Richard Manby reflects on the first 40 years

2014 is a landmark year for everyone at Joe Manby Limited.

This year we are celebrating 40 years in business, and we are proud to still be a family-owned company. My father, Joe Manby, originally founded the company to service the local events industry, but soon expanded the business to work across the UK. I joined the company after only 5 weeks, when there was a fulltime staff of just 5.  My brother Andrew joined in 1979. Over the years we are proud to have delivered a professional, quality and personal service directly to organisers and exhibitors and, through organic growth, developed and maintained the company’s reputation for excellence.

Today we are one of the UK’s leading independent event service providers and have a portfolio of 75 events nationwide, a worldwide customer base, and a full time staff of 34.

Our mission is to ensure customers achieve the maximum impact from their event, an approach that continues to win us long-standing loyalty among our clients - we have been supplying events services to Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair since 1974, and the Conservative Party Conference since 1985.

Our clients are from both the public and private sectors, and include Ocean Media, British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the British Dental Association. In 2013 we added both the Royal College of Nursing Congress and Centaur Exhibitions (Homebuilding & Renovating shows) to our work programme.

Over the years we have expanded the services we offer and now provide a full service to organisers including both traditional and modular shell schemes, electrical services, furniture and floor coverings, design and build and a full graphics service.

The last 40 years have seen many changes in the events industry, with a large number of new venues coming on stream.  Back in ’74, the NEC was under construction, Manchester Central was still a disused railway station and Harrogate had yet to build its Conference Centre. We have also seen the introduction and growth of modular shell schemes, and perhaps the greatest change of all has been the increased use of technology in all aspects of the industry.

For the next edition of Standpoint, we will be raiding the family albums for some interesting images of our management team as they were back in the ‘70s!

Finally, I would like to place on record our thanks to all our customers for their loyalty and support over the years and a big ‘thank you’ to all the staff at Joe Manby Limited, both past and present.