Posted on Sun 14th Apr 2019 at 12:58pm
What was your first job in the industry?
At 18 after my A levels and before University I started working for a small publisher selling magazine ads. They went on to launch a commercial fishing event and that was the start. I was hooked on events, not that I had the right grades for the right university anyway!
What has been your biggest challenge?
This is not an easy one – every show brings its own unique challenges and the more shows you stage the more experience you have of coping with challenges. I do remember on my first ever show we had a lorry that would not fit in the halls there was talk of cutting bits off! Luckily a wise experienced organiser came up with a very creative solution and everyone was happy.
Who’s inspired you?
Having worked in exhibitions for ever, I have met and worked with some brilliant people. In terms of inspiration there have been a number of great people and if I had to choose one it would be David Metcalfe – he was hard to work for and never dull but you always believed that you could do anything with him.
How has the industry changed?
Now this is hard. The industry has changed a huge amount since I started and evolved in many ways. Mostly in a good way. It is so much more professional now and exhibitors are much more aware of why they are exhibiting. We used to work hard and play hard – which meant at the end of a show I was always shattered.
What’s your criteria when selecting a supplier for your events?
It’s all about can they deliver. At 9am, or whenever the doors open – the show needs to be built and looking brilliant. So many organisers look solely at costs – my belief is that this is a huge mistake.
Gordon started exhibition organising in 1982. In his 30+ year exhibition career he has staged more than 70 exhibitions, including many of the UK’s leading trade and consumer events. Gordon was responsible for Glee between 1999 and 2003 and, along with Annie Foord, incorporated Petindex alongside Glee in 2001 and succeeeded in growing the visitor audience on both shows. His desire has always been to stage exhibitions with colleagues who share the same passion; delivering great value and fun events to exhibitors and creating positive, enthusiastic reasons for visitors to attend.