How has your first year at TEN6 been?
It’s been good yeah, I started August of last year, so it’s been about 15 months which to be honest has flown by. The big thing has been noticing the difference from when I started and there being only three of us to where we are now, to go from Matt’s bedroom to the office in Victoria in that time and to see the direction the company is going in is incredibly exciting. With the addition of Max as new Commercial Director and a couple more key employees coming in the next couple of months, I actually think the next 12 months will be more interesting than the last.
Tell us a bit about your current role…
I am an account manager/project manager, which means I get to work with the client all the way from the very first briefing call right through to the delivery and execution of a project. The beauty of my role is that I get to see a project all the way through and get exposed to multiple different touch points where some may only work on a piece of the puzzle, I get to see it all come together. Being able to take a few notes or a quick sketch that I have done and see that develop and grow with the help of the creative team or the production team into a physical experience is the most rewarding part of the job. it’s very important for me to be part of that process to make sure that we don’t only match the initial brief but surpass it and the only way to guarantee this is to stay involved the entire way through including being there on the day of delivery.
What were you doing before you joined TEN6?
I have kinda done a bit of everything…I did a degree in Television and Radio Journalism at Sunderland University which naturally lent itself to my first job which was as the marketing and events intern at Sunderland Football Club, a seamless transition as you can imagine. I was there around a year and a half working to deliver and execute some of their large-scale music concerts for the likes of Rihanna, Bon Jovi and One Direction. I also helped to market the club on match day, so coming up with creative ways to encourage match attendance and improve the fan experience which, bearing in mind Sunderland were near the bottom of the Premiership was more difficult that you would have thought. I got the opportunity to dress up as Samson the Cat (the official club mascot) for the FIFA team photo, I am however unable to prove this so you will just have to take my word. From there I moved back to Kent and back in with my Mum and Dad in order to save some money to go travelling, after a year of working as a teaching assistant in a primary school I packed my bags and headed to Central America for a year and a half flitting between Mexico and Costa Rica, living the life with very little cares in the world until I got that dreaded phone call from my parents saying I think it’s time to come home and start my adult life… SO that’s what I did, back to Kent and back to the primary school while I looked for a job in marketing which I found at my last Agency McDonald Butler. This finally allowed me to get out of Mum and Dad’s and make the big move to London town where I worked for 18 months as an account manager looking after clients within the tech industry. Matt then asked me to come along on a project as an extra pair of hands to assist with breakout sessions and by the end of the week had convinced me to pack in IT marketing and come join him at TEN6.
So far, what’s been the most memorable part of your career?
That’s a tough one, instantly I go to my time at Sunderland where we opened One Directions European tour at the stadium. At the time they were the biggest band in the world, and this was the biggest tour they had ever done, and we were venue number one, so we had to get it right, which thankfully we did. I worked with our stadium planner to design a completely new ingress and egress system which proved so successful it was taken on by other stadiums later in the tour which is a pretty cool thing to say. Also having the opportunity to sit in the managers dugout one evening after work and watch them rehearse is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. In terms of TEN6, it would be a job for LS&Co. earlier this year where I stage managed the general session and because of that got the opportunity to meet some incredible guest speakers, professional athletes, CEO’s and just generally very inspirational people. But also, the messages that LS&Co. we’re sharing all really resonated with me and left me wanting to make a difference in my life too!
What do you enjoy most about working so closely with our clients?
Problem solving, not to say our clients are problems, but that taking a brief that in your head you may be thinking is near impossible and finding different ways to deliver it is incredibly exciting. With expectations constantly growing and on the whole budgets declining, it is becoming harder and harder to match those expectations but that is part of the challenge and coming up with alternative options and new ideas keeps us on our toes! I enjoy asking why, why is something done this way? Why do you want this? It is important to question things that may never have been questioned before in order to gain a full understanding of what it is the client is trying to achieve and then working with them to see if there might be a better way to achieve it.
If money wasn’t a factor what would be the dream job?
I think it might just be too late to be Chelsea’s number 9, they probably would have discovered me by now, however should anyone from Chelsea’s scouting team happen to read this, I play 7-aside every Monday night at Goals in Sutton. Aside from that I really enjoy painting but don’t find the time to do it, so if I could spend my days doing that, I think I would be a happy man!
Where do you look to regular inspiration?
I think it is important to take yourself out of the norm of the event press and other industry events for inspiration, I love the theatre so going to shows, attending exhibitions or even just going somewhere new could show you something new. Of course, keeping up to date with event trends is essential but rather than just seeing what other brands and agencies are delivering, there might be something completely different you see at a gallery that you haven’t seen before. I was at the Tate Modern a couple of weeks back and seeing the Olafur Eliasson, In Real Life exhibition was incredibly interesting, especially when some of it was so simple yet so effective! London is a great place to live and has so much to offer in the way of inspiration that it would be silly not to make the most of it!
Desert Island Disk:
I did this a few weeks back on a road trip and I was allowed eight, so picking only one will be tough, but I have to go with Papa’s got a brand-new bag, James Brown as it always brings a smile to my face.
Favourite place to travel to:
My favourite has to be my Summer Camp, in Pennsylvania where I spent five summers and is my happy place, so shout out to Camp Wayne! But in terms of place I have travelled, there is an island off Belize called Quay Caulker which I can only describe as paradise. White sands, clear warm water and the greatest sunset I have ever seen which I got to watch every evening with a cold beer in my hand and one of my best friends sat next to me.
A vanilla ice-cream milkshake made with Mackie’s ice-cream (other brands are available) when I had my tonsils out around 15 years ago, they were all I could handle and used to take a long time to drink whereas now I finish one in a matter of minutes.
When I do do Karaoke, I have become known for doing the same track a fair few times, which is Proud Mary by Tina Turner, I am dangerously close to doing a Rick Astley and being a one hit wonder though so I may have to branch out into other genres.
Fact that surprises people:
I don’t know if this is that surprising for anyone that knows me, but I once played the back end of a horse in pantomime.
Thanks Chris, I think we got to learn a lot about you there and when we have a company big enough to put on a Christmas pantomime, we know who we will be coming to to play the horse!
Why don’t you check out the rest of our get to know series when we sat down with Business manager Leigh and Senior Designer Will.