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Interview with Sam Bury, Event Manager


Our very own Kiwi Sam Bury shares his personal experience in event management, starting from managing events in New Zealand all the way to events in sunny London.

Hi Sam, to start with, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Well to start with, I’m from New Zealand initially and have been living here in the UK for, on and off, the last 10 years. I have two young children who I plan on bringing up here in the UK. So that’s a little about me. I’m one of the Event Managers here at the centre and I help deliver events to our client’s satisfaction and succeed with what they expect from us at the centre.

How did you get into events management?

Ha! Well that’s an interesting one. I first got into events when I first arrived in the UK 10 years ago and started out working for a company that did staging, the big setups and also crowd control barriers. So I ended up spending a lot of my first year working at Wembley Arena and from there, I loved it so much I stayed on in the industry.

What was the first event you helped to organise?

The first event I was part of was an Elton John concert and then my first big event that I helped organise was the launch of a cultural exhibition back in New Zealand detailing the 150th year anniversary of the New Zealand land wars.

Tell us about the toughest event you have organised

There are a couple events that come to mind with different aspects but the toughest event would probably be the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. I managed one of the stadiums and we had a few issues months prior to the World Cup, being tasked on the project for 18 months and getting down to the nitty gritty details which got a little tough but we succeeded.

What’s the most memorable event you’ve managed?

The most memorable one……well I can probably take that in different ways in terms of the success of the event or how the public/crowd responded to it. I would say the Rugby World Cup was one of the most memorable event to be part of as it was on my home soil and I’m a passionate Rugby supporter. Another event which was very memorable was Martini’s 150th birthday party in Lake Como, Italy. We were in a nice villa by the edge of the lake and involved with the setup to make it an awesome event and it was magical in a number of different aspects.

What challenges do you most frequently face and how do you overcome them?

Probably the biggest one is time. That comes down to a lot of planning and gathering information. So that can be overcome but the challenge is you can’t avoid the time and there’s never enough of it.

What does it take to be a good event manager?

An understanding family (we both laugh) as there’s a lot of time being spent in events and it’s not always the typical 9-5 office hours. So patience from your loved ones and also patience with dealing situations as every industry is different and everyone has a different approach so that would be a good quality to have.

If you could do anything else, what would be your dream job?

I would have a vineyard and make wine.

As a Kiwi, what do you think of New Zealand’s chances of winning this year’s World Cup?

Quite good (we both laugh) I think we haven’t been challenged as of yet in terms of our pool play but based on our history and current world ranking, I think we’re in good shape to see it through.

Thank you for your time Sam. 

No worries.

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