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A Day in the Life: Elizabeth Conboy

Elizabeth Conboy, head of venue sales at Manchester Central, shares her day with CN

My typical working day starts with coffee and the news. ‘Alexa’ wakes me up at 6am prompt and it’s straight on with the day’s headlines. I am a self-confessed caffeine addict and need a strong cup of coffee before I’m ready to face the day.

We start each week with a team round-up, updating each other on appointments, site visits, business development activity and key priorities. I manage a team of eight working across six business sectors, and we work closely, as the reality is we share one resource – the venue diary! 

I love sitting in the middle of this hub of activity – I can earwig on client conversations and lend support where needed. We have enjoyed several record-breaking years as a venue, which is largely down to our strong ‘one-team’ ethos right across the business, all focusing on our ultimate goal. 

No day is the same, which is a real perk of this industry. It’s exciting (and sometimes terrifying) how quickly the days fly by. 

I’m passionate about business development so a typical day will always involve an aspect of this; meeting potential clients and presenting the Manchester Central offer. I love it when I’m able to do this at the venue – I will never tire of bringing fresh faces into our iconic Central Hall for the ‘wow’ moment. It’s an incredible space, lending a dramatic and truly unique backdrop to any event. I’m extremely proud of the venue   we represent – it’s an honour to sell.

As well as winning new business, I’m personally responsible for some of our largest and most established association clients. Strong working relationships are fundamental to achieving success and I feel very privileged to be considered an extension to their planning teams. I’ll usually visit them at their offices and will always make myself available for their on-site planning meetings in the run up to their event. It’s key that I’m up to speed on their progress and on hand as part of the wider event delivery team to assist where I can. 

Unsurprisingly, I’m particularly excited when a client combines a menu tasting with a meeting at the venue. Our team of chefs do an incredible job putting together the right hospitality offer to meet the clients’ needs and it’s a real treat to sample it. Needless to say, it’s straight to the gym after work on those days!

Being a member of the Senior Management Team means I get to help shape strategic business projects. Manchester Central is giving real focus to innovation as a means to consistently exceed client expectations and stay ahead of the pack; it’s very exciting to be part of this conversation.

From congresses, banquets, and large-scale exhibitions to TV game shows, we host it all. Due to the variety of the events, my day can sometimes be a 7am start and a 11pm finish. I often spend evenings at events or hosting dinners, working with our local hotel and restaurant partners to showcase the Manchester offer. I’m hugely passionate about our city and could talk for hours about why it is such a fantastic location to host events.  

I’ve been at Manchester Central for almost five years now, after a stint in media sales in London, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s how genuine and warm Mancunians can be. There’s a real sense of pride and partnership, and it’s fantastic to be right at the heart of it all. 

A rare evening at home (after a serious gym session of course!) sees me in the kitchen cooking with a glass of wine in hand.