My Working Life by Adam Aston

Adam Aston, group sales director at Thorns on meeting his wife and friends through the industry, ’shelf’ schemes and appearing in a Guns N’ Roses video.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Adam-Aston-NEW-resized.jpg

I am officially known as a cockney, I was born within the sound of bow bells at Whitehapel.


I used to live in Edgware, went to school in Middlesex and was probably a nightmare to teach – I didn’t really channel my loudness until I got into sales.


We moved to Chigwell, home of Birds of a Feather, when I was eight, where I found my spiritual home in Essex.


My dad had a wholesale business selling bags and luggage in the likes of Petticoat Lane and Roman Road.


I left school thinking I was going to take over the suitcase and luggage empire, but that plan didn’t last very long. We got out when there was a property boom.


I learned a few lessons about working with family. You have to make some definitive and sometimes quite harsh business decisions.


What I did grow up around and surrounded myself with was people who had done well for themselves. They were entrepreneurial and just found their way in life.


I’ve naturally got a big mouth and was given a job in a call centre, selling anything from mobile phones to conservatories to kitchen windows.


Thirteen years ago, I wanted a completely different environment in which to do sales, so I went for an interview and fell in love with the idea of exhibitions but didn’t know much about the industry.


When I first started, I thought it was ‘shelf’ scheme.


I had a baptism of fire when I turned up onsite for a build at the ICE exhibition in a suit. After wheeling round some barrows of furniture, I’d ripped my suit in three different places. That taught me.


In this industry, you’re either in it for five minutes or for the rest of your life. I know I’ll be in it for the rest of my life.


I have literally paved my life through events. I met my wife through the industry, I’ve made some great friends and I’ve travelled the world in the job.


I haven’t found a TV career yet, although I got through the first round of The Apprentice nearly 10 years ago. They ask you to take a four-month sabbatical from work so I had to step out.


I appear briefly in the Appetite for Destruction tour video for Guns N’ Roses. This was about 20 years ago when I had long hair, an earring and was jumping up and down on someone’s shoulders.


I was made to cut my hair by my friends. It was my trademark but it was absolutely terrible.


In my vanity and in preparation for my holiday in Miami this year, I was training a lot in the gym. I was probably focusing on the wrong thing and dropped a 15k weight and shattered two toes.


All jokes aside, it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life going up on stage at the EN Awards, open to being completely ripped apart with a big boot on. Not my most defining moment.


My twin boys of 13 both play football, so most of my weekends are spent by the side of a football pitch.


They’re growing fast, I don’t know what gene they got but they’re already as tall as me.


I never want to break away from the sales side of our business.


Hopefully in years to come, I’ll be even more successful at what I do. Do I want to take over the world? No. Do I want to be the best at what I do and earn good money? Always.

 

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Tim Banfield leaves ACC Liverpool for Doncaster Racecourse

Tim Banfield has left his post of commercial director at ACC Liverpool and undertaken a new challenge as executive director at Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre.

Reed launches SUMS alongside All-Energy 2017

The inaugural Smart Urban Mobility Solutions (SUMS) exhibition and conference will co-locate with All-Energy 2017, organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced.

Full Circle Events expands with new Midlands office

Full Circle Events has announced the opening of its new office in Coleshill, Warwickshire to support the on-going expansion of the business.

Elsewhere on EN

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

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.
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.
2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

Sarah Mayo, marketing director EMEA, Freeman and FreemanXP talks about her new role, playing golf with Westlife and the skills needed in our industry.

Latest News

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.

Latest Opinions

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.