Exhibition News April 2019 - Page 72

Profile SUPPLIER FOCUS Eclipse ALTERNATIVE VENUE Bristol Old Vic Robin Purslow, MD of production company Eclipse, on work-life balance, Brexit and a cultural change in the industry What’s one thing you would change about the events industry? If I could change one thing, it would be to educate people about how hard our industry works. We have very dedicated people who will volunteer to work crazy long hours to ensure the events we run are rigged and derigged within very short timeframes. With quality of work life balance and mental health being very important there should be better understanding of what it takes to make events happen. What issue most affects your working life? I’m afraid to say, right now, Brexit. The chaotic uncertainty of what’s happening (or not as the case may be) is causing real concern for employees being worried about their future and clients delaying events to understand the outcome. The newly renovated Bristol institution combines history and the latest tech to create a unique offering for exhibition organisers Tell us about the history of the venue Centrally located on historic King Street, the venue boasts a traditional and dramatic auditorium, a modern space known as the Weston Studio as well as the Grade I listed Coopers’ Hall, a grand banqueting hall which still retains Georgian charm. In September 2018 a multimillion-pound renovation of the Bristol Old Vic’s front of house spaces was completed, transforming the venue into an architecturally stunning and welcoming setting, highlighting the heritage whilst creating contemporary appeal. What kind of events does the venue host? How has your business changed over the past five years? I’m very pleased to say that in the last five years we have really changed for the good. As a solid business with 30 years behind us we were drifting with no real direction. In the last few years we have set targets and mapped out our desired income streams with greater trust and respect within the workforce being encouraged. This has led to a real cultural change and great work being delivered across the whole business. Why do you enjoy working in events? The industry is a very diverse one and what is great, and a bit clichéd, is that no day is the same as the last. When you feel you have everything right on point, along comes a new challenge that really adds energy to the working day. Seeing how it brings the team together to tackle these challenges is very rewarding. 72 — April Bristol Old Vic’s Coopers’ Hall, with its high ceilings and huge over-arching windows and Georgian charm, can play host to several event set ups from formal dinners, theatre style seating and standing receptions, for events such as corporate celebrations, conferences, exhibitions or even weddings.. What is the offering for exhibition organisers? Bristol Old Vic offers a unique venue which combines history and modern architecture to create inspirational spaces. Coopers’ Hall would play host to exhibition stands while the Coopers’ Balcony can become an informal breakout space, providing a private area which overlooks the 1766 Bar & Kitchen and the original theatre wall. What support can you offer event organisers? Our events and catering partner Fosters Events can guide event organisers through every step of the planning from how best to configure the spaces, to helping you select the all- important food and drinks. Standard AV is included although we can accommodate requests using the in-house team or an external partner. EN