He spoke to Event about representing Zimbabwe at rugby, his involvement with the Nike Fuelfest event at Battersea Power Station in the lead up to the London Olympics, and dislike of marketing jargon.
I got in to the event industry because I always believed events and experiential offered the most varied and interesting career in the marketing world.
The chance to work across so many different business sectors and audiences, doing interesting work that creates real change, was too big an opportunity to miss.
I have worked here since… My business partner, Paul Stanway, and I started XYZ in late 2012 after working together for 10 years, where we ran and finally sold the agency Slice.
I was attracted to this particular role because it allowed us to create a fully independent new business and mould (excuse the pun) it in the manner we wanted, in order to fulfill our clients’ needs and do interesting work with interesting people.
Not many people know that I once represented Zimbabwe at rugby in Kenya at the Safari Sevens, due to a bizarre set of circumstances. I’d had far too many Tusker beers the night before but somehow still scored a couple of tries.
The best event I’ve been involved in was Nike Fuelfest at Battersea Power Station – a two-week build culminated in an amazing event experience for 2,500 guests that was the final piece in a huge pre-Olympic jigsaw for the brand.
If I could do it all over again I would have started XYZ earlier. Too often people are scared to make the jump and are happy to stick with the easier option.
The one think I can’t stand is marketing jargon. ‘Reach out’, ‘take offline’, ‘fanbassador’, ‘omnichannel’ and ‘think outside the box’. Just use normal, understandable language please.
Outside of work I spend my time playing and watching sport and I am currently preparing for the arrival of our first child.
If money were no object I would sort London’s transport system out. For a global city, London’s travel infrastructure is an area we could and should see huge improvement in if we want to remain a key location for global brands.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be… Hmmm, that is a tough one. I am very happy where I am, but at a push maybe someone like Michael Eavis. I think it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding to run a globally successful festival like Glastonbury.
If I ruled the event industry I would continue to beat the drum for event agencies to have a place at the top table and be at the heart of brands’ marketing decisions.
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