Fay Sharpe introduces her next shero, Danielle Parker: “I love Danni, she’s been an incredible support for FF15 and is one of those women who don’t realise how brilliant she is unless you tell her! When she offered to volunteer as our FF15 events manager I couldn’t have been happier. Whatever she has on, she is always on hand to help out even if it’s in the evening  or on the weekend. Last year she took holiday days to event manage our graduation event, drew up Covid safety plans and learnt how to use Delegate management tool Cvent and ran an event (one of the first after lockdown) for 100 people mostly single handed!!!  I hope she polishes her halo as she is an absolute angel.”

Who is Danielle Parker?

“I began my early career in banking having decided not to continue into further education, having lost interest after finishing college and predominately wanting to earn money to cater for an ever growing social life. I worked within banking for approximately five years working up into a sales role, and whilst I was driven in this role I found the culture lacked the excitement I was subconsciously looking for.

Following on from the recession I found myself leaving banking for further development opportunities and moved to an estate agency.  For one reason or another this did not work out and I accidentally found myself working in a temporary role within the events industry. This was supposed to be a temporary 3 week role which has since turned into over 8 years!

I fell in love with the industry immediately and could not initially grasp how a working environment could be so fun. I thrived on the fast paced environment and constant social interaction.

The industry has since pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I could not have imagined. When I first joined Zibrant (now BCD) I would have been nervous to get on a train by myself. Eight years later and I have travelled the world, taking solo trips to destinations such as India and South America.

Like so many in the industry the pandemic hit hard. My personality means I can often find myself lacking drive or essentially becoming bored if I am not being challenged or developing myself. During the pandemic Fay was looking for volunteers to support with the Fast Forward 15 programme. Having worked with Fay for many years at BCD and Zibrant I jumped at the opportunity.

As someone who has spent my events career predominantly within venue sourcing I had minimal experience with the running of an event. But, I soon found myself learning new skills from delegate registration and the logistics of event management from start to finish with the support of the Fast Forward network and my peers at BCD.

This has turned out to be so much more of a learning curve than I ever expected during a time when there was limited opportunity for development available. This has been achieved through the opportunity presented by Fay to volunteer but also due to my own drive and passion to invest in my own development.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Fast Forward team and fully believe in all the work that they do.”