That winning experience

Postcode Lottery event managers on their most memorable moments

 

The Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege has been an international ambassador of the Postcode Lotteries since 2019. For twenty years, at the risk of his own life, the gynaecologist has been working for victims of wartime rape. Often these women were horrifically mutilated. In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his good work.

Our events managers help create special moments for all of our Postcode Lottery winners. In the single biggest campaign month of the year in December, our events managers share some of their own special moments. “Events involve a lot of hard work, but ultimately we see a lot of smiles and happiness”

Picture above: a winners only event for 20,000 winners and their guests, organised by the Dutch event team


The Postcode Lottery Group operates internationally. In our ‘five countries, one team’ series we talk to team members working in the same area across the Lottery-countries. This time it’s our event managers.

How did you end up with the lottery?
Oscar: “My current manager contacted me because he was looking for an event manager. I’ve worked in event productions, such as product launches, conferences, launches and concerts for over twenty years. After working with the lottery as a consultant for a number of years I knew it was a team I wanted to be part of and I took the job as a project manager in the event department.”

Vanessa: “I come from an entertainment background, I’m a stage actor with singing, dancing and acting experience. I have also worked in the event industry, but never in an office. I was sceptical before I applied because I had never heard of the lottery. I asked my sister’s husband, who comes from the Netherlands, if he knew about it. His answer was, ‘Of course! Every Dutch person has a ticket!’. In 2017 I applied and became the seventeenth employee of the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie. Now even my sons work for the lottery: Jason is finishing his marketing apprenticeship. And Etienne is working for the marketing department as a junior marketeer.”

Ben: “Having worked in the events industry for several years, I was lucky enough to be managing a venue where People’s Postcode Lottery held their annual events. It gave me first-hand experience of what the company is all about. I was so impressed with what I saw that as soon as an opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands.”

Soetkin: “I studied media and entertainment management, with a focus on events and experience marketing. Previously I worked for Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, a charity partner of the VriendenLoterij. During my studies, I worked for the customer experience department of the lotteries and after graduation, I applied for a job at the Postcode Loterij.”

What does an event manager do?
Oscar
: “I organise and produce events, from smaller public events for around 300 to 500 people, right up to big gatherings such as our Grannyror events which are held three times a year for 1,500 to 3,000 people. We also organise internal conferences and kick offs, as well as our annual charity gala.”

Vanessa: “We organise all lottery events in Germany, including our annual Christmas Breakfast and Charity Gala. We also plan our winners’ events for the monthly prizes and other special events.”


Ben: “Our small team have the pleasure of planning and delivering all of our winners’ events, visiting them up and down the country to deliver the good news. We also coordinate the annual Team Day, our Christmas Breakfast, as well as our prestigious Charity Gala. My role, in a nutshell, is to manage the day-to-day running of the team, overseeing the scheduling and ensuring that everything is resourced appropriately.”

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Oscar Traugott has been an event manager at Svenska Postkodlotteriet in Sweden since 2019. He has over 20 years’ worth of event management experience.
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Vanessa Luy is an event manager at Deutsche Postcode Lotterie in Germany, with her sons Jason and Etienne who also work for the lottery. She joined the lottery in 2017 as an office manager and moved to the events department in 2019.
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Ben Tildesley is deputy head of events and event manager at People’s Postcode Lottery in Great Britain. Before joining the lottery in 2017, he worked in various roles in the events industry.
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Soetkin Laane has been an event manager at VriendenLoterij in the Netherlands for five years. She started working with the lotteries in customer services in 2014, as a student.

Soetkin: “The events department is responsible for every event and celebration at Nationale Postcode Loterij and VriendenLoterij. My role sees me manage the VIP Card events at VriendenLoterij. I organise events for our players at museums, such as our Dino Sleepover at the natural history museum Naturalis. We invited 25 carers and parents to come along with their children to have a night at the museum including a sleepover."

What does working at the Postcode Lottery mean to you?
Oscar
: “I enjoy working at a company that makes the world a better place, and doing it all while working with a great team of professional colleagues. I have the opportunity to learn new skills and there is room to develop, which is very valuable.”

Vanessa: “Being part of this great international company makes me proud. Together we are working to make the world a better place. I love the creativity and diversity of our projects. It's like you are writing a new story with every event. And best of all, no matter which project we are planning, in the end, we always see happy faces of guests, winners and charities.”

Ben: “It is amazing to be part of an organisation that is doing so much for many charities and good causes. Not only that but through our events, I am involved in making wonderful memories for our winners too – without the players, I wouldn’t have a job. Seeing both these things first hand brings an extra dimension to my job and knowing that collectively we are all making a difference is incredibly fulfilling.”

Soetkin: “I see my colleagues from the events departments from other countries each year when we all come together to share our experiences and innovations. We can grow and work together. I love the creative freedom we have and seeing happy players at the events. Everything we do, we do for our players – to celebrate their wins and thank them for playing. I love to see players having fun at our events. They become our ambassadors and keep on playing.”

What is your most memorable lottery event?
Oscar
: “My first Grannyran in the municipality of Smedjebacken in 2019. Grannyran is our biggest price, drawn four times a year and celebrated with a street party. It’s an important event in our calendar, it’s challenging as the production time is exceptionally short and we want to make it as memorable a moment as we can for all of our players. Seeing the winners' reactions on stage is something I won’t ever forget – it’s very special.”

Vanessa: “I don't have one specific moment. All my memories over the last five years are made up of lots of special moments.”

Ben: “All the lotteries’ events are so different but equally brilliant in their own way. Events like the Charity Gala stand out as not only is it a privilege to hear from the inspirational speakers at them, but they are also the culmination of months of cross-department planning across all the lotteries. Equally, it is just as amazing to knock on a winner’s door and listen to their story to understand what it means to them and how that prize will change their life. Events involve a lot of hard work, but ultimately, we see a lot of smiles and happiness, and for me, that is the most important thing.”

Soetkin: “The Culture Camping. During the pandemic, it wasn’t possible to organise events because of the restrictions. Luckily, I had a wonderful contact at Zuiderzeemuseum, and she was immediately sold on the idea of setting up a campground next to the museum. My colleague Cristina and I worked almost day and night to make this event happen. I am very proud we managed to organise everything all within one month. We opened in August 2020 and hosted the campground the entire month.”

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The Culture Camping was hosted during a month


Want to read more about Postcode Lotteries team members? Check our series 'five countries, one team' here: