BV Bright Sparks: Sam Rourke

In the latest of our ‘Bright Sparks’, we introduce our savvy meeting and events professional, and star of the Sunday roast, Sam Rourke.

Meet Sam Rourke

What did you do before event planning, Sam?

I’ve been in events for around seven years. However, I originally fell into a career in hospitality after moving back home from university.

I worked my way up from my first day pulling a pint (badly) behind a hotel bar in Surrey, to assistant manager at a bar and restaurant in Manchester. It involved busy family brunches and 4 am finishes on Friday and Saturday nights! It was fun and busy, but I’m glad to have moved to a slightly more sleep-friendly career that still complements my love for hospitality.

Tell us a bit about your role at BV.

I manage and support an amazing team who source a fantastic selection of venues for our clients to choose from, whether they’re looking for a small boardroom, an away day in the Peak District, or a conference abroad.

I love the challenge of making every proposal unique and vibrant to fit each client’s specific needs.

And it’s always exciting to work on such a broad range of events – no day is ever alike!

What’s your favourite type of enquiry to work on?

I love planning roadshows. It’s great to put my geographical knowledge to the test, and gives me the chance to learn about all sorts of incredible venues in places that aren’t as well-known as those in major cities.

Just imagine me staring at a huge map, thinking about all the possibilities.

What would be your dream work event/enquiry?

As a huge sports fan, I always love it when I get to propose a stadium. Particularly when we’re spoilt with such amazing state-of-the-art venues in the UK, like Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium, or the Brentford Community Stadium, which has such incredible versatility for meetings and events.

What’s your favourite Wild Card venue to propose and why?

I think my favourite Wild Card so far has to be Edinburgh Zoo, which was proposed for a special training event for a client. They have an incredible theatre space, where you have a huge window that looks right into the chimpanzee enclosure – it would certainly leave a lasting impression!

Let’s talk about those roadshows…

Having taken the lead on planning and scheduling lots of our clients’ event roadshows around the UK, what tips do you have for planning roadshows?

Given the events of recent years, I think people are more eager than ever to get back to meeting face-to-face! But it can be difficult to get everyone meeting in one central location on one specific date, particularly with the number of UK train strikes we’ve seen recently.

We’ve found is so much easier, more popular and cost-effective for people to arrange smaller meetings and training sessions across the country. 

Read Sam’s blog for greater insight into why Roadshows are becoming increasingly popular, including some of his top tips.

And you work on lots of our international enquiries, Sam. What locations have recently come up and what are your top tips when looking at planning a meeting/training session/event aboard?

I’m particularly jealous of those attending the series of events we’ve just placed in a hotel in Cyprus, particularly when the weather is so grey here in Manchester.

My biggest tip when looking at events abroad is to simply not be afraid of it! It can seem incredibly daunting to book training sessions and events abroad, but it’s not nearly as complicated as people think.

We have some great contacts in locations all over the globe, and can suggest some incredible venues, whether at the top of a mountain in Switzerland, in the desert in Dubai, or a safari retreat in Kenya, to name a few.

What better way to stand out to potential customers, or really wow your clients than taking your next board meeting or conference abroad?

Tell us about life outside of BV…

Can you describe yourself in 3 words for us?

 Passionate, dedicated, and talkative.

Tell us a little about your hobbies.

I’m absolutely sport-mad. You’ll find me watching football, rugby, and American football, whether at the ground or on TV. I also love musical theatre, I’ve seen Hamilton eight times in London, including the first-ever preview in the UK! I can also play the piano!

Favourite holiday destination for Sam Rourke?

It has to be Iceland! The topography is second to none, from volcanos to geysers and hot springs, it’s incredible!


If you could go anywhere on holiday, where would it be?

I’d absolutely love to go to New Zealand, whether for the sports, the culture or a BBQ on the beach!

Of all the hotels you’ve stayed in, what’s your favourite hotel?

I’ve only been on one all-inclusive holiday, to the Sentido Phenicia hotel in Tunisia, and the hotel was lovely, but what stood out were the people and the service they provided.

With my hospitality background, I absolutely love a venue where the staff are attentive, enthusiastic and friendly. We had an amazing waiter who kept popping over all week to keep drinks topped up and found us the best tables!

What’s your favourite takeaway?

Depends on the mood! Anyone in the office will tell you I’m a bit of a foodie, but for a takeaway, it’s probably between a chippy and an Indian!

So, if you’re cooking for guests, what’s your go-to dish? 

I was famous for the large roast dinners I made at university. I like to think I’m slightly more refined now, and always get good feedback on my chicken and chorizo jambalaya!


So now you know a little about Sam Rourke, are you ready to let he and his colleagues – our team of Bien Venue experts – help you source your perfect venue, and plan jaw-dropping events? Drop us an email at

You can also make a start yourself by using our Free Venue Finding Tool to explore the various options for your next corporate event.