Meet our show makers

Meet our show makers

Behind every live RX event is a team of extraordinary operations and logistics specialists who are responsible for imagining and then creating the physical spaces where our customers connect, and magic happens. Without them, our shows simply couldn’t go on. We asked some of our ops team to tell us why they love their job, and to share some memorable moments.

Richard Askintowicz, Operations Director, USA

To try to explain the magic of working in operations I will always go back to the first New York Comic Con (NYCC) post-Covid.  The Javits Center required every individual that stepped foot in the venue to show proof of vaccination.  The challenge was how to verify over 150,000 people in a timely manner, in the heart of New York City, without bringing the area  surrounding the venue to a grinding halt. After weeks of searching, and with less than a month to the event, we stumbled across a vacant lot near the Javits Center.  It was in terrible shape, overgrown, with garbage everywhere – but unbeknownst to us, it was owned by the Javits. We immediately ran back to the venue and, on the spot, agreed a plan to vet the vaccination status of every NYCC attendee rapidly and accurately.  Colleagues from across RX US, led by our magnificent ops team, set to work clearing and transforming the lot, while others worked with the CLEAR app to upload vaccination credentials and create a world-wide vaccination verification document. This transformation was a huge success garnering significant media coverage and was replicated by other events at the time including the New York City Marathon. As to what I love most about my job, it’s the people I work with. We work many hours and travel so much together that we are more like family.

Jessamy Ganesh, Senior Operations Manager, UK

I’m proud of the reputation our UK operations team has amongst the supplier and contractor community.  The relationships we have built up with them over many years play such an important part in the overall success of our shows. Sometimes we joke about the stock of ‘ops fairy dust’ we have to help solve issues, but really, that fairy dust comes from our suppliers. We felt honoured when the effort we put into maintaining these important relationships was recognised by the ESSA (Event Supplier and Services Association) who awarded us ‘Best Organiser’ for our support to the supplier and contractor community during Covid. For me personally 2023 has been the most challenging and rewarding year in my entire career, which I wasn’t expecting at the age of 43!  Our UK operations team had the pleasure of organising Star Wars Celebration this year at ExCeL London, in partnership with our incredible US ReedPop colleagues. It was a real step out of our comfort zone and the way we normally run events as we were working alongside LucasFilms and Disney.  The onsite experience was amazing, build up went so much smoother than we were expecting, and seeing the joy on all the fans faces made the pre-show stress all worth it.  It was lovely that my 7 year old son could come to the show and see what mum does for work. For about a week I was a ‘cool mum’!

Antoine de Lestanville, Operations Manager, France

There are many things I love about my role as Operations Manager but finding innovative ways to make our events more sustainable, reduce our carbon footprint, and move towards zero waste is a mission that particularly motivates me, giving meaning to my work. For Renodays, Paris, a new trade fair dedicated to energy renovation in housing which we staged for the first time in September, our top priority was to set up an event totally focused on eco-responsibility. We offered a single eco-designed stand formula for all exhibitors, eliminating the use of carpets and partition coverings. We also favoured cardboard signage and used raw wood as well as rental materials for all the decorations and fittings. No single-use materials were allowed on the show site. In terms of catering, we offered more than 3,000 meals prepared on site, minimizing waste and opting for mainly vegetarian options. Our efforts were highly appreciated by our exhibitors and visitors, who gave Renodays a very high NPS (Net Promoter Score). I am extremely proud of the event format which combined aesthetics and environmental responsibility in a remarkable way and represents one of the best examples of what RX can do in terms of sustainability.

Kaoru Nagahama, Operations Chief, Japan

Our Japanese operations team boast many years of experience in event organizing and bring a lot of technical and creative know-how to our market-leading trade and consumer events. What I particularly enjoy about my job is the opportunity to make things happen onsite. Every audience is different, and every event is an opportunity to deliver a great customer experience. For example, Femtech Tokyo, which was held for the first-time in 2022, is an event focused on helping women take control of their health and wellbeing. In consideration of the fact that most of our exhibitors and visitors were women, we provided nursery services, stroller storage and children's play area for the first time at our events. We thought hard about the sensory experience of the venue, aware that the smells and flavours would need to accommodate the sensitivity of pregnant women. These and other considerations, such as the choice of colour scheme, all contributed to our high customer satisfaction score (NPS). Above all, watching our events being built and then rapidly dismantled to become an empty space again is a magical privilege that only the operations team can enjoy!

Lily Nutting, Operations Manager, Australia

I thrive off the energy and the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the events industry. My role is very broad, from the customer journey and in-depth planning of the event schedules (including content, features, sponsorship and supporting signage and digital displays) to networking with our suppliers and venues to ensure the execution meets the high standards we set. Although our team is small, it is also mighty! Most have been with RX Australia in operations for a very long time and sometimes it feels like we are a family more than a team, which is a testament to the love we share for the industry and the role. Some of my best memories are when we are all together onsite all doing what we love – even when there are speed bumps along the way. We share the same values and priorities, always testing ourselves to elevate the customer experience. I’m proud that RX leads the way for sustainable events in Australia, where our operations and logistics team are creating the blueprint, not only for organisers, but for contractors, suppliers, venues, and exhibitors. We relish their positive feedback, and the constructive and complimentary dialogue we have with them – especially when they tell us that when RX operations are in charge their job is much easier!

Team China

Like all great operations and logistics teams, RX China emphasizes teamwork over individualism. We recognize that success is best achieved through collaboration and cohesion – not forgetting, of course, clear communication! All these qualities were vital for our ability to deliver a ‘mega’ programme of seven co-located events in Shenzhen in October, including Automotive World China and Nepcon Asia, working with three event partners and across four RX Business Units – and all just days after a long national holiday in China. Spread across multiple offices, our operations teams swung into action, having worked closely together to map out detailed project plans, schedules, deadlines and workflows, and anticipate and address the varying needs of each event to deliver a consistent customer experience. The dynamic nature of operation’s work - managing tight budgets, constantly adapting plans, and dealing with unexpected onsite incidents - provides rich opportunities to develop our problem-solving skills and gain valuable experience, all of which contributes to our personal growth. Working in operations has its challenges, but being part of a united team that makes them come alive is incredibly rewarding!