Exhibition News March 2019 - Page 76

Profile SUPPLIER FOCUS Shocklogic ALTERNATIVE VENUE Royal Horticultural Halls Johnny Martinez, head of marketing and business development, on sustainability, working with family and managing an international team What’s one thing you would change about the events industry? I’d love to see a real dramatic change in the sustainability of our industry, especially as we develop better technologies that don’t require the use of resources like paper and plastic. Various shows have even gone as far as to create initiatives like bringing your own reusable coffee cups to use throughout the event. What issue most affects your working life? Managing an international team comes with a few difficulties, difference in time zone being the main one. As many members of my team are based in South America, they start work later in the day compared to the UK’s 9am and our meeting times have to be decided with this in mind. I like working with my father each day. This can come with the risk of strain on our relationship, but we’re pretty good at keeping family and work life separate. How has your business changed over the past five years? The Shocklogic family has grown massively. The London office is ever-growing, with apprentices, managers and technical staff. The Venezuelan team is constantly welcoming new people. We’ve seen a growth in our clientele, expanding over most corners of the world. We don’t always attend these events, but our tech has gone completely global! They’ve hosted everything from suffragette meetings to medical conferences, and the 115-year-old Royal Horticultural Halls also have a strong exhibition offering, says venue sales manager Lorraine Thorne Tell us about the history of the venue King Edward VII suggested the Royal Horticultural Society should have an exhibition hall for its shows, and The Lindley Hall was constructed in 1904. The natural light remains a key character of the building as is its versatility. The Lawrence Hall has an award-winning Art Deco interior and is one Westminster’s largest spaces with 1,600sqm. What kinds of events does the venue host? The Halls have hosted a huge variety of events over the last 115 years, witnessing important changes in 20th century life such as: suffragette meetings, political events, nursing conferences and soldiers waiting to go to war. More recently it has been the Sea Creatures exhibition, prestigious car and watch launches, fashion shows, charity fundraisers, antique sales and election-counting among others. What is the offering for exhibition organisers? Plentiful! The Lindley Hall can host up to 98 shell scheme stands, though more organic layouts have been popular recently. We have a three-tonne lift which can hold cars and a cherry picker for height. In-house production includes an integrated sound system and intelligent lighting. Why do you enjoy working in events? My days are always very different, new and exciting. Our main clientele is scientific associations whose work includes research for HIV, cancer and organ transplantation. Knowing that our services enable their research to be shared with such a large number of people in the field is an amazing feeling. We play a major part in sharing new and exciting findings that save lives all over the world. EN 76 — March What support can you offer event organisers? Unlike many event venues in Westminster we have a huge fully kitted kitchen below ground, so food comes quickly to tables piping hot. We have a broad range of caterers on the list from Afro-Caribbean to highly inventive and kosher. Production wise we can offer the full gamut of suppliers insuring every effect is catered for artistically.