Michael Watton appointed venue director as part of £30m Farnborough expansion

Farnborough International Ltd has appointed Michael Watton as its new venue director. He will oversee the next phase of a £30m development and expansion of the Hampshire venue’s event and venue business at its 100,000sqm airfield site.

Watton will be responsible for managing the existing Farnborough International Venue & Events business as well as overseeing the development of its new, multi-purpose 20,000sqm event space scheduled to open in Q3 2018. The £30m funding has been secured to expand the event and venue business over the next three years.

Watton brings nearly 30 years’ experience in conventions, exhibitions and events to the new role, including over 10 years in senior positions at Birmingham’s NEC, three years as commercial director at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) and most recently as venue director at Glow Bluewater.

Announcing the appointment, Farnborough International’s CEO Shaun Ormrod said: “We are really pleased to welcome someone of Michael’s experience and calibre to Farnborough International. His expertise and passion for delivering best in class experiences to event organisers and event attendees are exactly the qualities that we were looking for. His knowledge of both the UK and international events scene is second to none and I’m greatly looking forward to working with him on delivering first class events at the home of aviation.”

Watton said: “Farnborough International’s reputation for excellence and inspiration is unparalleled and I’m thrilled to be joining such an accomplished team. This is an incredibly exciting time to be coming on board as the next few years will see Farnborough firmly establish itself on the national and international events stage. My ambition is to build on the excellent reputation the team at Farnborough has developed and maximise the potential to bring a wide range of new events to the new venue. I’m very much looking forward to playing a part in this latest chapter of Farnborough’s famous history”.

Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) is a subsidiary company of ADS, the trade organisation advancing UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries. FIL is organiser of the biennial Farnborough International Airshow.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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