My start in the events industry, aged 14, involves the British performer Paul Weller, a box of Cuban cigars, and a former special forces soldier called Steve.
All were factors in my first ‘proper’ job at a small music festival on the English south coast, whose headliner that year was Bill Wyman’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
Much later, I went on to study a degree in Performance Art. Making artwork including installations, live performances and theater taught me by trial and error about the raw mechanics of how an event is created technically, artistically, and in a way that creates the most profound experience for its participants.
After graduating, I held jobs running a marketing events program for a British furniture manufacturer, at a small production company as event manager of an outdoor ice rink, and at the BBC as a researcher in current affairs television. The latter as part of a competitive training scheme which took 40 people from an applicant pool of 4,000.
In 2009 I went to work for the Arts & Entertainment division of IMG in London (now Endeavor). As Event Manager, they put me to work on the prestigious Natural History Museum Ice Rink, which then drew 75,000 people to skate against the impressive backdrop of the museum.
Over the next 8 years, I took on ever bigger and more complex projects for IMG as both Event Manager and then Events Director, heading up huge projects with multi-disciplinary teams. These included one of the world's largest culinary festivals, Taste of London as well as large scale outdoor concerts, and multi-day music festivals such as The Big Feastival. I additionally worked on several special projects with IMG, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) in partnership with the BCCI.
IMG taught me to produce world class events. In return, I grew the event properties within my scope to ever greater financial and creative success. The Natural History Museum Ice Rink grew to more than 250,000 visitors. Taste of London began conceiving and producing ever more engaging ideas directly with brand partners that included Electrolux, Laurent-Perrier and Intel. I developed strong relationships with agents, businesses and suppliers to produce cutting edge, highly PR-able content delivered with the highest production values.
From a firm base working as a young assistant on various music festivals, with IMG I learnt the art of the industry: managing complex budgets, navigating high profile stakeholders, motivating large project teams, selling my visions to multinational brands, and setting the bar for others to follow.
In 2017, I left London to start a new chapter in Washington DC. I currently work as a freelance event director and executive producer on behalf of brands, agencies and organizations to conceive, plan and execute experiential marketing, cultural and entertainment events. I specialize in the strategic planning and execution of outdoor productions, including challenging venues such as 'green field' sites, as well as large events with multiple stakeholders that require a high level of skill and experience across many disciplines.
I am also Adjunct Professor of Event Management at the George Washington University School of Business, teaching post graduate students on the Tourism & Event Management Program about areas such as risk, contracting, legal compliance and management as it relates to the events industry. The opportunity to pass on skills and experience to people at the start of their events careers is hugely rewarding, and valuable in terms of regularly reflecting on what constitutes professional best practice.
Some of my work can be seen in my portfolio, as can a breakdown of my services and capabilities. You can also find some more practical answers to questions you may have in FAQ’s.
If you’re planning a project, get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.