My Event World - Justin Isles

Justin Isles, client services director at Event Marketing Solutions (EMS), on working in 43 different countries, preparing for the unexpected, and an aversion to blaggers.

My Event World - Justin Isles
My Event World - Justin Isles

I got into the events industry because when I began in sports sponsorship, I found myself helping out with some key events and fell in love with the work. Hence the sharp career-turn.

I have worked here since 2006, and loved every minute.

I was attracted to this particular role because it was a great opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the business and fantastic clients.

Not many people know that EMS has delivered roadshows in 43 countries, we predict this will be more than 50 by 2013.

My worst experience at an event was a car manufacturers’ corporate track day for the launch of a new car. On the morning of the event, dense fog descended and lasted all day. The driving had to be abandoned. I learnt an important lesson that day, which brings me on to my next point…

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s to plan for the unexpected, even in politics. Last year we set off on a tour through the Middle East during the Arab Spring uprisings; it had huge implications for our roadshow and our ability to move around. Thankfully our logistic geniuses got us to every show.

The best event I’ve been involved in was – there are too many to list. Our current international roadshow schedule is really exciting, but I’ve also loved our huge automotive launches.

If I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing, just try and keep in contact with more of the people I’ve worked with along the way. It’s amazing to think of the sheer number you meet during a career in events.

The one thing I can’t stand is blaggers. Sadly, there isn’t a shortage of them in the industry.

Outside of work I spend my time with my kids. To work in this industry I have to sacrifice time with them so I try make up for it when I can. They love knowing what I am up to which helps, I guess.

If money were no object I’d be a happy man.

The one event I will never miss is our next one. It sounds corny, but 20 years on I still get an enormous buzz from our campaigns. As they get further and further afield, the learnings become more important on behalf of our clients.

The next 12 months will be challenging but there are enormous opportunities. So many people are just focussed on the Olympics but we really want to build a pipeline that is viable into 2013 and beyond.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be no one. I really admire the work of so many people, but I couldn’t be happier with the work we do for our clients.

If I ruled the event industry I’d insist on greater transparency for everyone. There are too many competing agendas that sometimes stop our sector sitting alongside other marketing disciplines in a truly integrated way.

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