60 seconds with the chair - Andy Coulson - Security Working Group
Andy joined the construction industry straight out of school and enjoyed a 21 year career working on projects ranging from hotels to hospitals to office blocks. After running a residential property development business for ten years, Andy was ready to take on a new challenge and joined Farnborough as site manager in 1992.
Now head of airshow operations, Andy's experience managing the emergency services, traffic planning, security and contractors at one of the world's most prominent airshows makes him a perfect fit as chair of the AEV Security Working Group.
What brought you into the event industry?
Chance. I was working in construction and property and was looking for something different. A friend of mine suggested the site manager position at Farnborough. Twenty three years later, I'm still here!
Why did you get involved with the association working groups?
As a company we think it's important to be involved, and feel we've got a lot to offer. Our Ops Director is on the board and there's three of us involved in Working Groups.
What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?
Farnborough Airshow. Maybe the most obvious answer, but it's unique and exciting and I think that's exactly what an event should be.
What will be the next big change in venues?
I think the flexibility of venues is becoming increasingly important. Farnborough international ltd. is currently undergoing a £30 million venue extension which will see it be able to cater for a wider variety of events, and maximise its potential as an event venue.
What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?
Visitor tracking. From an organiser point of view, being able to see where your visitors are, and where they're going, is invaluable.
What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?
“The business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” - Henry Ford
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Something that I've always stood by, and something that I give as advice myself is: “Never ask or tell anyone to do something you wouldn't be prepared to do yourself.”
Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?
I think the most apt historical event Farnborough could host is one it's already hosted; The first flight ever to take off from British soil took off from Farnborough!
What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?
The Day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forysthe. The film is not bad, the book is excellent.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
The most recent album I bought was Dave Gilmore's, but I have a varied taste so I'm happy listening to anything from Adele to The Stereophonics.
If you could attend any event in the past, present or future, what would it be?
I would have loved to attend the London Olympics in 2012 but unfortunately didn't make it.