In the latest instalment of our executive interview series, we sat down with The Delegate Wranglers Founder and Event Agency Forum speaker Neil Thompson about his career in events, industry issues and Stranger Things…
Tell us a little bit about your career to date and your current professional focus…
I’ve been an Event Manager since 1999 with my own company since 2005. Traveling the world organising and managing mostly pharmaceutical events, I’ve had a lot of experience in the industry of different hotels, venues, cultures and clients. I’ve been running the Delegate Wranglers as a business cince 2016 and I’ve enjoyed every single second of the journey and the positive impact we are making to the industry.
You are a panellist at this years Event Agency Forum, what do you believe are the benefits of attending an event like this?
It is really good to connect with agency staff as many of them are members of the Delegate Wranglers. It’s great to get some ideas and opinions from people I haven’t met, but who use the group.
Congratulations on recently winning M&IT’s personality of the year, how does it feel?
Thank you. It’s amazing – I had no idea I was going to win it and to receive this recognition from my peers was a real unexpected honour. It really means the world to me. Thanks to everyone who voted.
If you had not taken the career route to become a professional in this area, what would you be doing right now?
My dream job would have been in professional sport – I was a semi-pro footballer in my younger days and I would have loved to have played for my beloved Liverpool!
What topics do you believe will be trending within this industry over the next 6 months?
As well as many technical things, I think the focus will be massively on the delegate experience – how we can improve it and make follow up after an event even more joined up, given the things technology should allow us to do by then.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
I love the use of RFID technology in badges – so much fun and useful stuff you can do with it
In 2023 we’ll all be talking about…?
How cloud storage problems and wifi connections are but a distant memory
Which person in, or associated with, the industry would you most like to meet?
Not one person inparticular – I love meeting people in the industry with a fresh attitude or approach to something – who make me think about things differently.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the 2019 M&IT Personality of the Year – it absolutely blew me away to receive that award.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
‘Make it Happen’ – I’m a big believer in this and I tell my children this all the time. Don’t wait for it to happen – make it happen!
And what advice would you give someone looking to forge a career in this industry?
Make yourself invaluable to your clients – they’ll keep coming back and will be huge advocates for you.
You go to the bar at the event – what’s your tipple of choice?
Although I’m not a huge drinker – a Vodka, Lime & Lemonade or a Peroni will always go down nicely
Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?
Stranger Things every time – as a child growing up in the early 80s, the period references are absolutely spot on!
Neil will be speaking at the Event Agency Forum on November 23th – Click here to find out more!