Next in the firing line is Matt Coyne, business development director at leading event registration, ticketing and data intelligence company N200, a GES Global Company. An avid WeBlogEvents guest blogger, fellow fan of sarcasm and industry personality, Matt tells us about Lassie playing him in a movie, Bruce Springsteen and the RedBull Soundclash.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Relaxed, tall, not from Somerset.
How long have you been in your role?
With N200 | GES for coming up to three years.
How did you get into the events industry?
As with everyone…I fell into it. I came from a sports publishing background and we used events to help engage even more with our readers. I liked working on a variety of events which I think is how I got into the dark (ahem, supplier) side of events. I also really wanted to get out of the watersports industry so that I could get back to enjoying them again without working in it 24/7. Most days you will still find me in shorts and sandals or driving to the beach like a bat out of hell to get into the water.
What do you like and dislike about the events industry?
The exhibition industry is like one of those underground social clubs that you enter with a secret handshake. No one outside of our world really understands what you do, or why you do it. At event time, you may disappear from friends completely for a few weeks – I’ve actually been asked if I’m a spy a few times (though probably not the most conspicuous one). If you disliked everything you weren’t too keen on in this industry – you wouldn’t be around for very long.
How has the industry changed since you first started?
Event formats haven’t themselves changed that majorly, though I think the added information and data that technology now provides us with and what can now learn about an event is really interesting and incredibly powerful to any event stakeholder.
The biggest change I’ve seen otherwise is the younger crowd coming through. A lot of people that started out at a similar time to me are now leading teams or shows or even organisers, so it’s great to see a younger generation moving up through the ranks. With that, there seems to be more options, like the EN Thirty Under 30, for the next generation to break into our industry too – it’s an exciting time!
Best event you’ve been to?
The Paralympics on our home turf were obviously amazing, but most recently I went to the RedBull Soundclash at Earls Court and it was pretty epic. Four teams including Rebel Sound (made up of Chase & Status, ShyFX & David Rodigan) battled it out across four rounds and pretty much started the destruction of Earls Court (too soon?). The energy in the air was heavy with expectations of surprises, counteractions, custom dubplates, the odd swear word and of course Rebel Sound topping it off with Trevor McDonald to win the night.
What have been your key achievements to date?
Lots of things I’m proud of including previously being chairman for a vibrant charity promoting Organ Donation (we won a few awards) and seeing the change in peoples attitudes towards it. There is still a long way to go though. (To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register, click here)
My most recent personal achievement is after getting caught out with some increasing surf, getting my boy on my back and getting a little barrel on the way back into the beach. I have dreamt of that moment for a very very very long time.
Do you follow sports? Which team do you support?
I watch quite a few different sports (surfing, F1, rugby, tennis, ice hockey) but I don’t follow a specific team. If it’s interesting I’ll watch it. However, if I could throw one thing into room 101, it would be to stop the assumption that just because you’re a bloke, you’re into football. I absolutely, positively, 100% DO NOT FOLLOW FOOTBALL… Or cricket for that matter…BORING.
What would be your last meal on Earth?
One of the best meals I had was floating on a dodgy Thai barge with all sorts of fish and prawns and mussels freshly caught and cooked in front of us, so I’d have that again followed by just about as much ice cream as I could possibly fit in my belly. And chocolate sauce. Lots and lots of chocolate sauce.
If there was a film about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
I have literally no idea. Maybe Lassie if she could come back. I mean that dog was adventurous, could get on with anyone and umm…yeah…next question.
What do you do outside of work to let steam off?
You might have guessed it… surfing. That and swimming. Both allow you to clear your mind of whatever is going on and regain some focus – unless of course there is a 3-year old with you trying to jump on your head…
First song that comes to mind?
For some reason… Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen. One of my older brothers used to rock out to this when I was a baby and it’s kind of never really left my head!
What are your goals for 2015?
Finish converting my old VW LT van. That and get everyone onboard N200 of course.