In Conversation With Thorough Events Director, Andrew Evans7 July 2021
Andrew Evans is Managing Director of Thorough Events, and has been involved with Searcys for four years, overseeing the organisation of The London Concours at The HAC. Having been in the events business for most of his working life, he talks to us about how a can-do attitude continues to be essential for navigating the challenges COVID-19 brings to the world of events and hospitality.
Tell us about yourself – what do you do now and how did you start?
I’m an event organiser who manages a series of high-end automotive events (Concours) which take place at the Honourable Artillery Company and Hampton Court Palace. In the past, we have run these events in prestigious locations such as St James Palace, Holyrood Palace and Windsor Castle. My career started 36 years ago in the b2b exhibition field. Since then, I have launched and managed large-scale exhibitions, festivals and conferences both here in the UK and overseas.
What is something your colleagues might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a very open person so I guess my colleagues would know most of the more interesting things, but one that tends to surprise people is my love of the Mod culture. I own a Vespa PX150 and am at my happiest when I’m on the B-roads headed to Brighton for a ‘weekender’.
What has been the most unexpected part of your job?
Launching the London Concours in 2017. I thought we had 15 months to plan the event but it transpired that my co-directors had other plans. We created the first show in just three and a half months! I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who values their sanity.
Who is your inspiration in business?
For me, it’s not about a single individual; more the behaviours that successful leaders adopt. Integrity, honesty, humility and bravery are what I take inspiration from.
What would be your desert island dish?
Let’s start with the important part; a bottle of Nuits St George French wine. Accompanied by Hereford Filet, peppercorn sauce, roasted vine tomatoes and triple cooked chips.
Champagne or wine?
Nuits St George
Tell us your favourite thing about the HAC.
It’s a magical and very treasured space in the heart of the City. I feel truly fortunate to be able to produce an event in such a wonderful oasis.
What has been a standout event which you have hosted or been part of?
I’m very proud of my association in the early days of Taste of London, but running the London Wine Fair in the late 90s has to go down as one of the most enjoyable and successful parts of my career.
How long have you been working with Searcys? What do you enjoy most in this relationship?
I’ve worked with Rodney Payne and the wider team for four years now. The best part of the relationship is transparency and a willingness to explore new ideas and set higher standards of customer experience for our guests.
We all have had to adapt our service in post-Covid. What changes or innovations have you introduced? What are the trends going forward?
We ran the UK’s first major event (post lockdown in 2020). I learnt more in that year than in the previous 35 years. Necessity became the mother of invention and we created too many solutions to problems to mention here. But what’s important was the attitude that we had to adopt. Teamwork and determination to find a way were all critical aspects to our event’s success.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just completed the London Concours 2021 – it was a cracker. And now I’m focussed on the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in September. They say there’s no rest for the wicked!
What is your one top tip for organisers booking an event at your venue? Or some tips for event organisers in general?
The business will return… it’ll have changed shape and we’ll all have to work double-time to make it successful but never lose sight of your goals and the path to achieve them.
The London Concours Catering In Numbers
The automotive spectacular took place at the Honourable Artillery Company on 8-10 June 2021. Over 100 finest classic and performance cars ever produced were displayed on the lawns of HAC. We were honoured to be the official caterer for this event, providing a Champagne bar, public catering and hospitality services.
- 300 Searcys team members were involved in delivering the event
- 1100 bottle champagne bottles were enjoyed
- 1500 beer bottles were opened
- 4000 cups of coffee were served
- 1200 canapes were prepared
- 7200 bottles of water were drunk (it was hot, remember!?)
- 1800 cocktails were created
- 2100 plated dishes were served
- 800 napkins were folded