60 seconds with the chair - Chris Morrison - Electrics Technical Committee
Having completed his degree in Electrical Engineering, Chris is a registered Chartered Electrical and Building Services engineer. He has been with Earls Court & Olympia for over 20 years, and attained his current position as facilities director after serving in a number of senior engineering posts within the organisation. His previous roles outside the events industry include seven years with British Aerospace as an Electrical Engineering Manager on an eight hundred acre aircraft build site. Prior to this, Chris also gained experience in a number of other industries including textiles, nuclear energy, and steel in his capacity as an engineer.
Chris' responsibilities at Olympia London include all technical, engineering, venue maintenance and facilities management elements of the business. He also has responsibility for all capital investment projects. In 2014 Chris was responsible for overseeing the closure and safe decommissioning of Earls Court which involved close interface with the deconstruction project team.
Chris is one of the most experienced engineering professionals in the UK venues industry, and heads up the industry association technical working group.
His personal interests include golf, classic cars, cinema and fine dining. He adds that most of his time is taken up with his children (although he considers this as more of a paternal hazard).
1. What brought you into the event industry?
Pure good fortune and a recruitment agent working his socks off ! On my first day the venue director said " welcome to show business " ( slightly tongue in cheek ) . I knew then I was in the right place.
2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?
I was handed the baton of the EC&O rep from an old doyen of the exhibition contracting world , Les Overs, more than 20 years ago and I have been involved ever since.
3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?
The return of the Bookfair to its "ancestral" home, although my first visit to the Goodwood Revival runs a close second.
4. What will be the next big change in venues?
How we integrate joined up technology solutions into the experience for our clients, exhibitors and visitors.
5. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?
The type of mobile information that is available to improve the overall experience of both exhibiting and attending.
6. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?
Evolution rather than revolution, although sometimes you need a mini-revolution to take you to new level.
7. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
"Yes you should accept the job working for EC&O , it would be a great move!" Still here 24 yrs later! Also my Mother always said "Be true to yourself" and that's a pretty good code for life.
8. Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?
The Ben Hur chariot race . It must have been the closest thing to a modern day Formula 1 Grand Prix race. We might have to scale it down a little though!
9. What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?
I always recommend the Shawshank Redemption, it's a timeless story with superb acting.
10. What music are you listening to at the moment?
The latest Foo Fighters album Sonic Highways.
11. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?
The 1966 world cup final, or see the cars of the future at the 2080 Geneva Motor Show ( that is if I can still drive at 120 !! )