My Event World - Gary Peters

Gary Peters, managing director at Evolve Events, founded the company 14 years ago after working in the restaurant business. He talks producing the first corporate event at the Olympic Park, and why events are akin to having children.

Evolve Events' Gary Peters shares his event world
Evolve Events' Gary Peters shares his event world

I got into the event industry because I was working in the restaurant business and saw a chance to bring my passion for entertaining, food and styling to create a fresh thinking events agency that puts the customer experience at the heart of the event.

I have worked here since 2000, when I founded Evolve Events and have been growing the business ever since.

I was attracted to this particular role because producing an event is a little bit like having children. After you’ve had one, you think you’ve got it nailed but then you have your next child and they are completely different. An event is like that because each one has its own personality. And of course it’s incredibly rewarding bringing an idea to life; seeing the smile on a client’s face at the end of a successful event can make you feel like the proud father.

Not many people know that I’m American, not British.

The best event I’ve been involved was... it’s a real privilege to have a career that is a passion and I’m proud that after 14 years I still enjoy the events business as much as I did at the beginning. Producing the first corporate event at the Olympic Park last year was a real buzz. The site was still in development which provided many logistic headaches and there were plenty of press regulations to adhere to but there was a great atmosphere which meant that the event felt very special.

If I could do it all over again I would get into the business earlier. You need a lot of energy for live events.

The one thing I can’t stand is... as much as the event business is about creativity and attention to detail, it’s a people’s business too. I can’t stand it when people overlook the emotional investment that is put into each event. It’s important to take time to thank everybody involved whatever their role – so many people and disciplines play a part in creating an event and it can be the small behind the scenes details that turn it into an amazing experience.

Outside of work I spend my time... with my family cycling in Richmond Park or cheering my boys from the side lines at rugby and watching my beloved Arsenal.

If money were no object I’d have a personal driver on stand-by to courier me from event to event and take me home at the end of a long night.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be... I love contemporary food design and culinary design so I wouldn’t mind being the Willy Wonka of food installations and being part of the Bompas & Parr team for a day.

If I ruled the event industry I would create a platform to represent those starting out in the industry such as a graduation ceremony to help expose all of our new talent along with a mentor scheme to help them find employment and ensure our events industry continues to be one of the best in the world.

Want to be featured in a future My Event World? Email news editor Samantha Edwards for further details.

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