INTRODUCING GEMMA O'HALLORAN
Owner & Projects Director, Freestyle Events
We all have a superpower. What’s yours?
For as long as I can remember I could visualise an idea or a desired outcome and, within seconds, figure out if it would work and the steps to get there. It was my very own superpower!
Next I discovered that I had a talent for putting these steps into action and making things happen. It took years, but this combined skillset serves me well in events, business, and life in general.
What motivates me?
I am driven to find solutions, learn more and make a difference. I work hard to deliver excellence with a smile. I want to understand people, motivations, actions and make things better. I’ve made mistakes, but I always learn from them. I have had amazing experiences and met amazing people.
I like getting to the heart of a matter and to have clear communication. It’s always the right choice. I stay calm under pressure and relish a challenge.
I also love plants, books, art, design, travel, being out in nature, food in general(!), whiskey, murder mysteries, cocktails and 99’s. I am also addicted to decluttering, but that’s a whole other conversation. I support positive mental health and caring for our environment.
If you would like to know more...
I have been planning, designing, organising, executing and evaluating events for nearly 15 years. I could write you a list if you REALLY need it!
Ireland to the US and Europe, royal boxes, small meeting rooms to international congress centres – I’ve been there.
5 people to 500,000.
Conferences, seminars, sales meetings, hospitality programmes, VIP trips, sponsorship activations, equestrian to tech, diplomatic trips, expos, public festivals, galas, summits and regional lecture tours – I did them all and literally wrote the handbook in some cases.
In school I gravitated to science. Science is where you could ask questions, learn how things worked, learn a methodology for experiments, data analysis and drawing conclusions. This was where I learned about people who were curious, pushed boundaries and who explored new ideas.
I first did a degree in Science from Trinity College Dublin and later went on to study for my MSc in Environmental Archaeology from Queen’s University Belfast. This was where my critical thinking and strategy took a step up. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me expand my mind and abilities.
I graduated with Distinction but things were about to change. I trusted my instinct that it was time to use this incredible training and take it in another direction.
Within a year I had received a Postgraduate Diploma in Event Management with Distinction from the Fitzwilliam Institute, Dublin. I was soon the European Event Manager for global agri-business company, Alltech, led by Dr. Pearse Lyons.
Eight years started with cataloguing all the company banner-ups and ended as a team leader for the title sponsorship activation of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France.
In between were 8 years of unrelenting event experiences across the globe. It challenged me, changed me, taught me hard lessons but most of all it proved that I could consistently deliver fantastic service and experiences.
After a brief stint in an event management agency, CWT Meetings & Events, in Dublin, I started Freestyle Events in August 2015.
I could see the need for a flexible, freelance corporate event management service which adapted to the needs of the client but which also brought strong expertise and organisation into play. Event ideas are one thing, but without planning, organisation and creativity, they go nowhere and don’t’ get results.
My skillset and mindset, honed from years of in-house work and working with exceptional people along the way, adapts well to working closely with clients, like an extension of their teams.
In August 2015 I started Freestyle Events. Nearly 5 years later we have planned events for over 50,000 people.