With Hawthorn being the exclusive rigging provider at EventCity, as well as a preferred supplier for all technical production services, there’s never a dull moment for our Manchester based Project Manager Neil. Based at the venue, Neil is our go-to-guy for all things EventCity so we caught up with him during some rare downtime to find out what life’s like at the second largest event space outside of London.  

So, you’ve got over 20 years of industry experience, how did you start out?

Like many people in this industry, I started out by getting involved with an amateur dramatics group at school and through that decided to specialise in technical theatre. I then got a job as an Entertainment Technician at Alton Towers, working on everything from ice shows, theatre production, dark rides and hotel events. From there I went on to work at Birmingham Hippodrome before deciding to go freelance. I first encountered Hawthorn when I was part of the LX crew on The Chemical Brothers “Push the Button” tour and they were supplying the equipment. After relocating from London a few years prior, I took the opportunity to work full-time for the company in 2014 when a job was created based at EventCity, Manchester.

You head up our events at EventCity, what do you think makes it such an amazing venue?

Definitely its versatility! EventCity is basically a great big box that acts as the perfect blank canvas for creative event organisers to come in and run completely wild. The only limit with the space really is your imagination. It also has a great location right in the centre of TRAFFORDCITY meaning it has great transport links and is surrounded by an excellent range of hotel, retail, leisure and entertainment facilities.

So, what’s your favourite thing about your job?

The fact that no two days are ever the same. There’s such a wide range of jobs that we have come through the doors of EventCity and each one brings its own unique set of challenges. You never know what each day will bring and I really thrive on that. I’m constantly meeting new people and building great relationships with our regular clients which is another reason why I love my job.

If you had to give some advice to someone who is looking to get started in the industry, what would it be?

You need to be open-minded, flexible and most importantly, willing to learn. In this industry, there’s so much education to be taken from working on a job that you just can’t get from a classroom. You need to take the time to listen to the people you’re working alongside and learn from their experiences.