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An interview with Ray Baxter, Insite’s Commercial Director And Industry Legend

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Many of you will know Insite’s Commercial Director, the affable and ever so stylish, Mr Ray Baxter.  He’s a bit of an events ‘legend’ around these ‘ere parts so we thought it might be interesting to pick his brains with a quick Q&A .
 
Here we go then ….

 
 

1.  Ray, how long have you been working in the events industry and can you tell us a little bit more about your previous career?
 

I started my working life in the hospitality sector, which was a great foundation for the rest of my career as it taught me a huge range of communication skills and how to get on with different people. As we all know, that’s really important for the events industry too.  From hotels I moved to the motor industry and worked for a Ford Main Dealer selling used and new Ford’s. Around 1990 a good friend asked me to join an events company in Croydon – thus stated a 34 year love affair with events.

 
 

2. How did you end up working with Insite Graphics and what was it that attracted you to the company?
 

I was an organiser at the  Hemming Group for about 12 years and knew Insite Graphics well because they were a supplier to some of the events that I ran.  I always thought they were a great company and really got on with Chris and the team.  After the 2008 world recession and a major re-shuffle of staff, I found myself looking for a new challenge – Insite Graphics seemed the perfect fit ..and 11 yeas later it looks like I was right!

 
 

3. As Commercial Director, what are you main responsibilities at Insite?
 
Mainly to help the team drive the business forward in maintaining the existing clients and then keeping my ears close to the ground to search out any new business opportunities. That’s the bit that can be challenging but it’s also the fun part of the role too to be honest.

 
 
4. What is it about the events Industry that you love so much? The people, the places, the teams?
 
I think it’s all of the above, probably the people mainly. I also love the diverse working environment – one day you could be working in a Royal Palace setting up a luxury brand exhibition stand, the next day you  could be on your hands and knees on a cold floor at Hall 5 at the NEC … now that’s variety.

 
 

5.  Have you seen any major changes in the industry over the years and if so, what are your predictions for the industry’s future?
 
Yes, I’ve seen many changes   … probably the biggest, is how IT has affected the way we work. I am BC (Before Computers) and I remember the days of organisers taking hours to put together the paper pages of an exhibiter manual. Those times are over  – so laptop/ iPad & iPhone are now the tools of today.  I think, for the foreseeable future the event industry is in good shape, there is still the desire for people to have that face to face contact and interaction, which as human beings is so important, especially during these times.

 
 

6.  How do you see your life at Insite panning out in the next few years – have you and event’s industry bucket list?
 

At 60 plus years of age and having got over a major health scare recently, I just look forward to and enjoy every day with Insite Graphics. Even when we face those manically tough periods, I love it and I’m grateful to be a part of it all. If you investigated my bucket list, you would pull a piece of paper out that read “ just enjoy life, be kind & laugh a lot.“

 
 
We’re with you Ray, so here’s to the next event and the next smile.