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Follow the Yellow Brick Road … Or not.

Time for a catch up with one of our favourite Event Directors, the very talented and creative Mr Christopher Mills! I wanted to know a little more about why/how Christopher has taken this direction with event design; his inspiration and drive.

I met Christopher a couple of months ago at an event. He is instantly engaging and delightful. A mind that obviously works in a different sphere to most, his creativity and ideas are spellbinding. Would you like to know about the man behind the specs? Let me hand over to Christopher so you can hear from him directly regarding his passion and pursuit of experience…

Image courtesy of John Nassari
Image courtesy of John Nassari

I’ve been producing events for 13 years in a variety of different roles and I like to feel that I have grown with the industry. The events industry plays a huge part in today’s economy, servicing a variety of different types of client, live experiences, product launches and private parties (to name but a few). The continued development of live experience is of particular interest to me, not only for the range of opportunities there are to incorporate innovation, but to see and have been part of why events now play such a huge role in marketing and communications.

Gone are the days of champagne and canapé receptions – just because it was the done thing to do – making room for intelligent and challenging concepts that really do enhance, grow and establish commercial development and offer layers upon layers of enjoyment. We all contribute to a giant pie of event services with more enough business to go around, so why is it so difficult to standout and not to become a crumb in a giant mixing bowl of ingredients?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but perhaps one that needs careful thought. We all agree that it takes years to build a brand, especially one that has a heritage and public appeal, but it isn’t hard to have a personal finesse should you want it. And that is the real difficulty – the industry, although incredibly forward thinking is shaped by traditional ways of doing things, with some major players remaining at the heart of service providers and not necessarily making way for new talent.

As an industry we embrace the freelance world with open arms. I like to think that freelancers are specialists in their own fields and it makes complete sense for me to incorporate those services into the offering that The Events Mill has for its clients. Our work is what makes us stand out, but it couldn’t be possible without the help of freelance talent to help us shine. For the clients that we’ve had the privilege of working with, it has always been such a huge reward to see their enthusiasm for new ideas and to adopt a creative approach – it really is why we get up in the morning. But we still have a huge way to go and we are only breaking the surface.

It has been challenging breaking into the market and we have regularly been called maverick or crazy for the ideas that we explore. I agree that we have a certain way of working, with an unfettered approach to creativity, however our design is entirely open-minded, at all times inclusive and inspired by a full range of design disciplines and services that we research and explore on behalf of our clients. This doesn’t sound like a crazy way of working to me!

For our wedding and private clients we do have the opportunity of introducing new themes, immersive design and sensory installations – we find that this is a slightly easier sector of our industry to negotiate. For our corporate clients, whilst we have seen a huge increase in curiosity for this type of innovative design, we still have a long path to walk – one which I enjoy immensely.

So like Dorothy, if you stay on the Yellow Brick Road you will ultimately find what you’re looking for, however for those who like to try a different route you may find an alternative ending, a great adventure and have way more fun in the process.

Who is Christopher?

Led by one of the industries leading event designers, Christopher Mills, The Events Mill is a pioneering creative practice famous for producing design in weddings and events like no other. From conception throughout the production process, every element of an event designed by The Events Mill oozes curiosity, imagination, sophistication and glamour.

Christopher’s work loves to surprise and to treat, to delight and to entertain, to provide a truly bespoke service that encapsulates everything unique about events. We search for the extraordinary in all sectors, from digital to sensory to design and beyond, and apply all of that back to the wedding and events industry, partnering with top planners to create the sublime.

Christopher has an extraordinary black book, the mind of a creative genius and a personality that make him a joy to work with. His experience is extensive, spanning 13 years, which has seen him collaborate to produce events for some of the world’s leading wedding planners, private clients and brands, including:

Royal Salute/Carey Mulligan/Marcus Mumford/Mulberry/Christian Dior/Universal Pictures International/Valentino/The Rolling Stones/Tim Walker/Fabergé/Tiffany &Co./ Dreamworks/Nike/Thomas Sabo/Hugo Boss/Ernst & Young/Goldman Sachs

Header image courtesy of Satureyes Photography

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