Events staff supplier and training provider Off to Work has pledged to invest £100,000 into the training of its casual staff team this year, as announced at the company’s recent Event School.

Inspiring service staff, hospitality and events professionals to be more creative in the way they style, design and market all aspects of their events offering was central to the theme of this year’s Event School, an initiative created and run by Off to Work to deliver a programme of practical skills training to its staff teams, clients and to students and the wider events and hospitality industry.

Event School saw workshops in event photography, wine buying for events and designer cocktail mixing combine with lessons in persuasive copywriting, proposal crafting and effective use of technology and social media, all hosted at Off to Work’s dedicated London training academy, the London Irish Centre, in Camden on 9th and 10th April 2013.

“We understand the huge steps many of our clients have been making in the development of their service product and it is our commitment to provide them with a staffing resource that mirrors their service standards,” said Robert Persson, director of operations for Off to Work.

“We have always been 100% committed to the training and mentoring of our team and this year we’re pleased to pledge a £100,000 investment into training initiatives especially for our casual staff team. While people may work for us on a casual basis, their commitment is far from casual and so we are eager to give these ambitious staff, at all levels, the opportunity to develop their experience and career with Off to Work.”

Workshop speakers included Simon Owen, director of Red Photographic, Miriam Staley, former finalist on The Apprentice and now managing director of speaker sourcing agency MakeWaves, Carlos Blanco of Blanco & Gomez Wine Merchants, David Wise from Wise Productions and events consultant Emma Boardman of The Lovely Party Company. Off to Work was also delighted to have the involvement and support of ISES, with operations manager Toni Griggs leading the workshop on event marketing technology.

Former Off to Work employee Keri Moss, winner of Masterchef: The Professionals and now head chef at The Corner Restaurant at Selfridges, also joined Nick Mead, director of Eden Caterers, Vicky O’Hare, managing director of Party Ingredients and Gerald Aberdeen, executive head chef for Table Talk, in a lively panel discussion about the challenges of designing menus with locally sourced produce when the UK’s seasons are so temperamental. They also discussed the opportunity the events industry has to speed up how quickly it takes lessons and influences from the food and dining trends paved by the fashionable restaurant set.

Sharing positive feedback on her experience at Event School 2013, Jada Johnson, events manager for Eden Caterers, said: “We all found it to be informative and worth our time. I really enjoyed my two classes. The copywriting class was really good, with some good techniques I will be putting into practice in our blog and in my proposals. I’m sure you were all really pleased with the increased turn out on last year. The list of attendees also meant that I met some interesting people.”

The workshop programme was followed on the evening of 10th April by the Off to Work London Staff Awards, a special celebration of the star performers within the Off to Work staff team. Prize categories ranged from Staff Member of the Year – won by Himali Ginige Palihawadana – and Best Event Porter (Peter Korkhill), to Best Supervisor (Vittore Zanardi) and Most Improved (Alessandro Riccarelli).