Interview with Amy Burleigh – Luxe Event Planner

First Luggage recently sat down with luxury event planner Amy Burleigh of Raspberry Rhubarb to get some top tips on how to plan a super luxe event. Here’s what we found out…

Amy Burleigh Luxury Events

So Amy, you specialise in the luxury market.  What are the main differences working in ‘luxury’ to other areas of event planning?

Well, event planning is all about detail and whether an event is ‘luxury’ or not doesn’t mean you plan it any differently. You may be working with higher end suppliers and with clients that have extremely high expectations but as an Event Planner my expectations are always high by default. I always expect the suppliers I work with to deliver to the absolute best of their ability regardless of whether they are in the luxury market or not.

An interesting point, but still a pretty great niche to work in. What’s been the best event you’ve worked on?

Ah, this is so hard to answer! I’ve worked on so many lovely, amazing events all around the world, from luxury incentive trips to Zambia and Botswana, chartering private planes and taking over exclusive safari lodges to a global meeting at the UN Building in New York. I think for me it’s all about opening guests eyes to a whole new experience, whether it’s the best dinner they’ve ever had, driving a luxury car, or experiencing a destination as a whole. That’s the buzz for me.

You must have visited some amazing places, what’s the most luxurious?

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli on Lake Garda, Italy stands out. I was there in September as Consultant Event Manager running a driving tour through Italy for Elegant Resorts and Aston Martin. Not only was the hotel stunning in interiors and location, but the attention to detail and service levels absolutely blew me away. It was probably the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever stayed at and was a privilege to work with them. They made my life very easy!

Sounds stunning, I’ll be Googling straight after this. Now what about insider tips? Any planning hints you can give to those who might want to arrange something special for their clients?

I’ll give you six, any more and I’d have to charge you!

1) Put everything in writing and keep a copy with you at all times, whether it’s on an email on your phone or in a folder. You never know when you’ll need it. The one time you don’t have it in writing, you’ll need it, it’s guaranteed.

2) Always be early.

3) Be nice to your suppliers – they’re human too

4) Trust your instincts, if you think a venue / location /supplier isn’t right, it probably isn’t!

5) Always consider the experience from the end client / guest perspective – walk it the whole experience minute by minute as if you were them.

6) Never leave home without – a fully charged phone with all the numbers you might need pre-loaded, a bold lipstick and a smile.

What do you look for when you are sourcing a venue, particular with your luxury clientele in mind?

Service, service, service. This is the easiest thing for a venue to get right (and it’s free!) but so many get it wrong. I would only ever recommend a venue that I know will deliver. That’s also why I rate First Luggage, they are one step ahead always anticipating their client’s needs rather than waiting for problems to occur. Also a client’s experience starts from the moment they leave their front door, what better way to start a trip than to have your luggage taken from your door and to be at the venue when you arrive?

If you could plan an event anywhere where would it be?

I love Scotland, it’s just beautiful all year round. I recently worked at an exclusive use fairytale castle on the shores of Loch Ness – Aldourie Castle – 13 bedrooms, amazing service and a real house party feel – but in your own castle. Luxurious but in no way pretentious. It really was the stuff dreams were made of.

If you could work with any brand what would it be?

Ooooo tricky question. One with lovely clients!

Thanks Amy, we look forward to hearing about your next event.  To find out more about why top luxury planners use First Luggage check out our testimonials page here.

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands of bags lost at UK airports in the last 5 years

Thousands of passengers have complained to the UK’s airport watchdog about lost or damaged luggage over the last five years.

A freedom of information request to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) last month showed there were nearly 1,500 complaints from disgruntled customers; with Birmingham and Heathrow airports faring particularly badly. In fact, when the data is broken down, it shows that passengers were more than 10 times more likely to suffer lost luggage when travelling through the airport at Birmingham compared to another regional site in Bristol.

By the same comparison, losing something was seven times more likely at the world’s busiest airport, London Heathrow. 

It is believed this may only be a small insight into the problem, as most people will complain directly to their airline, not to the industry regulator. According to the airlines they are not responsible for baggage handling; it’s dealt with by third party subcontractors. They do, however, take responsibility for losses and will process compensation claims. 

The CAA report also named the companies most likely to be subject to lost luggage complaints travelling into the UK; namely Emirates then British Airways and Turkish Airways, with Ryanair and EasyJet not far behind. Similar research in the US found that ExpressJet Airlines, American Airlines, Skywest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest were most likely to let your luggage go astray.

heathrow lost luggage
Heathrow Terminal 5 – You are 7 times more likely to lose your luggage here

The most common reasons for loss or damage to cases are: illegible routing labels which may be torn or badly printed during check in and transport; jet-lagged customers passing through the airport without collecting their belongings; errors made in entering the destination code during check in; or bags being loaded on to the wrong plane due to human error.

In the face of spiralling complaints, smart customers are exploring other options for taking their luggage on holiday; such as premium luggage delivery services which offer suitcase transportation. This solution also helps cost-conscious travellers to avoid baggage charges.

 If you want to be sure your goods don’t face the roulette of airport baggage handling, First Luggage will collect and transport your precious packing then deliver directly to your destination, so it arrives before you do.

 

For full details on how easy the process of sending your luggage ahead is head over to our ‘How It Works’ page here.   You’ll never have to worry about lost luggage again.