As we all know, starting a company is challenging and complicated. From legal tasks to financial, marketing, sales, HR, the list goes on and on. It can feel, at times, as if the entire process of starting a company was written in another language.

Now, what if it actually were written in another language, in another country, with different rules, procedures and processes? Would you dare?

Utterly Events took the challenge of starting a company to a whole new level when Founder Emily Holgate decided to move to Barcelona from her hometown outside of London to start the event management company.

Utterly run internal events and conferences for scaling startups to help facilitate collaboration and inspire future growth. They enable people to build relationships that defy operational and geographical boundaries and champion people’s role in innovation, to ensure real life social interaction remains at the core of tomorrow’s business environment.

Here is Emily’s story:

barcelona entrepreneurs

When A Hobby Becomes a Profession

“When I was younger, my mum always used to say to me, “You should be an event manager! You love bringing people together and making them smile – plus you are a pretty compulsive organiser.” As a teenager I did everything in my power to go against my mum’s advice and find my own path. But here I am, 15 years later, running an event management business. Man, why are mums always right?…

I founded Utterly Events when I realised my hobby was turning into a second profession. With a background in big corporates, plus experience with tiny startups, my focus is somewhere in between as I concentrate on supporting scale-up businesses and their founders across Europe and the US.

Choosing A New City & Team

Originally from a small village just outside of London, I moved to Barcelona about 3 years ago, which is where I launched Utterly. I had always wanted to live abroad, and chose Barcelona for the obvious reasons; the sun, the beach, the lifestyle, to name a few. This beautiful city has been a great platform for me as a business owner. It’s cheap (as opposed to London), I am surrounded by other entrepreneurial minds, and most importantly, it’s chock-a-block full of talent, so it’s where I found most of my kickass team. And Utterly wouldn’t be where it is now without them!

We are now a strong team of seven, across Barcelona and Macedonia, and continue to grow rapidly with big plans for the future. My role has gone from being operational to directly supporting the team so they are able to be their best selves and deliver the best results for our clients and attendees.  


Going Beyond Boundaries

Our vision is to unite people at work beyond operational or geographical boundaries. Thanks to modern technologies, more and more people are able to work remotely, which is awesome for the individual but can be a huge strain on a company’s culture and internal relationships. For scaling businesses, with the added pressure of growing pains and trying to establish a brand, relationships are even more prone to getting left behind. This is why events and face-to-face interactions are so crucial in today’s digital world, and we have positioned ourselves as the facilitator to help businesses strengthen their culture and celebrate their teams.

event management

For me, one of the best things about my role is when we do exactly that. I love seeing people’s faces at the events we organise, and the positive impact it has on them when they develop lasting relationships and support. Achieving this at scale is my only focus, which means my role is to build a dynamic team that can deliver this. If the Utterly team can make this happen, then, for me, that’s the best result I can ask for. And so far, so good!”

Written by Emily Holgate, Founder of Utterly Events and member of Women With Ambition.

Learn more about Utterly Events here!

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