As Founder & Group Executive Director, Rick oversees the growth strategy of Smyle Group which owns leading creative agency Smyle, that delivers live and video projects for some of the top global brands in a range of sectors including IT, Telco and Media. It has won the UK Event Agency of the Year award a record 5 times in last 11 years – in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018. 

Smyle has also been recognised as the fastest growing leading agency in the industry through its entry in The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 in December 2018 and The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 in February 2019.

Rick has delivered numerous key-note speeches at industry events and has been voted into Event magazine’s Event 100 club every year since its inauguration.

As a co-founder of The Global Sustainable Events Summit, its new format came from Rick’s belief in engaging with the full spectrum of the events and live communication industries, as well as building on Smyle’s ISO 20121 certification.

  • What experience can you draw upon to successfully judge the ETAs?

I have led one of the fastest growing creative agencies in the industry for the last 15 years and have been a five times winner of Agency of the Year in last 11 years.

  • Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?

Best moment – producing the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2010 and every time we win Agency of the Year.

Worst – not relevant as they only make you stronger.

  • Favourite piece of tech for work and personal life?

CDJ2000 Nexus decks

  • What’s your go-to piece of tech when working on an event and why?

My mobile as it never stops telling me stuff that I didn’t even know I needed to know!

  • What was the last event on which you worked?

Not applicable.

  • From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?

Anything that takes the engagement of the audience to a new bolder level and hence encourages tangible behavioural change.

  • We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?

Everyone in this industry has a unique perspective on how to take it to the next level and they should all be given a chance to both voice it and be listened to.

  • What are you most looking forward to at the ETAs?

Being part of a unique celebration of the most innovative ways to use tech to achieve clients’ live experience objectives.

  1. What do events, such as the ETAs, mean to you?

Innovation and better ways of engaging our event audiences is the lifeblood of our industry and will be a key driver to it becoming recognised globally as an essential communication platform alongside more traditional and established forms.

  • If you could only use one piece of tech when working on an event, what would that be?

VR – the possibilities are amazing.


The Event Technology Awards ceremony returns to Troxy on November 6, between the two days of Event Tech Live 2019.

Subscribe to e-newsletter updates Keep up to date with the latest news

Join 15,000 + #eventprofs and get our e-newsletters direct to your inbox

Areas of interest
Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com