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Welcome to the team at the January Furniture Show, could you tell us a bit about your background prior to this role?
Thank you – it’s great to be a part of such a fantastic and experienced team! You’ve picked the perfect time to ask, as next week will mark 30 years of my time in the world of events. All those years ago I started selling on The Ideal Home Show and across the countless events since, I have even run a successful dry-cleaning trade event! Most recently I was event director for Home & Gift Harrogate, the much -loved giftware show that takes place in July.

What drew you to the role at Clarion Events and the January Furniture Show?
The people, the market and the opportunity to assist the team with bringing their vision to life.

What would you say has been your greatest achievement to date?
For furniture, I’m only a couple of months into the role, but I’m very excited about a new investment that we’ve made in a visitor contact solution to help exhibitors and visitors interact even better than before. We’ll be talking more about this shortly, so ‘watch this space’ as they say!
And what have you been enjoying most about your role so far?
I keep going back to the people, but forgive me, I’m going to have to again! It’s a genuine pleasure to work with what is probably the most experienced team in the events business. Add to that the suppliers and buyers that I’ve met so far and I have to say I’ve never felt more at home.

How do you think this year’s JFS will compare to others, and what elements do you think will be particularly successful?
JFS is all about doing great business. Ensuring that will always remain the focus for the show is our shared goal and this edition will be about making sure that every potential buyer in the trade knows that they need to be with us for the show in January.

What’s the biggest take away you have from speaking to exhibitors in the furniture industry?
Simply that the show works really well and has the potential to work even better with the right approach. That fits perfectly with our aim to always keep furniture as the key focus of the show, whilst ensuring that buyers have more and more reasons to attend.
Is there anything that you think might be a standout feature of this year’s show? Are you able to offer a teaser of anything new from any exhibitors at this stage?
Understandably, exhibitors are keen to keep most surprises under their hats until nearer the time, but from what I’ve seen, visitors can expect as huge range of launches, special offers and great new ideas when they come to the show. Expect plenty of sneak-peaks and surprises via our new website between now and the show!

What measures are in place to ensure both high footfall and exhibitor attendance?
This year we have invested more than ever in promoting the show and reaching buyers via the ever-widening range of digital options available. Similarly, we are looking to engage with suppliers more than ever before to learn what they are looking to achieve and help them with that.
 With the launch of our new, product-heavy and very interactive website, combined with the exciting visitor/exhibitor contact system that we’ll be revealing shortly, more than ever this year is all about building profitable relationships.

In your opinion, what makes a show successful and how do you measure it?
Shows are all about getting a return on investment for exhibitors and more than ever our job is to bring buyers and sellers together to create the perfect atmosphere in which they can achieve this result.
We use the leading audience research company in the events world to engage with our visitors and exhibitors to analyse their reaction in the most detailed of ways.
Personally, I’m never happier than when I’m at the show and I stop and listen for a few moments… If there’s a vibrant ‘hum’ in the air that means people are talking and if they are talking they are doing business – it’s my very own litmus test!
How will you be spending your first evening after the show has ended?
I’ve already planned to pick my 9-year- old son up from his mum, so it’s unlikely to be relaxing! However, when he’s in bed I’m likely to have my feet in a warm bath, cradling a glass of decent red wine, and enjoying a little silence…