How did you get into the events sector?
Lewis Field – I studied Integrated 3D Design at University, which gave me the chance to explore architecture, interior, lighting, product and furniture design. I couldn’t decide which discipline to specialise in as I enjoyed them all. Events gave me the chance to combine them all; you have to be flexible to be an exhibition designer. I instantly fell in love with the buzz, the fast pace of the industry and the variety of businesses that you work with.
What does your day job entail?
On a day-to-day basis, I am very much an active exhibition designer. My time is split between Nimlok’s Wellingborough HQ and our office in London where I manage the creative side of the design studio, working to develop the team and our service.
My role involves working closely with the sales team and regularly meeting with clients to either take briefs or present. I work with our marketing department when we showcase our own 3D design at events. Nimlok’s job is to ‘exhibit exhibiting’ so we have to ensure that we’re practicing what we preach to the very best effect.
As part of the R&D team, I’m involved in Nimlok’s NPD so that we make sure we know what developments are happening in the marketplace and we can stay ahead of the game. My role also has an international capacity within the P3 group that involves enhancing communication and sharing inspiration between the group designers globally.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing your creations realised, I always get a kick out of seeing our designs at shows. I recently hosted a series of global design workshops that inspired some wonderful creative ideas. Working alongside international designers was great fun and extremely rewarding.
What keeps you awake at night?
I have just moved house, so currently a very busy road in London!
Tell us about your proudest professional moment to date.
I am very proud of our fantastic team of designers. Nimlok is producing excellent creative work and that has been recognised in our recent AEO award for ‘Stand Design & Build Supplier of the Year’. A huge part of that win was about the outstanding client feedback we were able to include..
What’s the most unusual event you’ve worked on?
I have worked on a few unusual events over the years ranging from an advertising sculpture for Heathrow T5 to projecting onto a smoke screen entranceway for an experience at a tobacco company. More recently at Marketing Week Live we used over 500 fish suspended from a hall ceiling to create a shoal for a fishy-themed exhibition stand.
If you could work on any type of event, what would it be?
Something involving music, design, cricket and a beach …
What’s the biggest issue affecting the exhibition industry?
The biggest challenges are caused through lack of confidence to what is achievable at live events. The industry needs to keep evolving to create memorable experiences that last beyond the event. Contractors, organisers and venues need to offer a more consultative approach and be flexible to clients’ needs.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My college lecturer taught us the importance of knowledge when designing. ‘The design will only be as good as the information on the brief – the more we know, the better we can design.’
What advice would you give a new member of staff?
Listen, learn, enjoy and push yourself. Always refer to the brief and keep it simple.