Capita Travel & Events (part of Capita plc) is an award winning business travel and events provider, with 6 offices across the United Kingdom. We spoke to Event Director, Andy Edwards, who shares his industry insights as well as why South Africa and the surrounding countries are inspiring him …..
What do you love about Capita Travel & Events?
In essence, it’s how we make our customers feel. From creating a memorable experience to providing a professional service leaving no stone unturned. We pride ourselves on exceeding customer expectations drawing on passion, creativity, technology and insight. As part of Capita, we have the support, scale and security benefits of a large company, with the event delivery of a small, personalised agency.
What is the best part of your current role?
The licence to be creative and the flex to be part of something big. Every day is a both a joy and a pleasure, working with some enviable customers and delivering quality time after time. The diversification of the role as an Event Director means I could be out the office pitching one day, and another onsite delivering a worldy event, managing exacting standards and customer expectations. I get to see some beautiful parts of the world and experience difference cultures and ways of life, for which I am eternally thankful.
Can you tell us about the event you’re most proud of having been professionally involved with?
Without question the BP Shipping Centenary Celebrations series of events in 2015. We expertly delivered six back-to-back events over a 3-month period across the globe, in Greenwich, Singapore, Houston, Chicago and Central London, finishing the series at the JW Marriott, Grosvenor House. The sheer gravitas of the events were huge, with the likes of Bob Dudley and previous CEOs all in attendance. The events were ground breaking as BP Shipping being the oldest, most established division in BP, were naturally the first sector to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The mix of logistics, production and tiniest detail to consider was beyond compare and feel so proud at organising such prestigious events. Not only were there logistics to think about, Capita was fully involved with the production of the Centenary collateral such as management of archives, exhibits and the book given out at every event. Subsequently, the events won Best Energy and Utility Event 2015 in the prestigious C&IT Awards, which is testament to all the hard work achieved.
Why would I place my event in your hands?
We have the expertise to offer a full end-to-end solution to all your event needs, whether it be logistics, production, creative solutions, unique ideas to delegate management and onsite event management, we have it all under one roof. We pride ourselves in our pool of talented professionals, geographically located all over the UK, favourable to venue relationships and promoting face-to-face meetings and a personal service.
Give us an example of a small detail that the client never sees, but can make all the difference to their experience.
Seeing beyond ‘what’s necessary’ is very important and key to building that trusted advisor status. For instance, by communicating with a supplier chosen specifically by the customer and not a partner of the agency. On some occasions, several suppliers are thrown together on-site at an event and the customer hasn’t made introductions in the pre-event planning stages. That can create logistical challenges and anxiety when really, you’re all there working towards the same goal – a successful event for the customer. I always feel that finding out who else is involved in the event and meeting with them away from those planning calls with the customer, can build relationships and collaboration that really aid in the success of the overall event.
Where in the world is inspiring you right now?
There are many, many inspirational places on this earth to go to on vacation because of its pure beauty. However, in the events world inspiration comes from everywhere and is very much subjective to the customer brief. For me South Africa and its surrounding countries truly inspire me – from not only a beauty factor but also the events and incentive potential. Africa has rubber stamped itself on the map for events, with inaugural industry events popping up left, right and centre; an expanse of leisure activities and incentives based on its environment offering unique and truly memorable experiences. Additionally, South Africa and neighbouring countries are collaborating to drive events into their continent at a rate of knots. From my visits to this wonderful continent, Africa offers something that money can’t buy, passion, uniqueness and memorable, inspirational events.