5 Minutes With… Chris Buncombe, Co-Founder & Director, Halcyon Events | UAE News
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5 Minutes With… Chris Buncombe, Co-Founder & Director, Halcyon Events

5 Minutes With… Chris Buncombe, Co-Founder & Director, Halcyon Events

Halcyon Events, a luxury hospitality company, operates concierge style packages to Grands Prixs around the world.


What is your company focusing on this year?

Halcyon Events is looking to develop our client database across a number of new territories and to ensure we continue to offer our clients the very best hospitality experience available in Formula One. We are looking to evolve the guest experience and to ensure returning clients enjoy a varied experience at every Grand Prix.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

Targeting markets that are new to Formula One, particularly around potential new races on the calendar such as New Jersey and Sochi. Latin America is another key area of growth given the rejuvenated interest in the sport thanks to the profile of Mexican driver Sergio Perez and the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

We hope to double our £4 million turnover within the next three years. It’s an aggressive expansion plan but we’re confident that we’re offering the very best hospitality product in the market.

How do you perceive the Middle East market?

Abu Dhabi is a significant race on the calendar for us. Appetite for motor sports is good here and it forms one of our largest races in terms of guest numbers and spend per person spend.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

We work hard to maintain our contacts so that we can give our clients that exclusive ‘access all areas’ experience, but one of the biggest challenges is making sure that each individual guest has the tailor-made experience they’re after. It’s more of a challenge with last-minute bookings but we always find a way.

How do you beat the competition?

Focus on what you are good at, find ways to differentiate your product or service from the competition, give your customers more than what they expected, and employ the best people you can afford.

What’s your leadership style?

I would say I’m a democratic leader. Working in a service industry, we need a constant flow of ideas and people need to feel engaged in the business, it’s a team effort.

What makes the perfect employee?

Different roles require different strengths. However, it’s important to be hard working and enthusiastic in every job.

Define success in five words…

A reputation for exceeding expectations (and full booking sheet!)

Tip for becoming the boss…

Start something you love.

When I’m not at work I like to…

Keep fit and get out on my bike.


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