Despite our name, we’re anything but plain… we’re a team of experts in the industry, and we’re proud to share our skills and knowledge to educate others in how to stand out from the crowd. We also really love what we do and we do it all with our unique ‘Plain Jane’ passion and personality…”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

PLAIN JANE EVENTS is a full-service creative agency that’s committed to producing creative, impactful events, time and time again. The company works with a variety of clients, organising special occasions such as press days, product launches and company parties – the team priding themselves on building long-standing relationships and exceeding their client’s expectations in every way. Such is the visual impact produced by Plain Jane Events, we used an image (as above) from one of their recent launches on the cover of our magazine – and on the associated pop-up – during April of this year. Here we meet Alex Smith, founder of the company, as she discusses how her company started and the profile of business it undertakes…

NS: ”Alex, the scope of your work is incredibly impressive; how did you find your niche in the events world?”

AS: ”I’ve always worked in events, starting my events career with a high-end private events company, working on events worldwide, travelling and meeting all sorts of incredible people – the proverbial ’dream come true’. However, I always felt that running my own events company was my ‘calling’ – and so Plain Jane Events was born and I’ve never looked back…”

ABOVE: An event organised by Plain Jane in Venezia

NS: ”What would you say is the USP of Plain Jane Events?”

AS: ”We feel our flexibility and diversity in what we do means that we don’t fit into a niche per se; what makes us stand out in the events world is our brilliant team and the relationships we build. What’s particularly lovely is when (an originally) ’corporate client’ comes to us asking for us to plan a private event, and also when (an originally) ’private client’ then brings their company event brief to us….”

ABOVE: Details from an event for Liz Earle; drinks from a film premiere

We’ve worked with a few celeb names from organising Maya Jama and Juli Adenouga’s charity event ‘Collections’ and also David Gilmour’s 70th birthday party – where we transformed a West London venue into a dark smokey jazz club inspired by the music scene of 1940’s. We produced the launch party and opening night for The Rolling Stones exhibition ‘Exhibitionism’ at the Saatchi Gallery. On another occasion, one of our team also had to rub mosquito oil onto Lionel Richie’s back – mid-set -but we won’t tell you which one!”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

ABOVE: Scenes from an evening press event for Soap & Glory, hosted by Emily Atack

We’ve a diverse mix of clients which is exactly what we love about what we do; all our events are unique as our clients needs are different – the day to day running of the company varies so much…”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

NS: ”Talking of corporate clients and your work on behalf of major brand names, who was your first ‘big name’ client?”

AS: ”It was actually Amazon – back then it was essentially a book company based in Slough – and to this day, they remain one the clients we work with the most; we have a fantastic relationship with all our Amazon clients and love working with the different departments on all sorts of events, from product launches through to their summer parties…”

NS: ”Was your first major event project also for Amazon?”

AS: ”Yes – it was Amazon’s summer staff party back in 2008, at their then office in Slough. The budget was small, £2,000 for 250 people, however we made it happen – calling in as many industry favours as we could. We transformed the Amazon roof-top car park into an incredible British seaside theme, with tonnes of sand, a boat bar, fish & chip van and fortune-teller – even the British weather didn’t disappoint, with a cover of grey cloud the whole day! The party was a fantastic success, and ‘the rest is history’, as they say!”

ABOVE: Scenes from a dinner at Somerset House to celebrate a film premiere

We’re fiercely female and we’re passionate champions of women in the work arena; from our Plain Jane team through to our wider supplier circle, our people are our superpower. We’re down to earth and always go the extra mile – our vision, dedication to our projects and our creative ideas are matched with focus, expertise and flair. I guess you could see us as your ‘wing-women’…”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

NS: ”What, to you, is the most rewarding aspect of staging an event?”

AS: ”The most rewarding thing, by far, about designing and creating events is seeing the absolute joy on the faces of our clients and guests once the event is in full swing; nothing quite beats that buzz of an epic party!”

Not many people realise that Plain Jane Events is now 13 years old; I started planning parties from my bedroom as a teenager – first engaging my parents as my crew, transport and ‘hype team’ – since then so much has changed! Over the years since forming, we’ve increased the client base of Plain Jane Events tenfold and, amongst the team there’s been one wedding, three babies and two engagements – with two more weddings coming up soon! ”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

NS: ”What’s your secret to engaging guests and make the theme or product highly memorable?”

AS: ”We’re always ‘thinking outside the box’, staying ahead of the game with trends and we have a finger on the pulse of the direction the industry as a whole is heading. Our team members are exceptional at absorbing a clients’ brief, ‘deep-diving’ into their brand and values, then making the result ‘bang’ in its reality using our creativity and event management skills…”

It’s always lovely when we receive recognition in print for our work… for example, for some of our Gordon Ramsay Group installations and also for The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism Gala Party!

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

NS: ”In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge organisers face when staging a launch event?”

AS: ”This can vary, however often it’s down to either a ’budget vs brief’ or timeframe expectancy; we can make pretty much anything a reality but this does depend on an adequate budget and/ or turnaround period. We’re always open and realistic from the start with our clients because building that trust is so important to us, yet the challenge is often down to managing client expectations…”

ABOVE: Details from an Oscar themed event organised by Pain Jane Events for GHD

NS: ”What’s your benchmark for a ’successful’ event and which themes are most popular for this year?”

AS: ”For us, the success of an event is based on the reaction of the client… so, with this in mind, I’d say about 99% of our events are a success. One that springs to mind is the festival we built in an East London Park for corporate summer party with over 4,000 guests – now, that was definitely a success! This year’s event themes are a game of opposites from a visual and décor perspective, it’s either super pared-back, neutral tones or it’s extremely bold, cobalt-blue. It’s either textured aspects or marble smooth; bright coloured polka dots or summer blacks…”

We’ve over 20 years’ experience of turning clients’ briefs into reality and delivering creative events with serious impact; each client has their own personal event manager overseeing their project from concept to delivery, ensuring every detail is captured and effortlessly delivered. It’s all in the detail, after all…”

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO, Plain Jane Events

NS: ”As event organisers, which suppliers do you consider to be absolutely key to the planning of an major occasion?”

AS: ”Because of the very nature of our agency as event managers, we rely on an array of suppliers whom we trust in order to bring the various elements of an event together beautifully – from florists through to caterers, photographers, set builders and audio visual teams. We tailor everything based on the clients needs and budgets and, just like our clients, some of our suppliers have been with us for over 20 years and they all support our team in going ‘above and beyond’ for our clients…”


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