Meet the Team: Cat Spencer

Cat is the director of Booking Protect so its unsurprising her interests revolved around in theatres, festivals and live music. Cat’s eclectic and varied catalogue of frequented events range from local amateur dramatics to Broadway, and Cat has a nose for good live music. Cat grew up in Bolton and has a background in commercial insurance, she’s been to festivals all over the world and its now her mission to ensure that people’s refund protection is always secure.

What is your job role?

Business development director.

How did Booking Protect originate?

I started Booking Protect in 2015. I originally joined Simon Mabb’s project as the director for the travel part of the business, but after internal changes, I took over running the full business. And since then we’ve grown year on year, more than doubling in size every year with a huge chunk of our business being over-seas in America and Australia.

Where were you before Booking Protect?

I have a commercial insurance background through and through. Axa and Allianz mainly.

What are the elements of your job you enjoy the most?

The people, I love working with the people. Especially the members of the team that have been here for a very long time. Liam Sullivan would be a perfect example of someone who started as an apprentice and has just gone from strength to strength, and now he’s going to be running his own team. I really enjoy watching people develop.

What’s the best festival you’ve been to?

Probably the Isle of Wight about 3-4 years ago. It was really really messy on the first day, and I would say it was pretty much an endurance test to survive the rest of the festival. It rained every night. I was glamping but the airbed had been punctured so I basically slept on a plank of wood. But the music was great, I saw some acts that I’d never heard of previously.

What’s the best festival you’ve never been to?

I’ve never been to Glastonbury. When we’ve been at the point of buying tickets, I’ve not been able to go. It’s one of the major festivals, and I’ve never been.

What’s a moment you remember all too well from a festival?

I lost a trainer at a festival once; I wasn’t supposed to be going, accepted a spare ticket, and only took one outfit which consisted of a pair of trainers. NOT appropriate for how muddy it was. We were walking along and it was so torrential that the ground got hold of my trainer, and I lifted my foot out, turned around, and it was gone. But I had no other shoes with me so I had to do the rest of the festival with one trainer. Three days with no shoes. That was Creamfields.

What’s your go to music choice?

Everyone says they are eclectic. I’ve been to see Annie Lennox at Sadler’s Wells, the Vengaboys, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Bon Jovi, there’s a whole range. I absolutely love live music. I went to see Voodoo Room who are a Cream tribute band, which was really random because the whole audience sat really politely throughout out the show and I was dancing away!

I listen to all sorts of stuff, if I can go to something live, like Catfish and the Bottlemen – I’ve seen them 7 times. I saw them at the Apollo in Birmingham when there was only about 1000 there. It great to see them grow. I’ve been so lucky, and I’m from Bolton originally, so Danny form McFly used to perform with his sister in a local pub before they made. So yeah, pretty eclectic.

Have you ever been on the stage?

I was in all sorts of stuff when I was younger. I was Maid Marian, the thought now makes me cringe (I wasn’t very good). I used to do amateur dramatics and sing a bit as well. When I hit 15-16 and started to develop self-awareness, so that promptly got dropped. Never again.

What the best stage show you’ve seen?

I was on the front row of Hamilton at the Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles. It was absolutely phenomenal, especially with an American audience. Absolutely fantastic.

Secret Hobbies?

Not really any secret hobbies. I do boxing. I got into it because of my husband, I thought it was too violent. Then I started watching it, got really into watching it. I thought “I quite fancy this,” and I started having lesson. I love it!

What’s been your best moment with Booking Protect?

That’s a really difficult question, because there have been so many really fantastic things. Some of them have just been great because they’ve been comedy moments with great people. Celebrating Vikki’s birthday in Vegas at the end of a conference, going out with Liam for his first glass of red wine in London. The people, and the travel has been brilliant as well. Miami, New Orleans, I’ve been to some amazing places I probably would never have gone to.

What was your first job?

I’ve had a paper round, and worked in a newsagents. I was working at a bar when I was 18. It was on the same square as an insurance firm. That’s how I transitioned from a part-time job to a proper job.

What was your favourite childhood TV show?

Secret Squirrel.

What’s different at Booking Protect than anywhere else?

Most of the places I’ve worked at before have been huge commercial insurance companies. When I’ve been working there, they’ve got thousands of employees, and they’ve all got loads of procedures and if you wanted to make any change you’d have submit a change request which would go into a board who would review it, and, if you were lucky, two or three years later it would probably be implemented. Booking Protect is so dynamic, so versatile, we make a decision and we just do it. We change if something doesn’t work, we put something new in. Because we’ve been able to be so agile, so flexible, we’ve been able to work with some of the biggest names, we’ve been able to adapt it to all different industries. I think our agility is probably the best asset.

What’s your perfect Sunday?

I don’t stay up late, I’m up early. Out early, go for a walk. I secretly like playing games on the Switch with my son so maybe a bit of that! I’ve also got two gorgeous little nieces; I’d go see them. And then a lazy Sunday afternoon with wine and music, and probably cheese!

What’s the one show you would recommend as a must-watch?

It would have to be Hamilton. It’s incredible. Don’t watch it on Disney Plus though, it doesn’t do it justice!

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