I got into the events industry because it makes my pulse race, I love it, its what I was built for. My team work brilliantly under constant pressure to get the project delivered and the whole scene is a real buzz.
I have worked here since the day I created it. October 1999 saw the birth of Bluedog, so we are now in our 12th year of trading.
I was attracted to this particular role because I would never have chosen the role CEO from afar because I just really wanted to make amazing projects happen, but I have naturally adapted to the needs of a constantly growing company. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoy my role and could no longer imagine doing anything else.
Not many people know that I started the company in my first house, six months into my first mortgage, with just one project to work on. I just had faith that it would all work out and that more would follow; I worked hard and indeed it did and Bluedog has literally never stopped being busy since day one.
My worst experience at an event was the plane wing and lights (almost) incident live on TV.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ is a pretty good maxim. If you want things to happen in life and in business you’ve got to make them happen.
The best event I’ve been involved in was the Olympic Games in Beijing. Every Olympics is a pretty special event to be a part of, but working in China intermittently for a couple of years at that particular time was an extraordinary experience that I’ll never forget.
If I could do it all over again I would not change a thing, the good, bad and hard times have all been valuable lessons which only time can teach. Those lessons have real currency in this business and as you get older those past experiences are the things that help you sleep at night no matter how challenging the projects you’re dealing with.
The one thing I can’t stand is being late – timing is everything.
Outside of work I spend my time running, I like to keep fit, so am always trying to get a better Marathon time.
If money were no object I would run the business from a large boat (maybe in the Med). All the staff would have a share in Bluedog and desks on the deck, life would be good… but alas, money is always an object.
The one event I will never miss a good foreign holiday at least once a year (preferably more), getting away from it all is the very best way to refresh, recharge and get creative again. Everything about travelling is inspiring from the food, to the architecture, to the local way of doing things - whatever that might be. The list of places I’d love to see is eternally increasing, the more I see the more I want to see; it’s the most enjoyable paradox of my life.
The next 12 months will be really exciting, we’ve just moved to fabulous new premises that offer us a huge amount of space and are set in idyllic surroundings. Having worked on four consecutive Olympic Games all over the world they finally arrive in our back yard.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Lord Coe – he has a pretty big event on his shoulders shortly and I would love to feel the tingle up his spine when Jacques Rogge announces the London Games open.
If I ruled the event industry I would change the current way procurement works and set about letting companies compete on a level playing field without the need for hundreds of questions about policies, these seem to illicit stock answers and defeat creative objectives.