In the hot seat: Tom Ruck

CN meets Tom Ruck, conference and events manager of the new Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) at Ansty Park near Coventry

How did you get into the events industry?
I completed a degree in Tourism Business Management at the College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies in Birmingham, while working for Marriott International Hotels. Marriott gave me a foundation into the industry and I have since been employed and developed by some leading hotel companies and contract caterers.

What is the USP at Lloyds Bank AMTC?
We have onsite industry experts within events, engineering and manufacturing, offering customers quality events with a live workshop environment.

What client trends are you seeing?

The key trend currently at the LBAMTC is that clients have a clear expectation on the overall ROI of their event.

Are there any other sectors you think the meetings industry can learn from?

It’s key we monitor other industry competitors and evaluate their overall value streams. For example, the airline industry excels at paying attention to the customer journey and this should be delivered to delegates, trainers and event organisers when spending time at any event venue.

What can the industry do better?

Really think about the ROI for our clients and value added items to entice business back.

How is the AMTC marketing its spaces?
We can market to 95 plus members of the MTC as well as showcase our venue nationally at trade fairs like Confex and to event agencies to maximise our maket share within the midlands.

What most excites you about this role compared with your previous roles in the hospitality industry?
This role has allowed me to create and establish a new. I have had direct input into the core development of the venue

What are your immediate and future plans for developing business at Ansty Park?

My immediate plan is to continue on delivering the sales and marketing strategy to develop new business and the near future look to grow the team in order to capture all new leads.

Greatest achievement in your career?

One of my greatest achievements to date was to convert the Royal Society’s private estate and conference centre Chicheley Hall in Milton Keynes into a fully licensed hotel working with DeVere Venues.

What single piece of great advice did you receive in your formative years at work?

Enjoy what you do and you’ll go far in life

What has been the most difficult situation you have had to deal with in your career?
When I was working in a Grade 1-listed building, the interior structure of the main wedding space was deemed unsafe and therefore forced me to have to cancel a number of weddings and inform the bride and grooms that their dream day could no longer take place in the grand Hall. This was extremely difficult emotionally, logistically, and financially all round, however all events still went ahead after other options were discussed and everyone ended up happy.

What is your biggest weakness?
Good wine and expensive restaurants.

Time-saving tip for organisers?

Ensure venues’ website and marketing collateral is current and perhaps Q&A sections are provided to assist organisers.

Prediction for the future?

Events in Space!

If you weren’t in events, what would be your dream job?

Volcanologist.

Outside of work, what is your biggest passion/hobby?

Time with the family, but love great food.

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ConferenceNews

Conference News resides at the heart of the conference industry examining the issues affecting organisers, venues, destinations and suppliers. Published monthly, Conference News features the latest news, interviews and industry analysis from market influencers.

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