For organisations or individuals wishing to hold an event in North Wales, Tansy Rogerson is the woman to contact!
Her business, Armadillo Events, helps people find venues, accommodation and team-building activities.
She also offers pre-event planning and on-site support for any event from conferences and meetings to away-days and product launches.
“We ensure our clients have a stress-free event,” explains Tansy…
“They don’t need to worry about what’s going on in the background. We do that so they can focus on what’s important to them, such as entertaining clients or networking.”
Armadillo Events deals regularly with some of the best venues and activities in North Wales, from country hotels to zip line adventures.
Tansy has a varied client list including law firms, financial services companies, an internationally famous jewellery business and individuals booking birthday celebrations.
From humble beginnings to a wealth of experience.
Tansy spent twenty years working “in almost every field within the hospitality industry”.
Starting as a kitchen porter in a tiny hillside pub, she then worked at the tourist information centre in Rhyl, where she acquired valuable customer service skills, and then for the North Wales Tourism headquarters in Colwyn Bay.
“These were the best years of my life,” she says, as she had the opportunity to work on a variety of events including a balloon festival, the Snowdonia classic car rally and a motorbike show on the Isle of Anglesey.
“The only reason I left this job was because I’m ambitious. I had to try to move up the ladder.”
Tansy then studied for a HND in tourism management before working in a series of roles for British Airways, a number of top hotels, an events management company and finally spending two years as a sales and marketing manager for a food centre.
“Those two years were tough, with the key focus being on bringing in customers and footfall. After two years I was at a crossroads.
I wondered whether I should I go into another sales role and sort out another company, or if I should start on my own.”
“Tiny little armoured one”.
After twenty years’ experience in hospitality, Tansy felt there was a gap in the market for a one-stop-shop to help people come to North Wales for team-building, hotel stays and conferences.
She had considered setting up her own business some years before but felt the timing wasn’t quite right.
“Now it felt right and Armadillo Events was born!” The business has developed since its launch in 2014 to include managing company events.
When looking for a name for her new company, Tansy came across a totem pole design featuring an armadillo, a small yet robust creature that always finds its way to its destination.
At five feet tall and being very determined, Tansy felt this animal was the perfect symbol of her determination to succeed in her business venture, particularly when she found that the translation of the name from Spanish is “tiny little armoured one”.
Mixture of emotions, and getting help.
“No-one can tell you how nerve-racking it is setting up your own business. It was such a mixture of emotions.” Yet Tansy wanted to prove to herself that she could do it on her own, particularly after spending so many years working for other business owners.
Tansy sought help via a Conwy Council business start-up scheme, which provided some funding and a business mentor.
The funding paid for a printer and some branded presentation folders, which helped Tansy portray a professional image when meeting clients.
Her mentor was particularly helpful, not only with essential start-up advice but also by providing a sympathetic ear when the going got tough.
Tansy is also signed up to Chwarae Teg’s Agile Nation 2 project, where she will work towards an ILM certificate in Leadership and Management and have access to wrap-around support including career development and mentoring.
Tansy has also found joining networking groups very helpful, particularly with sounding out practical issues such as where the next job will come from, pricing and chasing up unpaid invoices.
“Networking groups are full of experienced individuals who are willing to help fellow business people.”
Successes and Top Tips.
One of the key successes of Armadillo Events is that it has become a well-known brand in North Wales.
“Clients come back time and time again to use my services and that means so much to me. I must be doing it right.”
For other women starting their own businesses, Tansy’s top tip is to trust your instinct.
“Don’t do anything if it doesn’t sit well with you. It might suit someone else but it doesn’t mean it will suit you.”
Speaking personally, she also emphasises the importance of hiring an accountant and therefore freeing herself to concentrate on the elements of her business that she does best.
“Be brave,” she advises, “listen to the advice that others give you and always be prepared.”