FESPA has appointed Neil Felton to the position of Managing Director, Exhibitions & Events, reporting to CEO Nigel Steffens.
Felton will direct FESPA's international portfolio of exhibitions, which includes the flagship FESPA 2013 event (London), FESPA Digital 2012 (Barcelona), FESPA Asia 2011 (Singapore), FESPA Mexico (2011, 2012, Mexico City) and FESPA Americas 2012 (Miami). FESPA's exhibition sales, operations, marketing and events teams will report to Neil.
Felton is a highly experienced exhibitions director, having most recently held the position of executive director for exhibitions at William Reed Business Media, an organization with a portfolio of business-to-business events in the food and drink sectors. This included the UK's largest food-led event, attracting in excess of 40,000 visitors. In that role, Felton managed a team of 21 personnel including four individual show directors, with responsibilities embracing sales, marketing, operations and administration. His team received the Team of the Year award in the coveted Exhibition News Awards in 2010.
During his six-year tenure with William Reed Business Media, Felton presided over a three-fold growth in event revenues from his division. He directed the launch of the Food and Drink Logistics Show, and devised several other business growth initiatives. Prior to that, Felton spent eight years at Penton Media Europe in charge of the company's two top shows, having gained sales experience in a series of media roles following his graduation from Thames Valley University, where he gained a degree in Modern European Studies. Felton speaks fluent German.
"I'm delighted to be joining FESPA at such an exciting time in the organisation's history. I have always relished directing exhibitions that serve specific business sectors and their stakeholders, and I'm enthusiastic about getting to know and understand the global wide-format print community that FESPA serves," said Felton. "FESPA's growth in the last six years has been phenomenal, yet in several regions and market segments this is only the tip of the iceberg. Undoubtedly there are still untold opportunities for FESPA to bring together print service providers and their suppliers, and to create environments where the community can share its collective technical and commercial knowledge and expertise. I look forward to meeting with exhibitors and visitors in the coming months to find out how FESPA can continue to meet their evolving expectations."
Felton's appointment is effective from May 11, 2011. He replaces Frazer Chesterman, who is leaving FESPA to pursue a career opportunity in a non-competitive event organisation.