We are a Creative Event Production Agency
WE ARE FLYING RUBY EVENTS
HOW WE WORK
We are a creative event production agency helping brands connect and engage with their audience.
We will dissect your brief, obsess for days about the ideation and probably even dream about you (don’t worry, those after-hour vision are on the house!).
We will develop the concept, whilst maintaining your message and vision, and evolve and refine until we have it perfect. From here, sit back and watch it come to life…
We may not be able to guarantee your outdoor event falls on a beautiful, sunny, wind-free day (try as we might to arrange this) but we can absolutely assure you our staff will always remain cool and calm on-site.
How We Began
Flying Ruby Events began, like most successful start-ups do; at the kitchen table of its founder. “It was actually in the sunroom of my apartment,” Kelly Lewis, Flying Ruby Event’s Founder and Managing Director, muses. “I didn’t have a laptop or a business name or anything, to be honest. Should I give a talk at TAFE on how not to start a business? Probably,” she laughs. “But that’s how I like to do things. I go in guns blazing and I always back myself. I knew I could do the job, I got my first few clients, and it just grew from there.”
Flying Ruby really started to take flight when it signed on The CEO Magazine and the Children’s Cancer Institute – two major clients she still works very closely with today. “You know, in the last 11 years of running my business, I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve kept a lot of my clients for many years. When you have long-standing clients, you feel like you’re part of their team and challenging yourself to evolve their events every year.”
Kelly certainly isn’t afraid of a challenge or hard work, which isn’t surprising considering the advice her parents bestowed on her at an early age: “Put in the hard work and you’ll reap the benefits”. It’s a mantra that stayed with Kelly as she built Flying Ruby Events and carved her own niche in the industry. She now chooses contracts based on her values and the feeling that she can stand behind them. “Every single time I say yes to someone, I know I can put my hand on my heart and say that I’m the best person to do this job.”
For Kelly, this is all about heart, as well as doing her job exceptionally well. It much be hugely gratifying to stand at the back of a glittering ballroom, filled with 700 people, or a brand activation with thousands of consumers, and watch a room full of people completely engaged in an event that you’ve produced? “The feeling is hard to explain… it’s like adrenalin, pride and elation all mixed into one. I can’t get enough of it, it’s the reason I do what I do,” says Kelly.
It’s why she loves large-scale events, like the Children’s Cancer Institute’s Diamond Ball and The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards – two major gala dinners that Flying Ruby pulls off with aplomb every year. “It’s like training for a marathon and then running it. There’s the long lead time, the even longer hours, the blood, sweat and tears; there are so many layers to a big event. And then it culminates with this one night and everything is seamless, everyone is happy and it’s the most amazing feeling.”
That’s not to say Kelly doesn’t get a real kick out of the many bespoke brand activations she works on regularly. From building a giant burger billboard for Deliveroo (which took 2,000 burgers to create, and five hours to devour, just in case you were wondering) to creating a dark and delicious Kraken Kristmas for The Kraken Spiced Rum, it’s these super-creative experiences that she also relishes. “I love the challenge of producing events for different brands and audiences,” says Kelly. “One day we are producing a live python bath activation for a high-level executive audience, and the next we are producing a tequila tasting for a group of bartenders. It’s hard not to love this job.”
Surely it can’t all be tequila, burgers and, er, pythons? “Of course we have some tricky clients, but my challenge is to show them they can trust us so they’re not so tricky next year,” Kelly says, smiling. She and her team do this by collaborating closely with the companies they work with, on a weekly basis more often than not. “It would be over the top for another agency to behave like that, but we’re small and nimble and can provide this service because of our size. Our clients never question what we’re doing because we’re constantly updating them.”
It’s this collaborative approach that Kelly loves most about working in the events industry. That, and getting into the trenches with the team for 2am ‘bump-outs’. What outs? “As a small business owner, I will never leave my team to do this without me. I expect them to work as hard as I do and vice versa – it’s my vision of what a leader is.”
Leading with integrity is very high on Kelly’s agenda. “I encourage my staff to push boundaries and if they ever make mistakes, I always back them,” she explains. Who does she cite as leaders to look up to? “I know it’s a bit cliché, but Richard Branson is one. He just doesn’t seem to have any fear, which I really admire. And, right now in the media, I can’t go past Christine Holgate. She’s standing by what she believes in and she isn’t backing down. I mean, she’s taking on the Prime Minister of Australia! She’s also beautifully balanced as a leader. She’s soft yet tough, powerful and empathic. She’s driven, kind and sensitive and she’s standing strong and taking control of her reputation and her future – I admire that so much.”
Taking control is important to Kelly “because, let’s face it, you need to be a bit of a control freak to be an event manager,” she admits with a wry smile. “It’s what we do – we make sure we tick every box for a seamless end result.”
To combat those times when chaos arises, she removes herself from the equation, even just temporarily. “I’ve started getting into yin yoga – it’s somewhere that I go to completely switch off, to try and work on my mind being ‘less busy’. Also, I love nothing more than diving under the sea – salt water is the answer to everything.”
At the other end of the spectrum, and another way to feel in control when the world is spinning, is the 50-Week Challenge Kelly concocted. “So, every week, I come up with one thing that either challenges me personally, professionally or simply makes me happy. It could be doing pilates every day for seven days, taking on an activity that faces my fears, or learning something new with my family, like how to roll sushi. It’s fun things that I can make happen and it takes the pressure off focussing on the negativity around COVID. So far, I have been on a yoga retreat, completed a V8 hot lap, gone hot air ballooning, and eaten like a vegetarian for a week.”
Making things happen is Kelly’s modus operandi. “My dream is to start producing events that are Flying Ruby Events-owned, so I’m working on one at the moment that particularly excites me,” she says. “For the first time, it will be our budget, our passion, our direction, our concepts; everything from start to finish will be us. It’s our company evolving and I’m so excited.”
Spend any time with Kelly and her characteristic glass-half-full positivity is a joy to be around. She’s not just optimistic for the future, she’s ready for take-off. It’s time to watch Flying Ruby soar once again.