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Emile Bolt, Event Manager

South African-born Emile Bolt started working at QEII Centre in September 2014. He has had an eclectic career, working in various roles including as a Bartender, as a Door-to-Door Salesman, Journalist, Sales Manager and Event Manager. His numerous jobs have taken him everywhere from South Africa, France, Scotland, Portsmouth and London.

Hi Emile, tell us about your first job when you arrived in the UK.

After a few bar jobs, I got an interview for Universal. I initially thought it was for the film company and this belief was somewhat reaffirmed when the interviewer told me that every year they performed a company play and this year they were thinking of having a farm theme and whoever got this position would probably play the part of  cockerel. He asked me if I could be a cockerel and I said yes and he said show me! I quietly said cockadoodledoo and he said he’d never seen such a bad cockerel in his life. So I stood up on the table and at the top of my lungs bellowed it out again. I got the job but… it turned out not to be for a film company but door-to-door sales! They moved us to Portsmouth and I ended up in a flat share with eight strangers. From seven in the morning to seven at night I knocked on hundreds of doors asking people to change their utility provider. I didn’t sell a thing.

I quickly left and I moved to the South of France.  There I did some landscaping and then I got a job for a start up company called Cityout Monaco, where I sold advertising to various companies. It was my idea to arrange several networking events each year, working with various hotels, and it was coordinating these events that reignited my interest in events (I had run some events in various bar jobs, both back home in South Africa and the UK too). I got a break when I got the job working on the Diamond Jubilee, which brought me back to London!  That job lasted seven months and it gave me lots of experience working on a large-scale event. I even met Prince Charles! After the Jubilee ended, we went to Clarence House for a few glasses of champagne and the Prince asked me what I did.  By this point I was a little tipsy and I said, ‘Er… we organised this big party for your Mother… I don’t know if you’ve noticed all the boats on the river?’

{We both laugh}

And that got me a job as an Events Executive for the royal unveiling of the Shard, where I met Prince Andrew. This is turn lead to working at C5 Communications, working as an Events Manager. We did 90 – 110 conferences a year worldwide. The role was office bound and involved remotely organising events in Australia to Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, South America, North America….  The time differences made it a challenge. I remember one day we did one conference in Sydney, so I would start at Nine O’Clock at night because of the time difference. Then the conference in Russia would start, which was Four O’Clock in the morning, English time. Then the English conferences would kick off. Then at Five O’Clock it was the Miami conference, then Las Vegas. That day I spent twenty eight hours in the office. So it could be pretty busy! And that job got me this role at the QEII. And here I am.

Here you are indeed! And outside of your career and events, what other interests do you have?

I play guitar, snowboard, skateboard, fishing, travelling…  Oh I like cooking too… well, I like the idea of cooking… I like eating.

(both laugh)

Finally, do you have any New Year resolutions?

My resolution in 2015 is to accomplish the goals of 2014, which I should have done in 2013 because I made a promise in 2012, which I began planning in 2011.

Quite the 5 year plan!


Thanks Emile


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