As we all celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, CTM would like to thank all the women that have helped plan, deliver and support us through the years.

Each day this week, we will be acknowledging the women that have made this company successful through their hard work and achievements.

As many of our seasonal staff will know, CTM have an amazing team of supervisors and skilled staff. Today we will be celebrating the phenomenal women who make our season the well-run operation that we pride ourselves on, and thanking them for their contribution to the company culture that we’re so proud of.

Geena Nicholson | Gold Supervisor

Geena started her journey with CTM in 2015 at Lincs County Show.

After marshalling for a short time, her work ethic and competency quickly saw her promoted to a supervisor level. Her managerial style is a formidable mix between her friendly approach to staff and a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. It’s very effective.

Despite missing out on Glastonbury during her first season, looking back on her time with the company, it’s understandably her favourite event to work at. A week’s worth of night shifts is rarely offset by such rewarding moments as those at Glastonbury, looking out across a perfectly parked campervan field as the sun rises, knowing that you made it happen.

Alongside fond Glastonbury memories, Geena has many things to be proud of. Her time as a successful supervisor has led to management positions and NRSWA qualifications, as well as police accredited traffic roles. It isn’t only CTM successes that Geena has celebrated. In between a full season of events, she studied Fine Art at Leeds University, sometimes exhibiting her art work and driving to an event in the same day.

When asked what her prevailing memories of her time with CTM are so far, she answered what most of our team do. The friends made along the way. Turning up to an event and unexpectedly seeing someone you met at a previous event is such a unique feeling of joy – there’s nothing quite like the friendship forged when you’re manning a road closure with someone for 12 hours a day. These friendships have resulted in holidays with other supervisors, and eventually living in Nottingham with 4 other people who met through CTM.

During the pandemic, Geena’s abilities have been well recognised and she has risen through the ranks of the NHS Covid Testing operation, and is currently working as a Deputy Site Manager for a testing centre in Nottingham.

Wherever Geena is, whether she’s managing the Christmas rush at retail sites, supervising event traffic or assisting with our office-based projects, her dedication and level of investment to whatever she is doing is always evident and worth a special mention.

Thanks for everything you do, and we hope to facilitate your ambitions of beating the most steps taken on one day at an event very soon!

Marion Congrave | Finance Manager

“After more than 40 years of employment I found myself without work following redundancy. Initially I quite enjoyed the free time, but it didn’t take long before boredom set in and I could feel the brain putting its feet up readying itself for retirement, but I quickly put a stop to that and set out thinking of my next challenge.

Although I hadn’t practised accounting for almost 16 years, I decided to start applying for related part-time roles, as I’d always enjoyed working with numbers, and it didn’t take long before I found myself at the door of CTM. I took on a short-term contract to assist the finance team of the business through its busy summer season, and as the end of the season neared I was asked to stay on, but in a full-time position. I said yes, and haven’t looked back since!

From joining a business in an industry, which to be honest with you – I didn’t have a clue even existed, I now find myself sitting in the Finance Manager position! And almost 4 years after joining the CTM team, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it (perhaps not the Glastonbury deposits), and am so glad I decided to go back out there and challenge myself once again!”

Kath Sprosson | Head of CSAS

“It was Summer of 1993. The Senior’s Open Golf Championships had landed in my home town of Lytham St Anne’s and my sister had got a job selling tickets. The whole town was buzzing with the excitement that only comes with the arrival of an event build and everyone wanted to be a part of it.

The day before starting, my sister got appendicitis. Gallantly, I offered to take her position. An interview and some paperwork later, I was given her shifts and readied to start work at 5:30am the next morning. Four very early starts, a bunch of new friends and a pay day later – and I was hooked.

I always knew that I wanted to work in the outdoors and that a standard office ‘9-5’ might not be for me. Sitting still was never my strong point. There was always something to be done. A-levels were soon due to turn into BA Archaeology at University, and so I presumed that fieldwork would be my future.

The next spring, a full events list dropped on my doorstep asking me to work at the returning golf tournament. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. It wasn’t very long until I was offered shifts at Glastonbury, parking cars and helping with onsite payroll. As if anyone would pass that up! Overnight, I’d become part of a magical, colourful world where the sun always shined and everyone was smiling and having fun. I decided that I could spend the summer travelling around the UK, working at events and saving some money for the proceeding uni’ years. So that’s what I did, and that’s where it all began.

I never knew that a ‘career’ in events existed but, after graduating in 1998, I started full time as a CTM Operations Manager, taking on responsibility for the onsite planning and delivery of parking and admissions at numerous events, as well as coordinating resourcing. Very quickly, I got used to waking up onsite to the sound of early summer rain thrashing on the roofs and windows of cabins and caravans, and realised that mud and extreme weather were very much part of my new occupation. It wasn’t all about the sun and fun.

