Posted on Fri 12th Jul 2019 at 11:48am
What was your first job in the industry?
After being made redundant which was partly due to the 9/11 disaster back in 2001, I took a temporary job working in operations. I was thrown in at the deep end on a series of food shows at the NEC attracting over 60,000 visitors! It was more like a consumer show than a trade show and afterwards they offered me a permanent role in either marketing or operations!
What has been your biggest challenge?
It has to be in 2016 when I was working on 4 shows (partly international) across 8 halls of the NEC but due to a recent acquisition the halls were split and couldn’t be further apart. There were 2 of us on the ops side with a freelancer who was working solely across 37 features and I was told there is no money in the budget for additional resource – sound familiar?
Who’s inspired you?
Having owned an operational management company for 10 years there are so many people here I could mention. I was introduced to Sarah Gladstone when I started out in exhibitions and through her mentoring and guidance she supported me more than I realised at the time and for that I will be forever grateful.
How has the industry changed?
I’ve seen huge changes over the years from technology playing a huge part in the way we all communicate to commercial pressures reducing the time involved to build-up and breakdown. It’s only recently that I’ve had to ban WhatsApp from replacing operational conversations during build-up over the radios! From the days when Organisers sipped champagne on-site to CDM I think that says everything!
What’s your criteria when selecting a supplier for your events?
There are so many factors that come into my final decision-making process from size, location, budget, product quality, industry reputation, service levels to name a few. But the one thing that always sticks out is the people who can make it happen and long-term relationships and I have many of those within Showlite.
Vicki is the Operations Director of multi-award winning event organiser MA Exhibitions (MAX). Known for her relentless attention to detail and slightly OCD focus on perfection, she has been with MAX since it was first created with one exhibition just over four years ago, to the 14 show portfolio across four continents that it is now.
Prior to joining the MAX juggernaut, Vicki started her ops career with William Reed Business Media in 2001 and went on to head up their operations. Five years later she went into the freelance world and was joint owner of Ops Squad with industry operation stalwarts Anna Anson and Steve Bullock.
Vicki can be found cycling with her GSD better known as Gromit before executing a disciplined plan of glass, gin, tonic, ice and slice!