EN learns more about Clarion’s DSEI VIP delegation manager, who won Best Newcomer at the 2018 EN Awards and is a member of the EN 30 Under 30 class of 2018.
I was born in Wellington, New Zealand and grew up there for my whole childhood.
The dynamic in our family was always pretty relaxed. My brother and I were usually game for most activities, so my parents were quite active in taking us out to keep us entertained.
My dad was an economist for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and other banks. My mum has worked as a civil servant since graduating, most recently as a senior data analyst for the Ministry of Education.
I was generally hard working at school, although probably could’ve put a bit more effort into studying come exam time, and was always busy with sport throughout the week. I played football, hockey, cricket, badminton, basketball throughout my school life.
My first job beyond the classic post run was with Diabetes NZ administering the distribution of their information pamphlets.
My job prior to arriving in the UK was a driving charter buses in Wellington. I got to drive some really cool people including actor Jet Li and the West Indian cricket team at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
I turned up in London, spoke to a couple of recruiters and luckily the first job I was offered resulted in getting hired by Clarion.
Clarion needed some admin assistance after DSEI 2015 and fortunately they hired me. Once I proved that I was capable of opening 5,000 return to sender envelopes while the rest of the team were on-site at Twickenham, I got made a more permanent fixture and moved onto the VIP/Defence Engagement team working across our whole portfolio. I’m now the VIP delegation manager; reporting into our head of defence engagement, coordinating our VIP programme from invitation to registration to on-site management, and even have two staff working under me.
I love the social side of the events industry; it’s like one big crazy family! I also love the feeling of being on-site and seeing what you’ve worked so hard on for a year or two come to fruition.
The biggest topic that needs addressing in the industry is talent retention. Sounds like an odd topic to point out as a 27-year-old but the churn that I have witnessed in my short three years in the industry seems both unsustainable (another big issue) and unproductive.
Fridays usually start with a little session down the King’s Arms with the Clarion lot. In summer I’m usually up early on a Saturday morning to watch the All Blacks game and then Sunday is clearly roast time, no matter what Anglophone country you’re from.
My last holiday was back home to New Zealand over Christmas. I went home for almost a month to see family and show my girlfriend what New Zealand is all about.
DSEI is my favourite event that I work on at Clarion. The scale of the show is unbelievable and the engagement I get to have with both Government and MODs is always exciting and keeps you on your toes.
I’ve broken my left arm twice and have both New Zealand and Dutch passports. EN