Next under the spotlight in our 60 Seconds With… series, is influential event industry expert, Paul Colston. The Russian-speaking managing editor at Mash Media of Conference News and Conference & Meetings World (and fan of Everton FC) talks industry bugbears, spicy food and Al Pacino.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Unorthodox, multi-tasker, a good listener.
How long have you been in your role?
How did you get into the events industry?
Applied for a job at Mash Media – excited by a new project launch.
What do you like and dislike about the events industry?
I like the energy and entrepreneurial spirit. Dislike some of the rules and regs and procedures.
How has the industry changed since you first started?
It has really taken hold of technology as a driving force for innovation and incorporated CSR into its DNA. Booking agencies have had to justify their fees and services and every stakeholder needs to show ROI. Things have speeded up.
Best event you’ve been to?
Opening of Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
What have been your key achievements to date?
Turned Conference News into a leading industry magazine and worked as an interpreter alongside some famous names, including footballers and politicians.
Do you follow sports? Which team do you support?
The mighty Everton FC! COYB!!
What would be your last meal on Earth?
Probably mashed banana if I live long enough. Although I am partial to spicy food, so would probably go out with some habanero sauce in my borshch!
If there was a film about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Al Pacino might capture the lack of height, but hopefully add plenty of stature!
What do you do outside of work to let steam off?
Shout at any Under-17 opposition to AEK Athens in the Watford area football league. My son is a goalkeeper on Sundays there. I also enjoy East European food and travelling.
First song that comes to mind?
Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me). I have every song Steve Harley has recorded, I think.
What are your goals for 2015?
To continue to guide Mash Media’s conference portfolio editorial department to new heights and to see Everton make the Champions League. It would be good to see some of the world’s hotspots begin to cool, perhaps with a little help from the benefits of business tourism.