Q&A: Liam Quinn, Richmond Events
The IT director - and member of the Leader Board - discusses the challenges he faces and how he joined the IT industry.
Describe your role in three words.
Exciting. Varied. Mundane
What does your current role involve?
The primary focus of my team and I is to ensure that all our events run smoothly for our clients. During our busy periods (April June, September November) all our time is spent focusing on the events and making sure all the systems are set-up and running correctly.
Outside of this period, I focus on how we can change and improve our overall offering by adapting our systems.
I also spend a lot of time looking across all our offices and events to try to identify, improve and communicate best practice between all the business units.
How did you arrive at your current role?
I saw an advert 'Network manager wanted for company that organises events on cruise ships.' I was so intrigued I had to apply. That was 16 years ago and the rest, as they say, is history!
Did you always want to work in IT?
No! I wanted to be an Electrical/Electronic Engineer. I love designing and developing solutions from conception and development in the lab, through testing, production design and all the way through to delivering a final solution to the customer.
What do you enjoy most about your role/working in IT?
The variety. Whilst there are regular, mundane tasks to do, there is a lot of "thinking outside the box". Our whole proposition is based around our bespoke software.
We're constantly trying to enhance it and improve our overall offering to our clients, without spending a lot of money. This invariably involves being creative with data and trying lots of new things.
And what is your least favourite aspect about your role/working in IT?
Repetition. All our events use the same systems and processes. The audience changes, the conference programmes are very different and the venues are spread over two continents.
However, when you've done the same task for the 38th time in a year, it get's a little bit boring, especially when you know you have to do it again in less than three month's time for the first event of the following year.
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