Des McLaughlin appointed Group MD, Grass Roots Meetings and Events

Event management agency Grass Roots is consolidating its events business into a single legal entity headed by Des McLaughlin.

McLaughlin currently leads the Strategic Meetings Management (HBI) arm of Grass Roots in Putney and will take on a wider role as Group Managing Director of the new unified brand, Grass Roots Meetings and Events.

The announcement includes the news that Jeremy Brown, formerly with Spectra and Maritz, has joined the event management and communications arm based in Marlow. He will report into McLaughlin, along with Charles Moyle, who heads up the ‘Live’ production business in Worcester and Giselle Ripken, leader of Delegate Management Services in Fleet.

Jon Shilling, who has been credited with steering the EventCom (Marlow) operation through a difficult period of transition, is currently discussing potential new roles within The Grass Roots Group, the agency reports.

McLaughlin is optimistic about the future prospects of the new Meetings and Events business.

“In simple terms we have two operations which specialise largely in pre-event logistics and two that specialise in event delivery,” he says.

“The plan is simple: to get closer together in these areas, to make a difference for our clients, and ensure we deliver successful events from inception to final curtain. With the talent and experience we have, combined with our consolidated purchasing power, I have no doubt that we will do exactly that, creating a unique proposition of value and efficiency.”

Grass Roots Chief Operating Officer Andy Lister adds: “Some parts of our events operation have been extremely solid and profitable, while others, in recent years, have found it tougher going. We believe there are a number of benefits that can be realised from a more joined-up approach, which will provide a better service for our clients and more opportunities for our people. With Giselle, Charles and now Jeremy, leading the component parts, Des has a strong team behind him, to drive the business forward over the coming years”.

The specialist events services under Grass Roots Meetings & Events are:

  • Strategic Meetings Management
  • Delegate Management Services
  • Event Management and Communications
  • Live Event Production

Founded in the UK in 1980, Grass Roots Group operates in 15 countries and has 14,000 clients, including 41 of the FTSE 100.

The Group was listed in the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 Sunday Times list of Best 100 companies to work for.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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