RAD Work / Life Claire Brown

Claire Brown, Amy Le Vannais and Naomi Alexander from the SCoR Conference & Events team reveal the secrets behind their success and their favourite ways to relax when not creating compelling CPD for members

Published: 19 February 2021 People

Tell us about yourself

I’m the Conference and Events Manager, part of a small but dynamic team of four. In an average year, we stage or support around 30 events - at the moment it’s many more, all of which are delivered online.

When your alarm goes off 

Monday to Friday I often find myself reaching for a screen and checking emails within five minutes of waking up (I’m trying to change!). At the weekends, I like to start the day with some Pilates or a run, or both, followed by a breakfast of spinach pancakes and poached eggs, or the bagels I taught myself to make during the first lockdown.

How did you get into event management?

I've been enthusiastic about planning events since my university days and used to organise a wide variety of activities and entertainments for my fellow students. My first ‘real’ job was doing admin in the fundraising department of a small cancer charity. When my boss was badly injured in an accident, I was thrown in at the deep end and took over the running of all her planned events. I learned a huge amount in a short time, and I'm pleased to say she made a full recovery. From there I progressed to working in national charities as an events project manager, then moved to professional bodies and membership organisations. I think most of us are here because we want to use our skills as a force for good in the world – that aspect of working at the SoR gives me a really strong sense of purpose.

What does your role involve?

My role is a varied one, but at its core it's about taking ideas and turning them into action, solving problems along the way and ensuring that deadlines are met and expectations managed.

In general terms, my team facilitates the delivery of a CPD programme for radiographers, plan awards ceremonies and other special events, and raise the profile of the SoR by arranging the organisation’s presence at third-party events. On a day-to-day basis, that could mean doing anything from working with colleagues to devise an engaging conference programme, to inspecting a venue or writing marketing copy.

What has been your favourite event at the SoR?

It's hard to choose one when there have been hundreds! The annual Radiography Awards Ceremony is always especially moving: hearing about the incredible work our members do and meeting their friends and families and seeing how proud they are.

What do members have to look forward to this year?

This year our events have become accessible to a far wider audience, some of whom have never joined an SoR event before. This positive and unexpected by-product of the pandemic has allowed us to meet more of our members, albeit virtually, to ask for their feedback and opinions, and to learn about their priorities. This in turn has enabled us to plan a programme in direct response to members’ needs and suggestions, which feels especially important during such a challenging period. We have RADIATE: Wellbeing for Radiographers coming up in April – a month of events to support radiographers in taking care of themselves whilst they work so hard to care for others.

How do you like to relax?

When I’m not working, I'm training for triathlons, open water swimming, and trying not to injure myself on ski slopes. Elaborate baking projects are a particular passion of mine, and weekends are often spent trying to master a new recipe or technique and delivering the results to friends and neighbours. I love seeking out travel adventures near and far, and I'm also part of a letterpress printing collective. Letterpress is a printing technique first developed in the 15th century, which has experienced an artisan revival in recent years.

What was the last book or TV show you got into?

Books have always been a big part of my life and I studied English Literature at university. I always have about five books on the go; the one I’m most engrossed in at the moment is The Nightingale, set in occupied France during World War II. Reading about the resilience of the human spirit feels helpful right now.