Gabrielle Austen-Browne

BAME Ambassador FF15

Gabrielle Austen-Browne

The thing I love most about the events industry is that it is so varied and there are so many pathways into it.

My first career was as a professional dancer. I appeared on TV, film and stage, dancing for pop stars, royalty and even Bollywood stars.   As well as all that sexy stuff, I would also perform at themed corporate events, weddings and birthdays.  So, when an injury forced me to choose a new career path, events felt like a natural and obvious progression.

Being older and it not being financially viable to pursue a degree or a full-time course, I managed to find a part time Diploma course with the Event Academy.   As soon as I started the course, I realised that this would be the perfect career for me!

I have been in events for 4 years and in that time, I have gained varied and valuable experience in different sectors of the industry. Starting with conferences, seminars and meetings, and moving onto working in venues to increase and deliver their corporate event bookings.  This included business development and developing sales strategies, plus operational delivery of charity events, fashion shows, wrap parties, celebrity and PR events.

I was a Fast Forward 15-mentee on the 17/18 cohort and had a great experience and met some fantastic people.  The programme gave me the confidence to recognise and celebrate my abilities, which led me to seeking a new role where I was tasked with producing and delivering a large scale, 2-day outdoor event for over 3000 people (a complete first for me!) I lead on everything from managing ticket sales, sourcing and booking site infrastructure, sourcing suppliers and negotiating supplier costs, in addition to working with big sponsors and handling the PR and marketing for the event.

What I love most about the events industry, is that it’s so diverse, with so many different opportunities.  No day is the same as they say.

This is why I’m very much looking forward to becoming a Fast Forward 15 Ambassador, focussing on encouraging women from the BAME community to engage and apply for the programme.

We are such a diverse industry, we should have a diverse workforce and inclusive opportunities to reflect that.   The ambassador role will compliment my role as a Diversity Committee Member for the Events Apprenticeship scheme and a new Events Diversity Alliance, called “Diversity Ally” I am setting up.  This will be a diversity and inclusion consultancy service for the events industry, and will include a membership programme offering resources, support and workshops for events businesses and organisations.

I look forward to supporting both the programme and my community.


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“Fast Forward 15 are always ahead of the curve so I am delighted as former mentee, to come on board as an Ambassador for this new initiative to engage and uplift my BAME community.”