Exhibition News March 2019 - Page 48

Feature Left to right Patrick, Michaela and Fred Rising stars In a new quarterly series, Steve Monnington of Mayfield Merger Strategies showcases young talent who have created their own fast growth events businesses. First up... Maddox Events, organiser of Women of Silicon Roundabout and other diversity events Revenue per annum 2016 3 Events £450k 2018 13 Events £4.5m 48 — March 2017 6 Events £1.3m 2019 25 Events £12.5m (expected) M addox Events started life in September 2015, with three laptops in a single room office in South West London together with £15,000 of working capital. Around the table were Michaela Jeffery-Morrison and brothers Patrick and Frederick Lewis. Michaela and Patrick, who were 25 and 27 respectively, had worked together at The Innovation Enterprise, an organiser of strategy summits around the world. Patrick had moved on to join Clarion to run tech events while Fred, 25, had just finished university. Michaela was the catalyst. “I had seen the power of events from organising multiple conferences but, as a middle manager, I didn’t have my own voice in terms of the potential direction that the events could take,” she says. “I’m deeply passionate about diversity, empowerment and inclusion but at that time the whole ‘Women in-’ movement was in its infancy and there wasn’t an event that targeted women and created content for them. I decided that the only way that this would happen was if I did it myself.” Michaela called up Patrick and Fred and Maddox Events was born. There seemed to be no sense of risk in the decision to set out on their own. “We were using our existing skill sets and doing exactly what we’d done before for other people, so we were confident,” explains Michaela. “If you can create an event that will positively impact people, they will keep coming back and you’ll build up that community.” Having searched around for competitors and found none, Patrick was very sure that their events would be successful. “The events that we had run in our previous companies were very male and Caucasian dominated, and we also saw technology as the most important industry going forward so we took our opportunity,” he comments. “We were fearless and also agile in our decision- making and if we failed we’d fail quickly, learn from it and move onto something that we knew would work.” How does the decision-making work with a team of three? Patrick explains: “Michaela is more risk averse than I am but we each have an opinion and we debate the issues and go with the majority so it’s often about compromise.” Fred adds: “Because I’m not from the industry I question everything that the other two want to do and that provides a good balance.” The first event Michaela describes their first year. “There were a number of events that we wanted to trial and through research, market testing and looking at content it became clear that our passion lay with