My Event World - Matt Jones

Matt Jones, commercial director at Dine, spoke to Event about his career progression at the company, why he would swap places with chef Marcus Wareing, and his dislike of poorly clothed tables.

Matt Jones initially joined Dine as a delivery driver
Matt Jones initially joined Dine as a delivery driver

I got into the event industry because I needed some extra money during university, however I was hooked after my first taste of working in catering as a summer temp at a local golf club.

I dabbled with the idea of becoming a teacher but left the PGCE course after the first term. I got a job at Dine initially as a driver delivering 500 sandwiches a day to offices around Yorkshire, and I loved it. The rest is history.

I have worked here since 2001. In 2004 I went full time as a trainee event manager and in 2009 I became commercial director.

I was attracted to this particular role because of the people who work here. I knew I had a lot to learn about the industry and I was impressed by the quality of the food and the slick service – it was something that I hadn’t seen much of before. I remember thinking I wish I could be as good at what I do as the staff.

Not many people know that I went to the same school as Matt Dawson, Luke Donald and Jimmy Carr. I also used to see James Corden a lot - he caught the bus across the road from me.

The best event I’ve been involved in was a global conference for luxury paper manufacturers G. F Smith. I arrived at a factory in Hull on a cold January day with a brief to totally transform the space. The client wanted to impress guests who had travelled from across the world, by transporting them to a totally different environment.

Colour was a major focus and designed specifically to evoke certain feelings at particular points during the event. We completely transformed the wasteland behind the factory into a luxurious venue with a bar, conference area and a hidden dining room. We had fun continuously changing the lighting to match each course served throughout dinner.

If I could do it all over again I would live in another country for a couple of years before settling down to my career at Dine.

The one thing I can’t stand is poorly clothed tables.

Outside of work I spend my time tinkering – I have recently made a dining table. I can also be found singing made-up songs to my seven-month-old daughter, Thea.

If money were no object I would buy a massive house or plot of land and create a commune where my family and friends could live.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Marcus Wareing, because of his amazing food, and he does a great job on Masterchef: The Professionals.

If I ruled the event industry I would put quality at the heart of everything. 

More: My Event World - Pete Allen

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