Trevor Foley Highlights the 10 Best Memories in tfconnect’s 10 Years in the Events Industry
In 2008, Trevor Foley called upon his many years of experience in the events industry to form a company dedicated to delivering impactful ‘value-add’ services to the sector – from running senior level industry events to sourcing top talent. Since then, tfconnect has been committed to helping events businesses of all shapes and sizes achieve their goals and rise to the challenges of an ever-changing, global landscape. As the events industry’s recognised international talent recruiter with a focus on senior executive search, we are in a unique position of having candid and close relationships with the best senior talent in the industry.
2018 marks tfconnect’s 10 year anniversary, and with that comes 10 years’ worth of great memories.
Here are MD Trevor Foley’s top 10 highlights of the last 10 years:
The early support I received from the industry in moving from talent finding as a favour to providing it on a commercial business. What once was a box of chocolates or a crate of wine as a thank you changed to a paid invoice – which is how tfconnect came about!
In 2008 I was asked by several international industry players to launch the Global Event Summit to keep pace with the globalisation of the events industry. It was a huge success and at the end of the first evening, a Senior Exec from Messe Berlin told me that the evening entertainment was the best he’d witnessed in years…followed by ‘if we had done this in Germany, the police would have been called by now!’ I went on stage to share this with the audience which received a LOUD round of applause! The entertainment might have involved a certain Chris Hughes….
In February of 2011 I was invited to a meeting at London Heathrow Airport to discuss the launch of an event for international event logistics specialists. At the time the only other event of its kind restricted its audience to association members, excluding about 90% of potential participants, and making it hard for anyone outside their inner circle to benefit. So this group of individuals who literally traveled from all over the world – USA, China, Italy, Germany and the Middle East – set out to change this.
At the end of the meeting I asked the obvious question: ‘OK, so when do you want it to take place?’ The answer? May! Just three months away. I insisted everyone stay for a working dinner and commit to how we would share data, generate sponsorship, choose content and make it a success. That night, we chose the event name and booked the domain online – Event Logistics Live was born! Then, from the dinner table, I called on ExCel’s Chairman’s Kevin Murphy and, within an hour, found a space and a date that worked. In just 13 weeks, we made it all happen! Event Logistics Live went on to have a successful lifecycle of 4 great years until the industry association, quite rightly, changed its membership rules.
Isn’t it cool to be able to build a team of people who not only are great colleagues to have, but who have become great friends, too? I know this is true of so many businesses within our industry.
tfconnect Family: Life in The Barn
The persistence of Woodgate Insurance’s then MD, John Harrison, in convincing me to meet to discuss a partnership whereby tfconnect would act as an ‘introducer’ of specialist insurance within the events sector. At the time I couldn’t help but think: ‘insurance…how dull can that be?’, but in reality this was a product with a virtuous circle adding value to organisers and exhibitors alike. If you are not familiar with it, give me a call!
Being invited last year by industry legend Hakan Gershagen to join a group of industry luminaries on his wonderful boat to set sail off the west coast of Sweden.
The ever growing strengths of friendships forged with senior players in the industry – much more important than the commercial side. For example, the industry cycling group is not only hugely challenging, but also great fun and has raised around £80K for charity over the last 5 years…which leads me to Number 3…
A timely meeting with the madman that is Chris Hughes of Brand Events just after he got off the plane from Uganda, having amazingly sponsored 200 children to go to school! That breakfast meeting led to us launching Events for Namuwongo which, in raising nearly £1m from our wonderful industry, transformed the lives of more than 20,000 occupants of the slum village of Namuwongo in Uganda.
Realising this year that my business and social circles have become one and the same thing! I guess, why wouldn’t this be the case after 25 years in an industry with like-minded people! I’ve never stayed in a job I’ve not liked, and what’s not to love about our world?
And last but by no means least, my Number 1 highlight is Immaculate Kiiza’s amazing speech on the impact that our industry’s generosity has had on the people of Namuwongo. Raising this money has had a ‘priceless’ impact on the lives of many thousands of people and as an industry, we should be hugely proud of what we’ve done. We were subsequently told we had created a legacy that would last for generations and, best of all, it has given their people the dignity they deserve. We captured all of Immy’s speech below – it’s well worth a watch!
The support for Namuwongo continues
The last 12 months have seen further improvements to the quality of lives and standards of education for our adopted community, as well as essential support for the maintenance of the key projects that our industry’s generosity made possible in the first place, such as installing toilets and recycling centres, and clearing rubbish.
Hundreds of staff from EFN Patron companies have taken part in runs, cycles, treks and other fundraising activities to raise additional funds to support vulnerable children in Namuwongo.
Have a look at the latest fundraising challenges and see how you can take part!