My Event World - Tom Lechthaler

Tom Lechthaler, assistant director - events at the ACC Liverpool Group spoke to Event about his German heritage, launching the Exhibition Centre Liverpool last year, and passion for photography.

Tom Lechthaler joined the ACC Liverpool Group in 2007
Tom Lechthaler joined the ACC Liverpool Group in 2007

I got into the event industry because… It is fair to say that I probably stumbled across the industry. I studied languages and have a teaching degree from an Austrian university, but moved to the UK some 20 years ago where, during a career break as a teacher, I decided to work in a conference centre.

This is when I was ‘bitten by the bug’ and have since held several roles in the events industry. The variety of each day is extremely appealing to me. It is by no means a nine-to-five job and can be taxing on all levels, but equally it is hugely rewarding seeing something through from inception to completion.

I have worked here since 2007, and in the events industry for the past 20 years.

I was attracted to this particular role because it was a massive challenge. I started working for ACC Liverpool one year before the venue opened. This was hugely exciting as it provided me with the opportunity to shape the events team that I had to recruit.

Establishing the ACC Liverpool as one of the leading conference venues in the UK is one of the most rewarding things that I have experienced, and it makes me very proud of both the venue and the city of Liverpool.

Not many people know that I am originally from the German speaking part of Italy. Confusing I know.

The best event I’ve been involved was the launch of Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Last year we opened our new addition to the ACC Liverpool Group and I was tasked with arranging a launch event for clients, stakeholders and the industry.

This was created and delivered by the in-house team, and all members of staff had a role to play. It meant that it was not only a very personal event; it was one of the best team working exercises that anybody could arrange. The occasion was attended by 800 industry colleagues and was hugely important for us as a company and for me personally.

If I could do it all over again I would do things in exactly the same way. I don’t have regrets and believe that we are in charge of our own destiny and everything happens for a reason.

The one thing I can’t stand is dishonesty. I strongly believe that there is no place for it.

Outside of work I spend my time with my camera. I love photography and creating impressions and interpretations of how I see the world. It provides me with the perfect relief from what can be a stressful job.

If money were no object I would retire and open a coffee shop and art gallery.

If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be somebody in a very creative role. I love using my own creativity and being able to bring an idea to life. Whilst I do that to a degree in my role, it is something that I love and thrive on.

If I ruled the event industry I would centre a great deal of focus on training and nurturing the younger generation. Young people who have an interest in events are the future of the industry, so I believe that it is important to put the spotlight on them in order for the sector to grow.      

More: My Event World - Leigh Debbage

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