Sledge appoints operations director amid new client win, reflects on employee ownership journey, over 12 months on

Agency ensures its Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model has not simply been a ‘tick box,’ but embedded throughout the business

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Sledge, the proudly employee owned, UK-based agency with a global footprint and expertise in live experience and film, today announces the appointment of Laura Chalcraft to the role of Operations Director, as it adds a new global client to its roster, and reveals details of its progress from an EOT and sustainability perspective.

Chalcraft first joined Sledge as Project Manager in 2017, and returns to the business following several years in Hong Kong, where she held roles including Lead Producer within the APAC arms of global event and experiential agencies. During this time Chalcraft delivered experiences throughout the region, including press events for the luxury retail sector, product launches, and engagement activations.

Leaning on this varied experience, in the agency’s newly formed Operations Director role, Chalcraft is responsible for overseeing the project team. She ensures the smooth planning and management of events for Sledge’s global client base – where recent projects have spanned cities including Shanghai, Paris and London – from briefing through to execution.

The move comes as a result of Chalcraft’s passion, experience and shared agency values, as well as a new client win. In what represents the beginning of a strategy and production-led partnership, it will see Sledge deliver a global leadership event for a renowned technology brand later this year.

Additionally, November 2023 marked 12 months since the agency formalised its transition to an EOT. Here the focus has been on not only embedding the model throughout the business to the benefit of its people, the planet, and clients, but highlighting Sledge’s position in the event industry, as a means of mobilising and amplifying positive change across the sector.

This has been achieved by continuing its internal Squads meet up initiative, finalising the creation of, and applying a dedicated Sustainability Management System (SMS), completing an emissions and data to the CDP report, and developing a Maturity Matrix, among others.

The agency’s refreshed values have been woven throughout its operations, and Values Champions in Project Manager, Sophie Bowtell and Jade Gardiner, Lead Project Executive at sister agency, SWM Partners have been appointed to drive the values forward.

Most recently, Sledge and SWM Partners have launched a cross-agency steering committee, which sees senior leaders meet monthly to set key objectives as they relate to the Group’s three core pillars of people, planet and entrusted growth.

This year, the business switches from implementation to action, and will be applying a BOSS Thinking approach, by considering the best overall sustainable solution on a case-by-case basis. Quarterly BOSS targets have been established and are encoded into employees’ performance reviews, meanwhile a ‘purpose driven’ event sustainability dashboard is also being implemented, to ensure the effective measurement of each and every event.

Sarah Yeats, Managing Director, Sledge says: “Fostering a positive, close-knit culture where all employees are empowered to have their say is incredibly important to us.

This was the driving force behind our transition to an Employee Ownership Trust model, as we recognised that in order to achieve our sustainability vision, goals and roadmap, having all team members 100% onboard and aligned was key, and this is an ethos we remain wholly committed to ongoing.

“This also means I’m delighted to welcome Laura back to Sledge, not only due to her sheer talent and creative prowess, it also shows us that we’re living and breathing our vision and values, in that our people view us as a positive place to work – so much so, that they opt to rejoin.”

Chalcraft adds: “I’m thrilled to have returned to my former home at Sledge! As event professionals we spend so much time together, and it was the people and culture that really drew me back to the agency, combined with our diverse range of clients. I’m excited to be back on deck, and look forward to continuing to bring awe-inspiring experiences to life for our esteemed partners.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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