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Meet Jonathan Byrne, COO at No 4 Hamilton Place (The Royal Aeronautical Society)
I have worked here for two and half years and it has been fantastic. I am so lucky, I have a superb job.
I’ve been in the events industry for 22 years.
My first events job was as food and beverage manager at The Old Ship Hotel in Brighton. After two and half years, I moved into a sales manager position.
I’ll always remember the party conferences. They were fascinating in how much they each differed. The Conservative Party conferences were a rally of the faithful, whereas Labour conferences were always a lobbying situation.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt so far is to curb your own ego and communicate with people.
People always comment on how the venue fulfils its potential and the promises made during booking
I’m inspired by the creativity and inspiration that I pick up from people involved with ISES (International Special Events Society). People who work in the events industry tend to be quite generous and supportive. Through ISES, people are prepared to give back.
The best advice I ever received was in two parts; firstly, my father, who convinced me to go to university when I didn’t know what to do with my life. Then in my 20s someone said that the most difficult part of the job is managing people. You get to a stage in your career where you have less of a need to prove things and you want to share your experiences.
You may be surprised to hear that my brother is the creative director for Syco so he runs the likes of X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. I was lucky enough for him to come to me and say: ‘will you help me to do what I’ve always wanted to do’ – which is manage pop stars. He put the pop group Steps together.
This year, I’m looking forward to us being Japan House during the Olympics. The most memorable event I ever put on was a 60th birthday. I organised canapés and Champagne on the Orient Express out to Hampton Court. We then had a banquet in Henry VIII’s Great Hall, followed by fireworks, a private military tattoo performance and then the Orient Express back to London.
My motto is life’s a performance, not a rehearsal.
Venue review of No 4 Hamilton Place.
Venue review of the Roof Terrace at No 4 Hamilton Place.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events Magazine, spring 2012