Agenda: Attracting and retaining talent

The exhibition industry is a diverse, creative and fast-moving sector, so what more can we do to attract and keep talent? The 2016 EN Race Day panel offer their advice and top tips.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Jason-Stead-NEW-resized.jpg

Jason Stead, managing director, UK, GES:

 

"When you talk to people it’s important to get a sense of their ambition; what they want to achieve and if it’s realistic. I tend to take people out for a drink. You can’t act for two hours over two pints. You do see people acting in interviews and I worry about that sometimes, it’s very stage-managed.

 

There is an image issue in terms of getting people through the front door, but once they get here it starts to make sense. You come across talent as you move across the industry. We have contacts with so many different organisations that people quite often approach us, or we’ll see people who are forming particularly well. Which brings up the subject of do you poach or don’t you poach? I’m also a big fan of trying to bring talent in from outside the industry. I think we could stagnate if we just keep recycling the people we’ve got."

Chris-Hughes-NEW-resized.jpg

Chris Hughes, CEO, Brand Events:

 

"We think that most of what we do is teachable, the one thing that you can give people is experience. The worst CV is someone who shows up with four jobs, all at brilliant companies, three years at each. They’ve worked at good places but they’ve never made it work. You could put a theory together for the event organising type. I think fundamentally we’re showy-offy, we’re very sociable, we like people, we see problems, experience them and get up again, we don’t get easily put off. We’re capable of hanging out with important people and we’re happy picking up dog sh*t.


I’m not into the three days a week thing. I want to employ people who are going to work really hard because they love their jobs. As a boss I’m not trying to make people relaxed, I’m trying to get huge amounts of commitment out of people because I want them to want to be doing it."

Jazmin-Beale-NEW-resized.jpg

Jazmin Beale, head of marketing and communications, Olympia London:

 

"You need to get under the skin of a person who’s only in front of you for maybe two hours across two weeks, and who is trying to show you their best side. I think it’s important to make sure that the people you’re trying to recruit are passionate, diligent and ambitious.

 

We take two placement students every year on the events management side. One of my bugbears is that it’s only ever for operations; it’s never someone that’s come in to do an event marketing degree or an event sales degree. Our venue director actually came from the placement scheme about twenty years ago. It’s good for us as a venue to work with the universities; I think the next step should be influencing course content."

Nick-UFI-NEW-resized.jpg

Nick Dugdale-Moore, business development manager, UFI:

 

"It comes back to the recognition from government and big business. We don’t speak with a strong enough voice but changing perceptions at a high level takes time. We’ve done big events really well, and so it’s not necessarily that exhibitions haven’t been pulling our weight, but we’re not as well known as other forms of live events.


Recruiting is tough, whether through the agencies or LinkedIn, you can’t really tell what someone’s like from paper. We all know that within a few seconds of meeting someone you’ve formed an opinion, and everything else validates that. It does boil down to values: it’s not rocket science what we’re doing but you do need people who can build a rapport."

 

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

In our monthly Alternative Venues feature, EN pays a visit to Stamford Bridge.

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.

Elsewhere on EN

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

CONFEX LIVE

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.

Latest News

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

Latest Galleries

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.
EN Awards 2017

EN Awards 2017

The best of the exhibition industry were out in force on 30 March at ExCeL London for the 11th annual EN Awards.
Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

The 2017 Natural & Organic Products Europe celebrated its 21st edition earlier this month (2-3 April) as well as attracting its biggest attendance yet to ExCeL London.

Latest Opinions

Apps – what are they good for?

Apps – what are they good for?

Exhibition apps are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, says Reftech’s Simon Clayton.
Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.