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They call me Wazza. At work, though, it’s Mr C.
My first break was when I moved to Jamaica after uni and landed my first job working for SuperClubs. It was there that I learned the most essential skills for a career in the events industry: always put the customer first, ensure you have just the right team around you and never rest on your laurels.
I’ve been GM of 15Hatfields since 2008.
The best advice I’ve received is to underestimate and over-deliver in business.
The best advice I’d give is to always treat your customer like gold, because word-of-mouth recommendations are the most cost-effective marketing tool. Over 50%of our customers come to us as a result of a referral.
I learned the hard way at an event while I was training for a year in Cyprus. A family wanted a safari dinner on a mountainside for 60 and I totally underestimated the planning and labour to manage an event 800 yards up a mountain. I had heart failure when I saw the location. Only agree what is logical and feasible to deliver!
I get inspired by National Geographic. I love films about nature – David Attenborough is a hero.
I love it when organisations stand up for what they believe and take risks. In 2007 the CIEH (15Hatfields’ parent company) took a gamble and gutted the ground-floor area of its headquarters to create our venue. It wanted to create the most environmentally friendly conference and event venue in the UK.
The best events I’ve organised were a floating fashion show at St Katherine Docks and the MTV International Christmas party.
If I could organise any event, it would be the next global climate-change summit. I’m ‘most likely to’ be found trying to motivate my team and looking to find out how we can improve our green credentials.
In my private life, I like hanging out with friends and planning my next holiday or trip to New York over cocktails. I’ve recently just joined the gym, so hopefully will be there more than in nightclubs.
My motto is life is for living, not existing.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, Autumn 2011