Spotlight on... Simon Mayle, Event Director, Brazil


What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Be bold and use your voice (and give up smoking!) I knew I was gay when I was a teenager and even growing up in the 90s I was sometimes afraid to speak for fear of being judged or identified as a gay man. Now I can’t shut up and am pleased to be part of a company that values and celebrates what I have to say, not least as the Event Director of PROUD Experiences. If only I’d known then.

What did you wish to become when you grew up?

I wanted to be in theatre and to a certain extent that dream came true! I love putting on our shows, albeit slightly different to London’s West End or Broadway but there are a lot of similarities. You work incredibly hard, with a small number of people, producing something that’s not permanent and when the curtain closes it seems to have gone too quickly. Nevertheless, when the curtain opens it is a show and we put on the magic.

Who inspires you?

It’s great to be able to say – my boss of 10+ years, Alison Gilmore, as I feel her trust and unwavering support, but more over I am inspired by her vision, her incredible determination and ability to cut through the noise and make things happen. She also values the “theatre” and knows how to put on a show.

What’s your favourite app we might not have heard of?

Hmmm, should be some weight loss, exercise app, but it’s actually the Vivino app. You take a picture of the wine label and it gives you a Tripadvisor-style rating and average of the wine and allows you to store your favourites.

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

Becoming fluent in Portuguese later in life, having moved from the UK to Brazil for work in 2014.

What do you like most about your job?

People. We are a face-to-face business, I love getting to know our clients and their business, moreover shaping our business to deliver what they really want and need.

What is the most memorable event you have ever attended, and why?

PROUD Experiences 2019, the second edition of the event which took place in NYC alongside the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the World Pride celebrations. The city looked amazing with major banks and businesses covered in the rainbow flag. We’d take the NYC Ferry, full branded Ferry Proud for the month, to the event every day and all the attendees were so happy to be there, every single Masterclass was full, standing room only. The event closed with a party with Lady Bunny DJ’ing, I didn’t know who she was at the time – but everyone made sure I did by the end of the event.