My Event World - Nigel Collett

Nigel Collett, operations director at One Wimpole Street on trebling profits, drunk celebrity speakers, and dreams of a ski chalet in Switzerland.

My Event World - Nigel Collett
My Event World - Nigel Collett

I got into the events industry because I worked my way through a hotel graduate training scheme and decided that conference and banqueting was what I really enjoyed and found the most rewarding.

I have worked here since 2005

I was attracted to this particular role because The Royal Society of Medicine had recently invested significantly in its conference centre facilities at One Wimpole Street and its events venue Chandos House. It had been done without a particularly robust business plan, which lead to regime change and the need for someone to turn around an under-performing business. This proved a real opportunity for me, and profits were trebled within three years, all of which were gift aided back to the charitable part of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Not many people know that I was voted UK Catering Manager of the Year 2004 for my work as food services director at Citigroup in Canary Wharf.

My worst experience at an event was an extremely drunk celebrity after-dinner speaker that transcended into a rugby club-style monologue who had to be physically removed from the stage as it was a mixed company event.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s remain flexible and be positive at all times.

The best event I’ve been involved in was a car launch for Ford Motor Company.

If I could do it all over again I would try to work less hours.

The one thing I can’t stand is negativity.

Outside of work I spend my time taking my dogs on long country walks – that often end up at a real ale pub – and following Saracens Rugby Club.

If money were no object I would buy a ski chalet in Zermatt, live there and not work.

The one event I will never miss is The Six Nations Rugby.

The next 12 months will be challenging.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be one of the members of my team to see what it is like juggling all the balls and keeping every one motivated in order to deliver a first class service working alongside me.

If I ruled the event industry I would ensure it received the recognition it deserved as a profession.

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