My Event World - David Balfour

David Balfour is managing and creative partner at Lightblue, a global agency based in in Dubai, Glasgow and Melbourne that works for the likes of PlayStation, Reebok and Budweiser. He talks to Event about intellectual plagiarism, encouraging young talent and his Scottish heritage.

David Balfour, managing and creative partner at Lightblue
David Balfour, managing and creative partner at Lightblue

I got into the event industry because I was given a chance. I was given a one-year contract by a chap called Colin Brough who then became my boss and mentor for the next five years, working on some amazing events like T in the Park, Stella Screen and Triptych. 

I have worked here since myself and my business partner, Ian Lynagh, started Lightblue together more than seven years ago now. 

I was attracted to this particular role because experiential was being done the wrong way and we knew we could create a true experiential agency that did things the right way. We were seeing our niche sector of the marketing world get ruined by essentially event organisers calling themselves what they were not.

This was one of the main driving factors but also because this type of work is great fun. What still rings true today was ringing true back when we started.

Not many people know that I’m of half-Scottish, half-Brazilian decent. I speak fluent Portuguese with a Glaswegian accent.

The best event I’ve been involved was... This is the hardest question by far and I’m not sure I can answer. I’ve been involved in so many activations and events over the last 16 years and to be fair I could name one or two a year.

If I could do it all over again I would… do it all over again.

The one thing I can’t stand is the unadulterated plagiarism of great ideas. There is a fine line between stealing an idea and seeing one as inspiration. It’s a great shame when I see our work being done badly by somebody else. We’re in the business of ideas and occasionally that notion gets disrespected.

Outside of work I spend my time with my family, and keeping an eye on the Hibs scores.

If money were no object I would go back to some of our past clients and tell them that their ‘money is no object’ briefs can happen now that money actually is no object. Bring it on.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be with a newbie, someone who has just walked into their first job on day one. 

If I ruled the event industry I would work with the universities and governments to ensure we get young talent into the industry who are paid for the work they deliver as part of an internship platform, without HMRC issues. I’d also ensure that companies re-invest a percentage into youth so that everyone gets a ‘chance’.

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