1. What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was with Cahners Exhibitions in Twickenham. I started as an Exhibition Assistant and slowly worked my way through the ranks over the years
2. What has been your biggest challenge?
That was my first show, Internepcon, in Brighton in October 1984. The IRA blew up the Grand Hotel which was one of our Conference venues. We lost a day and a half of our build up in the Metropole Hotel due to the Police taking control of the whole area. We ended up working a full 24 hours and through the night to get the show open and also had to rearrange the Conference in to different venues. I had no sleep and this was certainly a baptism of fire which went a long way in helping me stay calm in the face of adversity at future events.
3. Who’s inspired you?
I grew up in the Exhibition industry when there were a few larger than life characters. A few people who taught me the values that I still use today were Arthur Nolan, Basil Biggs and Joe Manby.
4. How has the industry changed?
When I first started in the industry we were using Telex and had no computers, emails or mobile phones!! So it’s safe to say that technology has certainly moved on leaps and bounds. Having said that the basic principles of organising a show are still pretty much the same.
5. What are the top trends you are seeing?
I would say social media is now a major driving force in the industry. Something I’m glad to say that I leave to the younger members of the team ?
6. What’s your criteria when selecting a supplier for your events?
My main criteria for working with a supplier are Professionalism, Trust, Reliability and Partnerships. It’s really important for me to have a great team to work with because without the hard work and dedication of the suppliers our shows wouldn’t be the success that they are.
I’ve worked in the industry now for 34 years starting at Cahners Exhibitions and then joining Blenheim which later became UBM. In 2013 after 23 years at UBM I took redundancy and set up my own company, MC Event Management Limited, to see if I could fly solo organising exhibitions. My first experiences couldn’t have been more different and challenging! - Taste of London and The Skills Show and then in 2014 I was asked by Phil Soar to help Peter Jones at Nineteen Events. They had 2 shows CCR Expo and Transport for Security and 5 years on I’m still working with them but only on one show – International Security Expo as they sold CCR Expo in 2016. I can honestly say that I have been privileged to work in this amazing industry and have met some truly fantastic friends and colleagues.