Prior to the event how did you feel?
I was definitely stressed but that didn’t get in the way of my excitement. It’s really hard to judge or predict the turnout for these kinds of things; one part of me knew that, no matter what, the outcome was guaranteed to be a success because I had no set targets or expectations (it’s a project after all). The other part of me was worried that it could potentially be awkward for the panelists if no-one showed up. The event was free and aimed at young people looking to start careers within the music industry, so it would have been a shame had that been the case. Thankfully it wasn’t.
What did you do to prepare?
We’d been planning the event for months, so by the time the event came around we were all very prepared and everyone was ready to help set up. Luckily I had the HAN team helping me out all day, as well as friends who were running errands (buying clipboards, flowers, and champagne for our guests etc.) for me to help keep me calm. We re-arranged the set up upstairs and had to make sure the sound system wasn’t acting up. Considering my role for the day was “mediator & host”, I spent most of the morning in the make-shift office we’d set up in one of the corners of the venue trying to prep myself for the talk. I’ve never hosted a panel discussion before so this was probably the most prep that I, personally, had to focus on. But the girls were a dream-team! They were making sure we were active on all of our social media platforms leading up to the talk.
How did you feel afterwards?
The discussion was so interesting! I didn’t feel “relieved it was over” or anything like that, despite thinking I would. And I also didn’t feel that we’d missed any key points either. I just felt really confident in the conversation and in the panelists who took part. The women on the panel are all such calm and confident people that I don’t think there could’ve been a reason to get nervous after the talk.
By the end of the whole event we’d had time to talk to everyone, and all the panelists stuck around to answer questions which made the whole affair very casual and relaxed. By the time we started celebrating “internally”, we were all very pleased with everything and ready to begin the after party ; )
Did you received any feedback?
Yes, loads! I was really glad that most people didn’t shy away from sticking around and chatting to us. Everyone was very complimentary and seemed to be as excited about our new venture as I am. I’d say that all the feedback was positive which gave me and the team a big boost. We’d been working so hard to make sure that we were making the event as entertaining, inclusive, and relaxed as possible, without compromising the professional aspect. Tabatha even suggested we get involved in TV (we dream big, haha)!
What’s next for Hard As Nails?
Well, there are a lot of micro-projects that we’re working on at the moment but we can’t reveal too much just yet.
We’ll be continuing with the panel discussions and forming collaborations with Brighton based collectives and businesses. Our series of panel discussion events, “A conversation”, will begin taking different shapes and surrounding different topics – for example we’re thinking of hosting a talk based on ‘record labels’. We want to be consistent by putting them on every two months. In the next year, the aim is to collaborate with different conferences and events, maybe Primavera Sounds and the BMC and – with some luck – get some steady funding!
Another aspect of the project is ‘Radio’. We’re becoming more and more interested in that form of media but I’ve said too much already, so just stay tuned and make sure to share our socials.