My Working Life by Adam Jones

The Showplans CEO on extreme sports, the firm’s achievements and his fifteen minutes of fame on TV.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Adam-the-Jones-NEW-resized.jpg

I was born in Carmarthen, South Wales on Christmas Day 1980, ruining my mum’s Christmas dinner. We did make the front page of the South Wales Evening Post for her plights though.


We moved to a small Somerset town called Wincanton. Many have misconceptions that there’s nothing to do, but my experience couldn’t have been further from that.


I was quite naughty at school and was probably a bit of a rebel, but it’s all relative; at my school you were seen as naughty if your shirt wasn’t tucked in.


That said, I did once get suspended for being caught in the girl’s dormitories.


I answer to many nicknames, none of which are appropriate for publication but some of the less explicit nicknames are Bones, Joner or Joneser.


I’ve never been afraid to get my hands dirty. During the summer holidays I worked on an organic farm, initially picking weeds out from between crops. By the end of the holidays I’d been promoted to tractor driver at the age of 14.


I used to be into some extreme sports. I still like downhill mountain biking and I try to visit Wales with uni friends when possible but the climbs get harder every time and my confidence outweighs my ability.


I am a big F1 fan and would love to drive in a competitive race series. I’m sure there’s still time for my F1 racing career to take off…if anybody fancies sponsoring me?


I was 28 when I started Showplans with Richard Dove. We had a couple of thousand pounds of savings between us, which we used to buy two AutoCAD licences and a couple of PCs.


Initially Showplan’s HQ was my one-bedroom bungalow in Fleet – unlike Google, Microsoft and Amazon we didn’t even have the luxury of a garage to start our business from.


We had a few amazing clients to start with, most of whom are still clients to this day, including National Boat Shows, Media 10 and William Reed to name a few.


We had a vision to design technology solutions for the industry that would make organisers’ lives simpler and more efficient.


We also wanted to take on the big boys who offer floorplans for free and demonstrate that floorplans can unlock the full potential of a show – a service well worth paying for.


We’ve steadily grown over the last seven years to a team of ten, now working from a real office in Surrey, where we even have space to display our three EN Awards and an AEO Award with great pride.


Outside of work all my awards are mostly either football or driving related, I also have a medal for the U15’s Dorset and Somerset Javelin record.


I play football most Sundays, I find that it’s a great way to keep fit and let off steam, although those on the receiving end of one of my infamous slide tackles probably don’t enjoy the game quite as much as me.


I’ve been married for two and a half years to my lovely wife Jody, who I first met during university in Swansea.


We were both on the same Industrial Design course but only started dating in the last few weeks of our final year while exhibiting our major projects at the New Designers exhibition at the BDC.


I’ve probably had more than my fifteen minutes of fame.


I’ve been on Going Live in the 80’s; I was seen dancing to a Robbie William’s song on Top of the Pops in the 90’s; TFI Friday, and my most recent appearance was on The One Show during the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace.


I’m immensely proud of what Showplans has achieved, especially when considering we started with practically no money, a few ideas and a lot of coffee.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Mash TV goes live

Mash Media has launched a new online video service.

Tonight… The EN Awards!

It’s finally here! The biggest night of the exhibition industry calendar will take place at ExCeL London tonight, starting at 6pm.

Movers & Shakers 29/03/17

People moves at ACC Liverpool, Central Hall Westminster, GES and more.

Elsewhere on EN

Mash TV goes live

Mash TV goes live

Mash Media has launched a new online video service.
Tonight… The EN Awards!

Tonight… The EN Awards!

It’s finally here! The biggest night of the exhibition industry calendar will take place at ExCeL London tonight, starting at 6pm.
Rebrand and new name for Harrogate International Centre

Rebrand and new name for Harrogate International Centre

Harrogate International Centre will drop its current name and logo from April 2017, going under the new name of Harrogate Convention Centre.

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

Mash TV goes live

Mash TV goes live

Mash Media has launched a new online video service.
Tonight… The EN Awards!

Tonight… The EN Awards!

It’s finally here! The biggest night of the exhibition industry calendar will take place at ExCeL London tonight, starting at 6pm.
Rebrand and new name for Harrogate International Centre

Rebrand and new name for Harrogate International Centre

Harrogate International Centre will drop its current name and logo from April 2017, going under the new name of Harrogate Convention Centre.

Latest Galleries

MOI Global reigns supreme at agency bake-off

MOI Global reigns supreme at agency bake-off

B2B creative agency MOI Global triumphed at ExCeL London’s annual Great Agency Bake Off, which took place on 23 March.
London Book Fair 2017

London Book Fair 2017

From 14 to 16 March, more than 25,000 visitors from over 130 countries visited Olympia London for the 46th edition of The London Book Fair. A year of celebration, highlights included a tribute to The Wizard of Oz’s yellow brick road, the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, 70 years of Indian independence and much more.
LondonEdge celebrates 35th show

LondonEdge celebrates 35th show

Alternative fashion show LondonEdge returned to the Business Design Centre on 12-13 February, celebrating its 35th edition.

Latest Opinions

Smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors

James Moffat, head of event websites at LiveBuzz, shines a light on the smoke and mirrors surrounding SEO for websites.
This time, it’s personal

This time, it’s personal

Christine Martin, marketing director EMEA at GES, discusses how the live events industry can get ahead of the mass customisation curve.
The price of free speech?

The price of free speech?

RefTech’s Simon Clayton says letting speakers pay to host sessions might work once, but in the long term visitors will feel disappointed and duped.