Encore values expertise, knowledge and most importantly, passion and strives to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
2022 saw Rob, Encore EMEA’s Director, Event Solutions, celebrate 20 years of service with the company. Having started his Encore journey as a technician fresh out of university, Rob worked his way up the ladder, gaining valuable on-site technical knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the complete event planning process in various project management roles. In recent years, Rob has been managing a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis and has transitioned his career to support his health journey whilst continuing to work in the industry that he’s so passionate about. In his current position as Director, Event Solutions, Rob uses his vast experience to support our Commercial, Production and Venue teams to deliver innovative event solutions for our clients across the EMEA region. We interviewed Rob to find out more about life at Encore, his career transition and why he’s chosen to be part of the Encore family for over two decades.
How did you start out in the events industry and what brought you to Encore?
“I showed a strong interest in lighting and sound whilst at secondary school and during this time, found myself getting involved with various drama productions which I always enjoyed. Then I went to college and studied electrical and mechanical engineering. During my studies, I got in contact with a local operatic society and started volunteering. After graduating college, I was all set for continuing my career in electrical and mechanical engineering, but then I found out about a ‘Live Performance Technology’ degree course that covered sound and lighting for the live events industry. I decided that this was the direction I wanted to take so I enrolled. At the end of that course, I secured an interview at Encore as a technician. 20 years later and here we are! It’s safe to say the interview was a success.”
What is your current role and how did you get there?
“After many years on-site working as a technician and then a project manager, I became a Project Director in 2017 and supported our talented Production team to deliver events in the UK. Around 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system, and for a few years I was able to continue as I had been. However, I found that my symptoms started to exacerbate, and I became a full-time wheelchair user. The team here has always been very supportive and worked with me to see how we could adjust my working life to support this. Encore values expertise, knowledge and most importantly, passion and strives to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. They didn’t want to lose me, so we developed a new position that allowed me to support our Commercial, Production and Venue teams with the experience I’d gained ‘out in the field’ that also better supported my MS journey. This enabled me to carry on living my passion for production and delivering incredible events by innovative event solutions.”
What’s your experience of Encore now that you’re part of the Commercial team?
“It’s great to be part of the Commercial Team now and use my onsite experiences and understanding of the business capabilities to support different teams to make genuinely informed decisions. The biggest shift for me has been that I need to think wider now I’m part of a global team. I am working with colleagues all over the world, and even now I sometimes forget that they are in a different country, with a different time zone. They all have a similar mindset to me and are passionate about what we do. It’s good to share our challenges and come up with innovative event solutions collectively to try support the business. Looking back to the start of my journey with Encore, the evolution of the company has just been astronomical since then. This business is ever evolving and this, along with the great people I work with, has kept me with Encore for over 20 years.”
From your personal experience, which role does diversity play at Encore?
“Honestly, this is a hard one to answer for me because I don’t really see it as an issue. As I said before, Encore fosters a diverse and inclusive environment and our teams really reflect this, with people from different backgrounds, situations, and faiths. If you’ve got a passion for what you do and you’re good at your job, then you’re going to do well. For me, it is more of a challenge to physically get to other offices or attend events. But the drive to do that and attend events is still there and a lot of that comes from my colleagues. It’s a great feeling to deal with all these different people across the globe, living similar passions to mine. Being a part of such a big company gives you the opportunity to make a change, whether that’s a career shift or a need due to individual circumstances. Valuing people, flexibility, and the willingness to innovate are certainly strong points of the business. I’m very grateful for that.”
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