Sonia Irvine is the inspiring female CEO whose company, Amber Group, has stayed very much afloat, even through the trials and tribulations brought about by COVID.
In fact, the unfortunate cancellation of the Monaco Grand Prix 2020 events gave her team the necessary time to plan and create a new Amber Lounge experience: the Tour With Legends, a high end and exclusive driving experience with former heroes of F1.
Amber Lounge has been a staple of the Grand Prix experience in Monaco for two decades. When asked how Covid and the cancellation of 2020’s F1 Monaco Grand Prix affected her business, Irvine’s response was honest: “Dramatically to say the least, although the world must go on and there’s no time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves!
“Amber Lounge worked hard over lockdown to tidy up the aftermath of a cancelled event! We not only had Amber Lounge, the after party, to sort out. We had hotel rooms, race viewing yachts, sponsor yachts, and private parties to clean up.”
Irvine had to make the difficult but necessary decision to keep operational costs down. But this experience had its upsides.
“We learned we don’t need to jump on a plane to attend important meetings: COVID-19 has taught us we can work in different ways. We used our time to be creative, and rebranded to the Amber Group, with all our motorsport and non-motorsport events running under this umbrella.”
By keeping only staff who can multitask between different departments of the business, Irvine and the team looked to the future of how to improve as a brand, both ecologically and in terms of products offered to clients. The company will launch a viewing yacht and cocktail party at the 2021 Historic Grand Prix, as well as an event during Formula-E, and a brunch party to celebrate the motorsports events’ return to Monaco.
But the most exciting outcome of the company’s new vision is the Tour With Legends driving experience: “The experience will include wining & dining in 5-star hotels and experiencing some of the most iconic roads Europe has to offer in beautiful cars and obviously finishing the tour off in style at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Irvine has turned a difficult business situation into a positive outlook for the future. Her words of wisdom to other entrepreneurs and business owners who may have been hit hard by the pandemic remind us that we have a bright future ahead.
“Stay positive, focused and determined. The world post COVID will bring new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners. I am hopeful that 2021will bring new opportunities for all of us,” she said.
IMAGE: Amber Group