My Event World - Steve Murphy

Steve Murphy, managing director of Europa International, on sourcing funky furniture, unblocking drains and an unfortunate incident with a walking stick.

My Event World - Steve Murphy
My Event World - Steve Murphy

I got into the events industry because M&S thought I was too good for them.

I have worked here since 1976.

I was attracted to his particular role because I was born to do it, never really wanted to do anything else.

Not many people know that I got a little fed up at once, as we probably all do in this crazy business from time to time, and decided to set up my own drain-rodding business. Fortunately my father convinced me to stick with what I know.

My worst experience at an event was working on a B2B event in Milton Keynes. One particular client had been rather undecided over his requirements throughout the build up and kept chopping and changing his mind. So when he approached me later on that day I grabbed his walking stick and threatened him affably with it. What I hadn’t realised was just how reliant he was on it and he went down like a tree being felled.

If there’s one thing I’ve learn it’s the value of patience.

The best event I’ve been involved in was too rude to divulge.

If I could do it all over again I would try harder with M&S.

The one thing I can’t stand is lack of understanding as to what service entails. We live in an age of diverse communications and still struggle to get answers from suppliers and clients alike.

Outside of work I spend my time working – get real this is the world of events and exhibitions.

If money were no object I’d write a blank cheque so that our guys could scour the world and invest in every piece of funky furniture we could find to keep my marketing manager, Helen Cole, off my back. Trouble is, being at the cutting-edge’ is an expensive business and prudence sometimes has to get in the way.

The next 12 months will be back to something like it was – confidence is leaking slowly back into people’s approach to business.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be no one. Now I’ve got the drain-rodding out of my system I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. Sad, but true.

If I ruled the event industry I’d push for legislation to require settlement of all accounts within 30 days of supply. Cash flow is so critical, especially to SMEs, and they can so often be crippled by the withholding of payment.

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