Exhibition News October 2017 - Page 23

Power of 10 This autumn, Media 10 takes British brands to China, continuing a unique and thriving relationship Words: Annie Blinkhorn S tallholder, entrepreneur, CEO, event supremo, sailor, landlord, restaurateur, publican (more of which later) – is there no end of job titles Media 10 founder Lee Newton can add to his business card? EN is talking to Newton and his colleagues on the eve of a new launch show in China – Best of British. This is will be followed in December by Ideal Home Show China. Behind the fact that the events company, home to a considerable B2B and B2C portfolio, is expanding into the Far East is a story both intriguing and unique. But how did Newton and Media 10 come to fi nd themselves pioneers of the industry? Newton’s biography states that his career ‘began at 15’. EN voices a little scepticism at this claim. “I did!” insists Newton, “It’s because I’m dyslexic. But back then you weren't known as ‘dyslexic’, you were known as ‘stupid’. Now I know I'm not stupid, but school frustrated me so I dropped out and spent the last year bunking off. Mind you, I used to bunk back in for sailing lessons in a disused pit quarry on a Wednesday, it was the only thing I was interested in. We were known as the ‘Romford Navy’.” The move into sales and the world of publishing was prompted by his desire to break away from family tradition. “I started working a market stall at 15. I'm from an old East End market family. But in winter – the cold! I got an offi ce job just to get out of the cold. One year at a family party, I looked at my older relatives – they were all market traders or builders, and I thought – I don’t want to be standing outside at your age!” Hence the determination. In fact, after being set up with an interview continued ➞ by a friend who worked in classifi eds on a trade title, an exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2017 23