With years of experience in the venue management industry and an entrepreneurial streak yearning to be set free, two years ago Rita O’Loughlin took the plunge and set up her own company, Place Experts.

Rita, who is based in Manchester, had identified a gap in the events market: a firm that could act as matchmaker between brands and locations. And so Place Experts was born. Today, the promotion and event space consultancy has amassed an impressive array of clients including the Tea Party Festival in Windsor, PIMM’s, Riverford Organic Farmers, Moovin Festival, and HelloFresh.

As Rita explains, Place Experts are a space consultancy with a difference. Acting as an extension of their clients’ businesses, they partner with commercial companies, festival and event operators as well as agencies to source and manage the spaces they promote in and the concessions they use. Venues and promoters are confirmed quickly and managed without fuss at a cost that Rita says is unmatched in the industry.

In a previous interview with Tide, Rita said: “I definitely dance to my own drum, so working for myself was more necessity than just strong desire…We have a really open, honest relationship with our clients that we could never achieve without a transparent business model.” 

Place Experts are a Manchester-based agency. They pride themselves on their Northern roots, plain-speaking, and authentic approach to business. This year the company is sponsoring the category of Festival of the Year at the Northern Soul Awards. 

Rita O’Loughlin, Managing Director of Place Experts, said: “Place Experts are thrilled to sponsor best festival. We partner with festivals in a support role to source, book and manage their trader and concession offerings alongside spotting and securing sponsorship opportunities. This allows the festival organisers to get on with the creative side, happy in the knowledge that we’re looking after the rest. This means we spend a lot of time at festivals, and it is great to see the increase in vibrant, exciting and innovative festivals that are coming up across the North.” 

Meanwhile, Rita has big plans for Place Experts.

“We have grown and really become established over the past 12 months, so are currently recruiting to expand our team. We have also moved to our new bigger premises in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building, Canada House on Chepstow Street in the centre of Manchester. It’s a fantastic move for us and we are sharing the building with some amazing creative companies. Our aim is to increase our offering to festivals as well as building our portfolio of the shopping centres, town centres and brands we work with.”
She added: “Place Experts are very proud to be a Northern company. Growing up in Manchester, it was a no-brainer that our head office would be Manchester-based even though we are a UK-wide company. Manchester is such a creative city where so many people have that entrepreneurial mindset and can-do attitude, so I don’t need to look far from home for the talent I need in my team to make sure we grow.”
To see the Festival of the Year shortlist for the 2018 Northern Soul Awards, click here