Hi Ludo! Tell us a little more about you…(name, work, hobbies, etc.)
My background is in events. I am co-founder of the London Coffee Festival, the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event. We’ve now launched the event in Amsterdam and New York – celebrating good coffee across the globe!
Since a very young age, food has always been an important part of my life – having being raised in the heart of continental Europe, the daily bread and the communal kitchen table have always been at the centre of my everyday life. As you grow up you become more mindful of what you eat and start paying more attention to your health and wellbeing. Producing events has always been in my DNA – from running gigs back in Belgium when I was younger to launching coffee festivals around the world with my business partner – I’ve always had a fundamental passion for uniting like-minded people and producing highly engaging events. Creating something new from scratch is highly stimulating and bringing the Balance concept to life has been incredibly therapeutic as it brings most of my passions together – from delicious food, good music and boundary-pushing fitness workouts, to inspirational people, cutting-edge educational content and sharp design all under one roof!
Head of Events at Allegra Events Ltd must keep you pretty busy! What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Most days either start with a workout or finish with a run back home. In between anything goes. I have the luxury of working with a team of highly talented creative minds, and we do spend a lot of time daily discussing new ideas and fresh perspectives. We plan, plot, research, strategise and conceptualise new event concepts all the time – we are day dreamers but we listen to our hearts too, that’s in our DNA. Pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo is what gets us out of bed every morning.
We loved being a part of Balance Festival! How did the festival come about? What did you want to achieve with it?
Balance Festival was born out of a dream to create the world’s most exhilarating fitness and wellness festival. Aimed at busy urbanites seeking to achieve a healthier lifestyle, Balance Festival brings together well-travelled foodies, world-class fitness trainers, awe-inspiring yogis, and real people who share a common vision — to achieve a better self.
Two years ago, when we started conceptualising Balance Festival, we wanted to design an event that was accessible, approachable and welcoming to all. We wanted to demystify the fads around wellness and deliver a highly inspirational, immersive and educational event that we would want to attend ourselves.
Events have the power to foster movements, influence masses and inspire change – and with Balance Festival we have the opportunity to play a huge societal role – to help people live longer, healthier, fitter and ultimately happier.
We're all different human beings with different predispositions - bio-individuality means what works for you may not work for your friends. With this in mind, Balance Festival encompasses all aspects of achieving wellbeing through a fully comprehensive and immersive programme of events under one roof. From food, fitness, wellness and travel – the festival has been designed to help Londoners step outside their comfort zone and try something new.
Can you tell us a little about some other upcoming events we should keep an eye out for?
Our vision is to launch Balance Festivals all around the world; Amsterdam, NYC, LA and Australia are in the pipeline and perhaps a ski resort or two along the way for a winter edition of Balance Festival. We also see a series of more local Urban Triathlons popping-up around the UK and Europe in the coming 18 months – watch out!
Do you have any tips for those looking to move into the Events industry?
The event industry is a tough one to crack especially in London where it is extremely competitive. Take a moment first to reflect on your skillset and the transferable skills you might have (marketing, copywriting, sales, design, operations, production, etc). Once you’ve determined which area most closely matches your profile, ask yourself how to make your past experiences relevant to prospective event producers. Think of the positive things that happened to you at work and how those could be relevant in an event environment.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?
Make it fun. There’s no point aiming to go to the gym 5 times a week if you know that you won’t get out of bed at 6:30am while it’s dark and cold outside. Start slow, with a goal that you are excited about and can look forward too. Making that first step towards a healthier you is the most difficult part, but it is that first small step that has the power to lead to long lasting changes. It’s all about finding your balance and Balance Festival is the place to start making those changes and begin crafting a new healthier and happier way of life that’s tailored to you.