Interview by Sarah Wilson
One of the greatest things about living in a big city is that it’s near impossible to run out of things to do. Whether you’re into live music, club nights, art galleries or obscure events with only hashtags and dollar signs in the description, you can just about guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for in Berlin.
But have you ever scrolled your Facebook feed, eagerly hitting that “interested” button and thought how fun it might be to put on one of these events yourself? Or wondered what working in events management might be like? If so, then you’re in luck. This week, B&HP caught up with Leah, the current intern for the all-female team running Bite Club in Berlin, to find out what really goes into planning – and pulling off – a successful event in the city.
Hey Leah. Could you first tell us a little bit about what Bite Club actually is?
It basically started off as a small street food event taking place twice a month, but they now also help cater for corporate events, birthdays, festivals etc.
As for Bite Club’s own events, they take place once a month at a really nice location along the river Spree, at Arena/Hoppetosse. It really is a great event for anyone to come along to. We usually have about 15-20 food vendors which usually like to mix up for each event, though there are a range of “Bite Club all stars” who have been at every event from the start. And on top of all the great food, we usually have 2 bars, one wine bar and a craft beer bar, plus a DJ who plays disco/funk music up on the top deck of the Hoppetosse boat where people can dance away. It’s a great vibe all around – especially when the weather’s nice!
And why did you choose Bite Club? What was the process of applying for the role like?
I’m studying Event Management at University in Dublin, and as part of our degree we have to complete a 6 month placement within the industry. I’d always heard such great things about Berlin through friends who have lived here previously so I thought it would be a good opportunity to look into completing my placement an an intern here.
The process was a lot longer and harder, however, than I first envisaged. I started off using websites like Hosco and LinkedIn etc but didn’t have much luck through that. So I basically started to Google “Event Management Internships Berlin” and emailed lots of different companies, one of which was Bite Club. They got back to me pretty swiftly and I did a Skype interview with the two women who worked there; within a few weeks they offered me the job and next thing I knew I was moving to Berlin!
What’s the best location that you’ve held an event in Berlin and why?
I’d say the best location we’ve held an event since I’ve been working here is at Malzfabrik in Schöneberg. We had our Disco BBQ there at the start of July and it’s basically a former brewery for Schultheiss but the grounds are stunning and they are really focused on sustainability so it’s maintained very well. They also have two small lakes, one of which people are welcome to swim in so it just gave a really nice and relaxed vibe to the event.
What do you enjoy most about events planning? And what are the most challenging parts?
What I enjoy most about planning events is probably seeing the actual event play out and see people enjoying themselves after all the work that I’ve put in to make it happen! Plus I’ve got to experience some really cool events from some catering jobs that we have helped organise like the Berlin Travel Festival, Malzwiese Festival and some other ones that we did for Nike.
The most challenging is probably keeping on top of the influx of emails that you receive in the lead up to the events, for example, with people dropping out last minute or other urgent issues. This means having to be good at coming up with solutions quickly!
Speaking of things not going as planned, have you had any major issues (or averted any issues) during your time working for Bite Club?
I don’t think I have had any major issues but there have been times where vendors haven’t showed up for an event that they’re supposed to be selling at, or, at our last event the police were called because people in the neighbouring buildings had complained about the noise. But nothing too major that I can think of, thankfully!
And finally, is there any advice you’d give to other people trying to plan an event in Berlin?
As an intern I wouldn’t consider myself that’s for sure but I think it’s really helpful to get to know other people within the industry by going to their events and make connections. It seems as though networking is the best way to get in here because a lot of the people who run events Berlin all seem to know each other as well as the venue owners, so I guess that’s the best way to get your foot in the door!
The next Bite Club event is a Birthday Special and will take place on Friday 10th August 2018 from 5pm onwards at Hoppetosse Berlin.