Meet our Hire Events Manager 29-Jun-2020 Edwards
Meet the Team: Edouard Smith, Hire Events Manager
From lighting specialist and top technician to account management and leader of our hire business, Ed’s career with Edwards spans over 20 years. Ed has a passion not only for the technology that underpins our work but also for building strong relationships with his clients, many of which he now calls friends.
What’s with the name?
My mother told me that with a surname like Smith, you need to be original somewhere. Hence, I got Edouard.
Explain your job in a sentence.
Things have changed a lot in the last 3 months. The whole industry is in a different place. My role has to change with it. At Edwards, we don’t work in silos and everyone helps out where they can. So you will find us all answering the phone and helping customers on the counter as well as keeping up with the latest trends and working closely with our clients to get the best for their event.
If you asked my daughter what I do she would say I play with lights and have meetings. Sums it up!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
It sounds so cliché but I really do enjoy helping people. We take something that can be quite complicated and make it simple for our clients. And we get to create some pretty cool stuff along the way. If there’s an event we’ve been planning for ages, working with the client and internally, lots of brainstorming, scratching heads and coming together to make it work, when we get to the actual event day it’s like Christmas! I’m so excited. It’s a great feeling.
I also love doing things that haven’t been done before and experimenting with technology. I love the creative aspect of figuring out how to make something work. I remember one job which was a particular head-scratcher when we set up for a concert in the Viaduct. The stage was on a barge in the middle of the water. We had to not only think about getting power and signal across the water but also combatting with the ebb and flow of the tide. And we made it work.
What were you doing on this day 10 years ago?
Back in 2010, we were in the planning stages for the next Rugby World Cup the following year. We already had a packed schedule with loads of corporate events, conferences and product launches but to be involved in such a significant event was just so important to us.
What was pre-Edwards Ed like?
I joined Edwards 22 years ago so I was just a young, skinny, long haired larrikin. But I had a passion for sound and lighting. I knew this is where I wanted to be.
Fav memory of your time at Edwards so far?
Being 3 metres away from Bill Clinton. He was a keynote at a conference we did. It wasn’t the most complex or complicated job, but it was still a standout. It was around 2002 so it was a pretty big deal for NZ to have the ex-US President come to our shores. I remember thinking we’re part of something a bit special here.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Drums and music – I don’t follow bands, I follow drummers. Neil Peart, Simon Phillips, Hannah Ford. I find it so satisfying learning a new technique on the drums – it’s my stress relief.
I'm also a light fiend, I swear I was a moth in another life.
Do you have a secret talent?
I can play the flute.
What makes you smile?
When I see our customers smile – cliché again I know but I honestly mean it. We work with a lot of great people and when we can help even on a small scale, it makes me happy.