Iconic events in a landmark venue – a chat with Karen Yates from The Venue

When planning an event in Liverpool, there are a number of different venues which offer exciting packages to suit your needs. One of the most exciting spaces which captures this is The Venue at Royal Liver Building. Following a number of successful events, we spoke to Karen Yates, Head of Sales and Events at The Venue to discover more about her career journey and what is on the horizon for her and the team.


1. Tell us about your career journey – how did you come to be Head of Sales and Events at The Venue?

After studying in Leeds for a BA Hons degree in Events Management I relocated to start my career in the fast paced hospitality industry in London. I spent six years here and worked my way up the ladder across a variety of venues before being promoted to National Account Manager for Corporate Events for a large hospitality group.

I am originally from Liverpool and was starting to get itchy feet to come home to the motherland. It was whilst I was at a networking event in London that I met the directors of Concerto Group who had recently invested in opening up The Venue. I expressed my love for the Liver Building and my yearning to come home and it wasn’t long after that I was invited in to have an interview and was lucky enough to be offered the position. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

I have now been leading the team here for 4 years and The Venue has been growing in popularity for exclusive hire events each year. Returning back to Liverpool and managing The Venue in the Royal Liver Building is a dream for me and I’m delighted to have such a well-loved and iconic venue within my portfolio.


2. What’s the best thing about your role?

Every day is different and every event is different which makes it fun! It’s amazing to see The Venue transform for each event with different creative styles of venue dressing. I also love how diverse my role is – most days I wear a different hat and can be working on anything and everything from co-ordinating a wedding, to creating sales and marketing strategies, to overseeing venue health and safety policies, to event managing an awards dinner.


3. We’ve seen lots of excited members and friends talking about various events that you’ve hosted. As we approach the 2019 Bordeaux Wine Festival Liverpool, what are your memories from hosting the Mayoral Club in 2018, and are you looking forward to another successful event?

Yes we’re really looking forward to welcoming back the Mayoral Club to The Venue in May. Last year’s event was fantastic – it was well attended and the wine tasting stations were very popular. We’ve got everything crossed for sunshine this year so that the balcony terrace can be enjoyed by all for panoramic views of the River Mersey, Pier Head and Bordeaux Wine Festival Event Site.


4. What career advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Be pro-active, work hard and don’t underestimate your ability to succeed in everything that you do.


5. Tell us about the women in your organisation – are there any women that inspire you or have helped develop your personal or career journey?

Emma Weekes, Sales & Events Director for Street Feast London is a former colleague whose positive attitude and passion to succeed has always inspired me be driven throughout my career.


6. What’s next for The Venue?

There are exciting times ahead … We’re working closely with RLB 360 to develop a corporate experiential package offering private rooftop tours of the Royal Liver Building. These will allow clients and their guests to enjoy hospitality in The Venue; during the event guests will be whisked up behind the clock face of the Liver Building for an interactive video of the city’s rich history and then up again to the clock tower for breath taking 360 views of the Liver Birds and the cityscape.