Exhibition News November 2018 - Page 78

LAST WORD JAMES DAY The chief legal and operations officer at British Marine on tackling single- use plastic, visitor quality vs quantity and Skyler the Springer Spaniel 70 WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TOPIC THAT NEEDS ADDRESSING IN THE INDUSTRY? Environment. As exhibition organisers we have a duty to consider the impact of our events on the environment, as well as the opportunity to drive awareness among our thousands of visitors. With all the eco-friendly alternatives which have been or are being developed, it is no longer socially acceptable to see single-use plastics used ubiquitously or waste not being recycled. This is something we are addressing at Southampton Boat Show with environmental partners including the Marine Conservation Society. WHAT’S THE WORST IDEA YOU HAVE SEEN AT AN EXHIBITION? I prefer the concept that no idea is a bad idea, some just work better than others. I’ve seen things that I thought would be hugely successful flop and I’ve seen things that I thought would struggle be very popular. What’s great about the exhibition industry is that it encourages organisers to be creative. WHAT ARE THE THREE THINGS YOU WOULD CHANGE IN THE INDUSTRY? After heading up the Boat Show team for just shy of a year, I would say I need some more time to before commenting on changing the industry. However, one thing I have come across is the preoccupation with visitor figures, rather than the focus being on the quality of visitor. It’s relatively easy to fill an event with people, but it is much harder to deliver quality visitors who are going to help our exhibitors achieve their desired return on investment. BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT/PROUDEST MOMENT (IN AND OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY)? Outside the industry, my proudest moment was probably qualifying as a solicitor after seven years of study and training. Inside, overseeing the delivery of TheYachtMarket. com Southampton Boat Show 2018. It’s the first event that I have headed up, but all the credit needs to be given to the immensely talented team at British Marine. WHICH SPEAKER HAS MOST IMPRESSED YOU AT AN EXHIBITION AND WHY? Talan Skeel-Piggins. After a motorcycle accident he was left paralysed from the mid-chest down. However he defied expectations to be discharged only six and a half months later and set about a series of challenges to prove that being in a wheelchair would not stop him doing what he wanted to do. WHICH MEMBER OF THE INDUSTRY IS LEAST LIKELY TO GET A ROUND IN FIRST? Everyone I have met so far in the industry seems pretty happy to be at the front of the queue. I’ve not met too many round dodgers yet. WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR A NIGHTCAP AND WHAT WOULD IT BE? A country pub, in the midst of winter with a roaring fire. Pint of lime and soda – no doubt I’d be driving. November 2018 | exhibitionnews.co.uk MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? Skyler, my Welsh Springer Spaniel. My wife bought her for my 30th birthday and I’ve been in love with her ever since. TEAM YOU SUPPORT AND WHY? Liverpool F.C. Despite being a football fanatic, I never really supported anyone specific growing up. I then went to Liverpool University and met some mates that were diehard Liverpool fans. I ended up going to a lot of European games and was transfixed by the passion and magic of Anfield. TELL US SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU? I recently became manager of a Non-League Football Club, Crawley Down Gatwick. Prior to taking this on, I never realised how much is involved in running a football team. At times it’s more stressful than my actual job! FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO AT THE WEEKEND? Anywhere along the South Coast. Dorset, Devon or Cornwall. They have great walks and instantly feel a world away from the stresses of everyday life. WORST JOB YOU’VE HAD? I used to do a lot of promotional work during the summer months when at university. I think the worst was probably dressing up as a ferret and walking around London with a friend of mine. I can’t remember why we had to do that, but I think it was for some brand activation. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COUNTRY TO VISIT? I love Italy. The history, food and culture make it such a beautiful place to visit. I love the people too, they are so passionate and I love the emphasis they put on family. That really resonates with me. EN