On today’s episode, host Narmeen Kamran talks to Gaby Mendes, founder of Talk Twenties and event operations manager at Rapid News Group. Founded in January 2020 and originally intended as an events company before the negative impact of COVID-19 on the events industry, Gaby created the Talk Twenties podcast, where she interviews inspirational guests, giving advice and support for graduates and 20-somethings.
Stemming from the Talk Twenties community, Gaby’s dream event is ‘Talk Twenties Live’, a “careers fair with bells on”, where 20-somethings have the opportunity to learn more about various personal and professional development topics, such as buying your first home, self help, mindset or specific career industries. Serving as a heaven for those feeling confused or lost about their future plans, it is sure to be a point in the right direction for all attendees.
Described as a “massive festival of 20-something fun”, guests would include all 20-somethings that are looking to level up their life, attend a positive experience with their friends and receive advice and support in order to make the best of what they’ve got. Set in an exhibition hall in the style of a consumer-based trade show, there would be themed stages in different areas of the hall, like finance, health and careers. Attendees can drop in and check out any sessions they would like, including company stands and brand stalls who are looking to support and promote to a 20-something audience. As Gaby is passionate about championing sustainability throughout Talk Twenties, brands invited to ‘Talk Twenties Live’ would have to advocate for sustainable practices. Aiming for over 1000 guests (potentially even 10k?), Gaby wants to cater for all those looking for an experience that can change their mindset and give them a positive outlook on life.
Based on ‘Clothes Show Live’ in Birmingham, Gaby wants to mimic the experience of going to a trade show and having so many opportunities available that it can feel overwhelming to take in and know where to start. Taking place in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), with a colour scheme of all bright, vibrant and bold colours, drawing inspiration from Talk Twenties’ current eye-catching colour palette. Tying into this colour scheme, the themed stages would be colour coordinated to their topic, for example health-related stages being yellow and career-related stages being red. Audaciously bright Talk Twenties-branded swag bags would be available, including anything that would interest a 20-something audience, such as tasters of upcoming food and beverage products, toiletries and prints.
In terms of food, ‘Pleesecakes’, a custom cheesecake company, would be catering the event. They allow guests to DIY-your-own cheesecake “Subway style”, with a choice of crumb base, flavour and toppings, as Gaby wants to surprise the guests with out-there treats they haven’t seen before. To add to the wow-factor, street-style food and food trucks would be serving a range of cuisines, including burgers and halloumi fries. For drinks, an area within the hall would be dedicated to a full Ibiza-themed bar and accompanying DJ playing Ibiza tunes, so attendees can pop in and drink with their friends to lighten up the mood. Bright, bold and colourful blow up decorations would surround the bar area, similar to a pool party (but minus the pool!).
To entertain the guests, comedians such as Rob Beckett would emcee and perform a stand-up set on the main stage. Furthermore, inspirational speakers and high profile 20-somethings would give talks throughout the day on the main stage and lead panel sessions, with the likes of Grace Beverly, the founder of TALA and B_ND, and Ben Francis, founder of Gymshark.
Additional touches include lifestreaming the event to reach the international audience of the Talk Twenties podcast and capture video content in order to be as inclusive as possible for guests who may not be able to attend the event in person.
Gaby would transform ‘Talk Twenties Live’ into a virtual version though recording in a Talk Twenties studio, where she can host a live event online interviewing guest speakers. Guests would watch and listen along to the live feed and receive their very own swag bag in the post, so they could feel as uplifted and included as possible, as if the event was in-person.