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‘Events are like theatre productions, delivered without rehearsal,’ says Julia Dowling. ‘Extraordinary attention to detail, style, flawless logistics and commercial savvy are the qualities that distinguish the merely creative from the truly excellent event planner.’ She founded Snapdragon after a corporate career with Renault, BT and Deloitte, working in senior commercial roles. She has made it her mission to define a new standard of service for her private clients, no matter how exacting their requirements. ‘Most of our clients are regularly invited to events, and they want us to create experiences that are unique,’ she says. ‘Also, no matter how large the budget, every client expects value for money. That’s where our hard commercial edge sets us apart. I have witnessed a shift among clients from spending on things to wanting unique, unforgettable experiences. Creating drama and excitement can be expensive, but when clients see their guests’ faces, they know they have spent wisely.’ In Dowling’s view, Snapdragon is different from the norm. ‘Clients tell me that it’s obvious that we really care about them. After knowing us for a while, many clients ask us if we have any other clients. That is my barometer of whether we have got it right.’ Dowling is proud to have been described in the media and by some US-based event professionals as “the best event‘designer in Europe”. She asserts: ‘Nothing is too complex.’

Julia Dowling