When it comes to professional event production in London, there’s a big chance that James Tregaskes is somehow involved. As a former special force at fashion PR icon Karla Otto, he loves working on and off the road for clients like Adidas, Unicef, and Vogue.
James Tregaskes is the kind of guy who looks just as great in full black tie as he does in blue jeans with mud caked on his Hunter boots (his look when he drives off-road and masterminds open air event experiences).
“What I love about events is the variety, the challenges, creating something from nothing very often, working with good souls, and loyal clients.” His work takes him across the country and keeps him and his dog Jambo busy. “My iPhone and my SUV are the two things I cannot live without,” says James, who uses technology to stay ahead of the curve.
Even though James takes advantage of tech, he doesn’t have a website. Business finds him. “The majority is referrals and word of mouth,” he says, while admitting that he also harnesses the power of Instagram to get the word out and to showcase his work. “There’s no better platform to promote an event and showcase my work as an event producer.”
Tell us about your greatest memories as an event professional?
There are several significant projects that hold fond memories, where the end result was particularly provoking, and people still talk about them: Simone Rocha’s fashion show during London Fashion Week at Guildhall, an exhibition for Smythson, a summer party for COS, and Christopher Kane’s inaugural store opening and private dinner. These were all key moments.
You are advising fashion brands, member clubs or fine arts clients for events: What is important for all of them?
Every client has individual requirements for any kind of event, most of all it’s about creating an original experience with the very best quality, yet always being conscious of budgets, and lead times.
The industry changed dramatically thanks to technology: How are events professionals dealing with the diffusion of tech innovation?
Tech now plays a huge part in the industry be it in terms of production, actual event elements, and both the marketing and press around an occasion. It’s certainly something one has to be aware of and be on to offer to clients, keeping up to date with developments. But equally it needs to be client-relevant and be of a certain standard.
How many hours are you on your feet on a “crazy” event day?
What is your biggest event nightmare?
A visit from the police is always a surprise!
What websites, applications or services are you using to find event venues and what do you like about them?
Most location scouting is via personal contacts and driving round London on a Vespa. There are location agents we also work with as well as commercial real estate agents and London land agents.
What’s your favorite application or service for marketing your events and why?
Instagram, for its far reach, immediacy and simplicity.
What applications are you using to engage your event attendees and why?
Instagram again for the above reasons.
How have you used technology to add a special or unique touch to your event?
We will always look at tech in terms of creative… so for example projection mapping or the latest LED screen or new lighting offerings.
What applications are you using to stay organized on event days?
zkipster and reference documents on iBooks
Now for the rapid fire round! Tell us which application or service you’re using for…
• Project Management: Excel & Word
• Event Registration: zkipster
• Check-in: zkipster
• Meeting Scheduling: iCal
• Presentations: PowerPoint
• Floor plan design: SketchUp
What applications or services are you using after your event to help you evaluate its success or gather feedback from attendees?
zkipster, Google Alerts, Instagram
Finally, what piece of event tech can’t you live without?
iPhone, iPad, zkipster & a large SUV.