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Making Experiential Marketing Roadshows Truly Customer Focussed

When we came to recruit a Tour Manager for a fast-moving European-wide roadshow we knew we were looking for someone special.  The tour was being delivered on behalf of a Global 500 company with incredibly high standards.  Our multi-person team would be client-facing, working alongside our client’s own staff and their visiting guests.  We needed to deliver a seamless experience, even in the face of huge amounts of travelling, tiredness, and the logistical challenges that would come with being on the road for months at a time.

One of our first interviewees was Simon Lord.  With a background in visitor attractions and theatre, he seemed a perfect choice. We knew he would not only bring outstanding operational experience but would also be able to understand the level of client service needed - and critically he'd be able to inspire the touring team to reach those standards.

We asked Simon to sum up what makes good customer service and what his previous experience in visitor attractions had taught him:

“As we all know, there are lots of clichés surrounding customer service and 'front-line' public facing roles - "the customer is always right""everyone is responsible for customer service""customer service is the new marketing". After years working in the leisure & culture industries, I have found myself having heard them all multiple times. I have even found myself stating these same clichés in an attempt to ask teams to grasp some professional responsibility. However, irrespective of their validity, they mostly wash over a room of expressionless, unengaged faces. Let's face it, we all also know that the customer isn't always right! 

"Occasionally, there is a phrase - or more accurately an ethos - which strikes the mark. It awkwardly scrapes in the opposite direction to what you've heard previously - for me this was that 'customers don't exist, only guests exist'. The revelation here is that once the emphasis is taken away from the financial incentive - the sales lead or the paying customer - it allows a company to simply look after their guests - to host and to woo. 

"Freed from the pressures of a customer/client formality and an unspoken power dynamic, I’ve felt empowered to engage on a much more personal and tailored level.  Roles change, targets shift, relationships form, and a reputation is garnered. Having gained this ethos across a number of organisations in the theatre, arts, leisure, and tourist attraction industries, side-stepping into an experiential marketing and touring role, it's clear to me that this is the greatest transferrable skill I could offer. “

Simon's thinking summed up our own approach to customer service and it was clear straight away that he was a good fit.  He has gone on to lead our IBM European Tour and has been instrumental in leading and training our touring teams.


At Brewco Marketing Group we work with leading brands to deliver over 4,000 event days each year.  Travelling through the UK, Europe and North America, we've been delivering marketing tours and roadshows for over 20 years.