Introducing Helen Vits; Business Development Manager for My Brighton Hotel, a passion for events and travel, settling in as a new Brighton dweller.
Hello Helen, firstly, how did your passion for events come about?
I love people, and that’s really what events are all about. I love the feeling you get when you see you’ve helped made someone’s experience great. The moment where you’re able to take a step back, and watch everyone enjoy something you’ve worked on is incredible.
I’ve worked in and around events for over a decade and its non-stop, but someone once told me to never forget to pause and take a moment to look around and be proud of what you have created.
What is it you bring to the table at My Brighton Hotel?
From early on I was so drawn to their ethos, the team focus and their love for local culture. As their Business Development Manager, I’m a part of that, helping to make sure the brand is living and breathing that ethos here in Brighton. It sounds simple, but we do that by making friends, staying in touch with old ones and getting to know the new faces in the city. We love finding out what people are doing in the city, what they’re up to or working on, because we like to think we can help in some way.
I remember the first time a member of staff showed me around My Brighton, and they told me about all the little details in the hotel like the Brazilian Quartz crystal in the lobby or that the coffee table in the lobby made from reclaimed wood from the old pier. I think that being a Brightonian really comes down to loving the city and paying attention to the big things and little things that visitors might miss – and perhaps that’s our biggest role at My Brighton, to shine a light of this great city’s history. And on a personal note, I also like to think I help contribute to the hotel’s rebellious reputation!
Has there been a particular experience at work that stood the test of time?
Launching My Brighton’s Cultural Programme has been amazing. More than anything its an idea and a promise that we’re always here for our neighbourhood. Whether it’s artists, businesses, foodies or musicians – the programme is really for the city. And because MY HOTELS is a brand with hotels in London too, we’re able to amplify the city’s energy far and wide. For Women’s International day we created an event called “Fierce Females, Back to Back” where we had soul & funk band Moxxy, with Brighton-rapper Phonetic and musician Boudicca playing throughout the night in Merkaba, our cocktail bar.
I’m also super excited about our upcoming event “FACES”, which is part of The Car Park Project, where a team of artists including the prolific Brighton based street artist Cassette Lord will be creating an immersive installation in our underground places. Early bird tickets for the launch event, on Sunday 9th of June, are on sale now, and it is set to be our biggest event of the year with live art, cocktails, canapes and music.
Since joining the PLATF9RM community, what have you got the most out of here?
I love the focus on culture and community here. It's what we strive for with My Brighton’s Cultural Programme too - so it felt like home instantly. When I visited the PLATF9RM Ground Floor at Hove, I just loved seeing familiar faces and catching up with folks I know. Any community is based on acceptance and that’s something that really comes across with PLATF9RM. But truly being a part of the neighbourhood is much more than just a service and you feel that at PLATF9RM. You are a part of something, almost like a family and to a new girl in a new city that is amazing.
As someone who knows the ins and outs of events, are there any PLATF9RM Events that you've got in your calendar?
I try to come to as many as possible. In essence that’s my job, so I can’t help it! The one I never miss is the monthly members’ event. It’s always so much fun and I love catching up with everyone in an out of the work setting. I’ve just moved into town recently (opposite the Pavilion I might add!), so now that I’m closer to PLATF9RM I’m trying to be more dedicated to coming in and going to more of the social and cultural events. So, look out for me and please come say hi – I don’t bite!
Off the top of your head, how would you describe PLATF9RM in three words?
Innovative, authentic and colourful.
Do you have any favourite cocktail bar or brunch spots you would recommend?
I love sitting out on the terrace of the Pavilion café on a sunny day, it is so chilled and relaxed it is just dreamy. In contrast I also love heading down to the crazy colourful Marwoods for a coffee and delicious cake.
But if it’s cocktails, I must confess I love Merkaba - they rock! They make the most delicious matcha cocktail, it’s the best I’ve had in years, absolutely incredible! Even better, there are discounts if you’re a PLATF9RM member. And the mixologists are eager to share their wide knowledge about cocktails, so I love learning all about what I’m drinking.
You say that you love experiencing new cultures, been on any exciting or notable travels?
As an ambassador for The Purple Community Fund I recently visited the projects which work with children and families living on the dumpsites in the Philippines. Together with the community, they fund and run livelihood, education, health and nutrition programmes.
During my visit to Tondo, I was able to see first hand how the incredible school made from recycled shipping containers runs and also get to meet loads of the amazing beneficiaries. The families are so loving and humble it really made my heart sing to be a part of such a wonderful programme, creating a brighter future for them all. They also collect ringpulls in the UK and make incredible handbags and clothes which are a beautiful sustainable bargain and worth every penny. Being in Tondo really put things in perspective for me and shone a light on the healing power of community.
What else brings you joy outside of work?
Festivals, I absolutely love live music and dancing in fields. I am the queen of sparkles and glitter, maybe I shouldn’t admit that! But while we’re baring souls, I’ve a huge collection of rainbow jackets. All in all, if I could be a unicorn glitter fairy every day, I probably would!
If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.