous space of that size in my mind seemed a huge challenge, but by combining the expertise of producers, technical directors and designers it all happened quite seamlessly. When working on that event I quickly learnt a lot about the importance of organisation!
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
You can never clarify, confirm and triple check things enough. We thought we had a bus transfer schedule all clear with the transfer company and next thing we knew the finalists for an awards night we organised were late to their own function because the company had the pick-up address wrong. We delayed the start of the night and managed to finally get them to the venue but it wasn’t a good look!
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
You need to be personable to create strong client relationships, composed to be able to manage high pressure situations and well organised to keep up with the pace.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Take advantage of the expertise and experience of your colleagues – be curious and always ask them questions.
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’d love to be involved in an event in NYC. It’s a timeless, inimitable and relentless city – all this would make for a truly unforgettable event.
Favourite type of food?
Italian. I could live on pizza and pasta.
How do you unwind after a big event?
Lots of sleep and a foot massage.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
I’m currently training to participate in the Run for the Kids 15km run early next year. I don’t usually run long distances so it requires a lot of discipline!
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I regularly check online blogs to see how people are doing things differently and to stay up to date with the latest trends. It’s even helpful to keep up with things happening outside our industry – inspiration can come from the most unexpected places.
Beauty and Essex in NYC. The shop front is actually a pawn shop, so you’d have no idea it existed unless you know about it. To get inside you have to walk through the pawn shop and through a door which then leads you into this dimly lit restaurant with the most beautiful interior. There’s pumping hip hop music, free champagne served in the girls’ bathroom and the food is amazing. It’s a very cool (and delicious) experience!
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
Slow roasted lamb shoulder with pears and spices followed by the most delicious white chocolate mousse trifle with berries, biscuit crumbs and crushed praline.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
Italy – for the food, the beaches and the culture
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Red wine or if cocktails are on offer always Aperol Spritz!
It’s event day – heels or flats?