Sandy has worked in the exhibition industry since the late 1960s, joining the South African operation in 1968 and the London office in 1970.
Sandy has been at the forefront of the UK’s exhibition industry for many years, both as chairman of the Association of Exhibition Organisers, from 1985-87, and as founder and deputy chairman of the Exhibition Industry Federation, representing contractors, hall-owners and organisers from 1986-88. Internationally, he was elected president of the Union of International Fairs (UFI), 2001-03, and became the first non-American chairman of the US International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), in 2005-6. His network of connections throughout the world of exhibitions, event organising, show venues and host cities is unequalled.
His list of awards includes Lifetime Achievement from the AEO, Pinnacle Award from IAEE, Medal d’Or from UFI and the Hall of Leaders from CIC (Convention Industry Council).
Rupert Owen has thirty-five years of experience in the events industry, largely as a developer of new exhibitions and then as event organiser across 25 different industries and twelve countries.
Rupert was most recently running a portfolio of leading technology industry events in South East Asia for a global trade show organiser and was appointed CEO of Exhibition Consultants Ltd in 2017.
Previous experience includes a consultancy project in Lagos, Nigeria and four years residing in Singapore advising the country's leading exhibitions and conference organising company. His position included advising on the government’s strategy for creating a regional exhibitions hub.
Experience of working with government export promotion agencies on a global basis also included a consultative role in advising UK exporters through the government’s Asian export advisory network.
John Vimpany commenced his career in exhibitions with Montgomery, becoming Managing Director of ECL in 1976. Under his direction, ECL’s assignments ranged from feasibility studies for new national exhibition and trade fair venues in Hong Kong and Indonesia to delivering major trade fair projects, including the International Fair of Khartoum, Sudan, and the Lagos International Fair, Nigeria.
Throughout the 1980s he led Montgomery’s market research activities during its period of global expansion. In 1983/4 John was Project Director for ECL’s management of the Liverpool International Garden Festival. Attracting 3.4 million visits, it was the largest event held in the UK since the Festival of Britain.
In the 1990s he turned his exhibition experience to the cultural heritage sector, becoming CEO of the Mary Rose Trust 1990-96, and English Heritage Director for the development of the new visitor centre for Stonehenge. Between 2004-2017 he led the ECL project team whilst also undertaking cultural assignments and a two-year British government role promoting UK expertise in cultural tourism management overseas.