My Event World - Richard Parkinson

Richard Parkinson chief executive at Incredibull discusses his love of America and his foray into politics.

Incredibull chief executive Richard Parkinson
Incredibull chief executive Richard Parkinson

I got into the events industry because after my first job at Esso in Southampton I was thrown in at the deep end organising tours around the refinery. It seemed interesting at that time and the people you meet are all very different. That continues to this day.

I have been in this role since 2000, when I set up Incredibull.

I was attracted to this particular role because as anyone will tell you starting your own business is an immense challenge which I wanted at the time. I have learnt a lot on the way and after ten years  we are still here, and growing.

Not many people know that I worked as part of the Advance Team on the election campaign for John Major in 1992 and 1997 – one was successful and one not – although at the time we all thought 1992 would be lost and 1997 would be won.

My worst experience at an event was when we did an event called The Power and during the opening of the event we had angle grinders on the stage. Rehearsal worked fine but halfway through the act all the main fuses blew, leaving us with no power in the whole hotel.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s patience.

The best event I’ve been involved in was an incentive to Las Vegas for 50 people. It involved the Bellagio, ten helicopters to the Grand Canyon, prime seats for Cirque du Soleil’s O, a night out at nightclub Tao and lots of alcohol.

The one thing I can’t stand is people who are late, I have to be early.

Outside of work I spend my time travelling, I love the USA. Listening to music also provides a lot of inspiration for the job as well as been relaxing. My ipod has a very eclectic mix.

If money were no object I would probably still work. I’d be bored otherwise.

The one event I will never miss is my friends' birthdays.

The recession has meant that we have become very profitable. We focused a lot as a team and became better as a result.

The next 12 months will be fun as we go into our 11th year we want to expand and acquire, anyone thinking of selling let me know.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be for an in-house job for a couple of weeks. It would be good to sit on the client side to see why and how they make the decisions.

If I ruled the event industry I would ensure all procurement departments come on-site during a major event and get them involved in the whole thing to see how it actually works.

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