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60 seconds with… Top Banana’s Richard Bridge

A true Top Banana and one of the original now 50-strong team of bananas, Richard Bridge teamed up with business partner Nick Terry back in 1999 with the aim of creating events that made a difference for their clients’ business. That focus for the agency remains unchanged to this day and Richard says he’ll never tire of working with clients to create those wow moments and the memories that make a message stick, long after the event is over.

Brand promise
Top Banana has a unique identity and personality, which comes from the very special group of people who work there. Everyone in the business shares the same ethos and the overwhelming desire to be the best they can possibly be. It’s a very fun, uplifting and positive environment which enables us to deliver brilliant events for our clients. We work hard to build really strong relationships – with clients and suppliers – which helps us to keep improving what we do.

What’s trending
Individualism is much more apparent in the event sector. Looking after the individual’s experience, rather than treating people as a group. Attention to detail and the experience are still key, but it’s more about understanding the audience we’re working with. Trust and authenticity are vital in terms of message – delegates will follow leaders they believe in, rather than just corporate mantra.

Luxury defined in 140 characters
Showing you care, quality and attention to detail

Townhouse or treehouse?
It depends. It has to be fit for purpose … if I’m looking to relax and reflect then a treehouse, but if I need to be focused and driven, then a townhouse.

The bucket list
Azerbaijan interests me and is somewhere I’ve never been. South America also intrigues me … understanding the cultures and boundless opportunities and possibilities there.

Last meal
A Thai meal (a medley of seafood to be specific) in my hometown.

Old fave
I quite like the Rosewood in London. But – whilst it’s not technically classic – my favourite is Cowley Manor … a traditional building but with tasteful quirkiness.

Proud moment
When we hired the Forbidden City for a dinner and had 150 waiters serve 150 guests simultaneously. Looking down the steps at the ancestral temple and thinking ‘wow, we did that’!

Bragging rights
Working with President Clinton and numerous other celebrities. I get to travel the world, meeting and making new friends.

It’s all in the detail
Being able to read the room is really important. Many times you’re watching what’s going on and reading people and it’s knowing that the CEO doesn’t like champagne and would prefer a beer. it’s almost like being a concierge and knowing what people need, before they know they need it and without them ever knowing that you’re doing it.

Best source for inspiration
My inspiration comes from many places. Working with lots of different businesses and people definitely influences me. I like to travel and see the world meeting people and cultures but also get inspiration from helping clients solve problems and seeing it working out in practice.

Aperol or agua?
For me it’s got to be a Grey Goose Le Fizz.

Final word
I feel really blessed to do and see the things I do. I often have to pinch myself! It can be challenging and hard work, but I wouldn’t do anything else.

You can meet with Richard at inVOYAGE 2017.

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