After many years honing his skills in top level hospitality, founder Philip Hodges set up a luxury event planning company under the name of ‘Bowler’, which focuses on luxury private events and corporate hospitality. Bowler offers event services around the world and the team’s focus is on highly personalised events – with fun being a major aspect of each production. Here Philip talks about the ethos of Bowler and recent high profile projects his company has completed…

Over the last fifteen years I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some of the most prestigious and exclusive events around the world. I spent this time building a curated list of suppliers and creatives whilst also honing my craft and the time felt right to set up Bowler…”

Philip Hodges, founder, Bowler

C&B: “Philip, it’s very brave of you to launch a new company during these uncertain times! When did you set up and what inspired you?”

PB: “Bowler was born just over a year ago and is named after my grandfather, Walter Bowler Tucker; he was the consummate host at any party, unflappable in nature and known for his wise words; all characteristics that he has passed down to help make me the planner I am today…”

C&B: “What type of events are you most often asked by clients to organise?”

PB: “Our USP is staging incredible events that bring an energy that guests will remember long after the party has ended. Our clients trust us to throw the best parties whether that be a major birthday, an unforgettable wedding or corporate summer party…”

C&B: “What was your first ever event?”

PB: “For my first ever event I was thrown in at the deep end with a four hundred guest Silk Party at the Royal Courts of Justice. Planned in just six weeks, it was a true baptism of fire, but I knew immediately this was the industry I wanted to be in. I loved it! More recently, we found ourselves on a plane to NYC to stage a clients’ engagement party which was held on a roof terrace in Manhattan – that was a real ‘pinch me’ moment!”

C&B: “That sounds incredible, Philip – congratulations for successfully managing that one! Your clients appear to be from all parts of the world – how do you attract them to your business?”

PB“I’m a true believer that ‘people buy into people’ and most of Bowler’s clients have come via a personal recommendation. It sounds like a cliché, but we’re only as good as our last event and there is no better advert than for a future client to have experienced a Bowler event. We often find there’s a flurry of enquiry emails and Instagram follows after each event we produce…”

C&B: “Absolutely – attending one of your events means to be immediately converted to a potential Bowler client! Which are your favourite venues and locations around the world and why?”

PB: “I love locations that have a personal connection to the client and venues that so clearly love hosting the incredible events we stage within them. There’s always something quite magical about hosting a party or wedding at a client’s private home, often where a client has grown up, with so many stories and memories; adding to those memories with gorgeous personal touches is something we’re privileged to do at Bowler…”

Venues are all about the teams that work within them and especially hotels. We recently visited The K Club in Ireland and the charm and hospitality shown by all the staff would never fail to put a smile on the face of any guest…”

Philip Hodges, founder, Bowler

C&B: “Fantastic events require equally fantastic vendors – which of yours immediately spring to mind?”

PB: “Late last year we collaborated with florists, ‘The Lucas Studio’ on ‘The Greatest Wedding that never happened’ – Mary Poppins and Bert. It was a love letter to the members of our industry who were all invited to celebrate this fantasy wedding in all its glory. For Bowler to have the opportunity to self-produce such a wonderfully creative event with The Lucas Studio allowed us the opportunity to innovate new ideas way ahead of the 2024 season…”

Our secret to organising a fantastic event? Our clients would say it is as simple as just booking Bowler!”

Philip Hodges, founder, Bowler

C&B: “Given the opportunity, who would be a dream client for Bowler, and why?”

PB: “I think it would have been fabulous to plan a party for the late Iris Apfel; her famous mantra was ‘more is more and less is a bore’ and I’m sure that would have made the planning process so much fun – which is something we really focus on at Bowler! Aside from that, I’m a huge tennis fan and over the course of my career, working at Madison Square Gardens was always on my bucket list. A few years ago, these worlds collided and I helped produce a tennis tournament with Venus and Serena Williams at MSG. Now, that event was truly incredible!”

CONTACT: http://www.bowlerevents.co.uk

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