Our company objective is to deliver. As the industry grew, the collective demand to improve efficiency and safety of event operations year on year became increasingly more important, and therefore so did the significance of our objective. With a keen focus on ensuring improved delivery and planning for resilience, alongside building strong lasting relationships, my job began to feel more and more like a ‘real job’.

In my career, I’ve been fortunate to be involved in significant projects, such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, and have had the luxury of carving out my own role as I’ve progressed. Predominantly, I’ve spent the last decade focusing on developing CSAS and consulting with stakeholders nationally on standards and best practice. I love the diverse individuals that this role enables me to meet and collaborate with, and the confidence that it has instilled in me. I’m privileged to work with a really strong team which, as well as giving me the time to concentrate on strategy, also allows me to spend reduced time onsite and more time at home being a mum, fulfilling my most important role.

For many years, my work environs have traditionally been considered to be male dominated. I know I’m not alone in clearly remembering pre/post-show days on sites with no basic welfare provisions, and dealing with other contractors who were reluctant to work with, or rely on, a young woman doing a ‘man’s job’. I’m pleased to say that I’ve seen huge change, and, in most cases, our working world feels far more inclusive. It’s been a journey, with many challenges and joys along the way, but I’m thrilled at how far we’ve come.

I’m delighted to work in an industry with teams who share a similar passion and expertise. Over the last difficult 12 months, our event community continually reminds me that it has the exceptional ability to adapt and work creatively and collaboratively, to deliver solutions in a changing and challenging crisis.

This year, I’ve become a director and I’m looking forward to getting back to ‘normal’ within a progressive company who puts real value in experience, and are dedicated to ensuring positive change. I’m immensely proud of our ever-growing female workforce, and I am dedicated to continuing developing and promoting new talent and reaching out to more women, of all ages and backgrounds, to encourage them into all levels of our business.

People often ask me about my favourite part of the job, the best event, and if I still get to enjoy the event. The simple answer is that, whatever the event, there’s nothing like reaching the climax of a successful event and knowing that you have been part of that collective process. Meeting and working with new people is one of the parts of the job that I love most. The characters you meet along the way, who inspire you and keep you going, even through the toughest, longest days, adds to the comradery. 

My advice to anyone looking to explore the event traffic world is to be curious and never stop asking questions. Be happy and make the most of every opportunity, look at every task positively, and take the time to listen and learn from others. The knowledge you pick up from working on site and amongst others will better equip you for the future.

Mollie Cartwright | Staff Resourcing Team Leader

Mollie Cartwright| Staff Resourcing Team Leader

After a number of years working onsite as a Supervisor, Mollie joined our team full-time in early 2018 as part of the Staff Resourcing department. Today, Mollie now leads the team resourcing thousands of staff roles across the event season.

“I was on a trip to Berlin with my friends when I called the office to book my first ever CTM shifts. I remember so clearly the excitement of booking shifts for V Fest. Fast forward from that phone call to my first time on site, a whole week of night shifts in torrential rain, and the excitement isn’t the prevailing memory of my first event today. There would go on to be many more rainy days on site, but the truth is that it didn’t matter – I still work for CTM 9 years later, albeit with much more waterproof shoes.

Like a lot of my friends, I worked the full events season in between my university years. I always asked for as many shifts as possible, which did result in some late-night dissertation writing sessions at Carfest North from the front seat of my car. Incidentally, that ended up being the same place that I applied for my Master’s course later down the line.

Once I’d completed my Master’s, being a tiny bit more responsible with my dissertation writing locations this time, I came back to do another full season. Between frantic pointing, standing on dusty trackways, running Glastonbury backstage production and regularly smashing more than 10,000 steps a day, the job was the most fun I’d ever had. Instead of going back to study, this time I went to New Zealand and travelled around in a van for two months, before moving onto South East Asia for three more months. I continued this pattern for a few more years, and it was a truly incredible cycle of glitter and sunshine.

I may not be singing Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ in the streets after a long shift at Burghley anymore, but I have worked my way up to the head of the resourcing team instead. Now I can facilitate the next generation of people ruining their graduation dinner by calling the office for Boomtown shifts (sorry mum). Joking aside, I’m so pleased to be able to give people a piece of what I had in my formative years. I hope that they can get even a fraction out of it that I did on my journey from marshalling in the rain, to managing a full-time team.

This past year may have been more sofa sitting than crowd surfing, more pyjamas than glitter, more gardening than cricket streakers (Wilderness festival, I’m looking at you) but I’m hopeful that we’ll all be back to our beloved, resilient events season as soon as possible”.