“Talent is the Future”

Talent is the Future

By Jay Burgesson, Commercial Director at Food Show

So much is talked about the importance of emerging leaders and the need to support their development. I am fortunate enough to have had a strong leadership and development network comprising of an industry mentor but sometimes it’s not an easy journey.


Being a proud leader within what I regard as one of London’s premium events catering businesses, we really do possess an exceptional service offering – great food, great people and a love of events.  I enjoy the pressures of running the day to day activities and being accountable and I support the belief that emerging leaders really do need to play active roles in a leadership capacity. I know from my own journey that it takes time to learn to be a director and a leader so, of course, support is needed.

Most things in life seem to be about balance – not one extreme or another. Looking around the industry, one can easily see the talent coming through and I suspect that many companies gain from the marriage between the energy and desire of the rising talent when coupled with the experience and knowledge of the proven. There really shouldn’t be such a debate because this should be normal process. I am fortunate in my career to have had great business owners that have believed in m and given me that level of responsibility. At Food Show, we do have this balance and pride ourselves on developing reputable graduates or first timers to the industry with the level of responsibility coupled with the guidance that they need.

Events are as much about emotion and providing a great experience as they are with great service and great food. The Events sector is sometimes not given the credit that it deserves and it can be deemed a ‘Cinderella’ when individuals only recognise after they have experienced a great occasion.

Managing an event is like running a theatre production. It needs to have a wow factor, make guests smile and relax early on and provide real substance. Food has become the genuine area of innovation within our sector. Every leading event attended you will taste new canapés, see new flair and observe service levels rise.  There are some exceptional operators all competing in this area and our job is to create the wow factor at every event whilst staying true to our roots – great service, great product and a family environment within the team.

I would argue that the London events sector today is world class and one that the global Hospitality Industry should recognise and be proud of too. The food excites and inspires and perfectly fits with London’s self-title as a food capital of the world.

But this then brings me back full circle as we also rely heavily on great talent and the flow of this talent is under threat.  There are no easy answers to Brexit but we can all do more to ensure that we support good and emerging talent to break the boundaries that Brexit may build.

I know that I have been fortunate to have been nurtured and invested in and I make it my mission to give back – but we need to do this to all talent and then the industry will continue to raise the bar and prosper.
So as a New Year’s wish – let’s all support great young talent and lay the ground for the future of our exceptional industry.

For more on EP contact; Ben.Butler@epmagazine.co.uk

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