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Aug 28, 2017

Q and A: David Comer from Staging Rentals and Construction

The Managing Director of the Event Awards exclusive staging, drapes and set construction partner talks about the starting out in a very different career field, the variety in his job and the challenge of staging relevant in the digital age.

What do you do at Staging Rentals & Construction (SRC)?

Whilst I carry the lofty title of MD, in a company our size you tend to be a bit of an all-rounder. My role is very much client facing, the part of the job I really enjoy. Project management is a large part of what I do.

Give us a little sneak peek at your career before your current role at SRC.

I graduated from Uni in the 80s and spent a year working as an MLSO (med lab scientific officer) at UCH [University College Hospital] in London before trying my hand at my other Uni Major, Marine Biology, and spending nine months on a research vessel in the West of Ireland…

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Variety - there’s a lot of variety in my job. I get to continue to project manage which means I stay connected to the actual product we produce for our clients and I still get to interact with the client, sell the gig and see it realised. I also get variety because running a business requires a whole bunch of other skills.

How would friends and colleagues describe you?

I would hope it would be hardworking, team player, leader, funny…?

What kinds of events does SRC typically lend their services to?

All kinds of events! Our work covers product launches, brand and marketing activations, corporate parties, exhibition stands, television, theatre productions, fashion shows and more. We recently worked on the David Jones Spring Summer 2017 Collections Launch, constructing a custom dining table that doubled as a runway.

What new technical innovations has SRC introduced recently? What have you got coming up?

We have added an incredible new piece of machinery to our Sydney production centre, affectionately known as ‘The Robot’, this 7-axis robotic arm takes concepts from digital files and turns them into 100% accurate, large scale sculptures and real world 3D objects!

What sets SRC apart from its competitors?

Our longevity. We’ve been around for 26 years. We have a lot of people who have been a part of our team for a long time which is testament to the culture and the environment we create at SRC. We also have a lot of clients who have been with us for a very long time too, we’re talking 20+ years!

What’s your favourite Australian event and why?

I love the fact we are globally recognised as a country that produces great big event people. My one regret is that I haven’t worked on one of these types of events overseas.

What do you think are the challenges and opportunities facing Australia’s events industry?

We’re in the business end of the industry in that we actually physically actualise what clients desire. We’re not in the digital end, we deal in physical objects, we don’t deal in the digital space, so the challenge for us is to maintain relevance. But I don’t think you’ll ever replace the human contact that is required in our industry.

What’s something few people would know about SRC?

We have a robot and two CNC machines, and not only do we complete jobs Australia-wide, but also internationally, we recently delivered a high-end exhibition stand in Japan involving epic logistical challenges!

What’s the best advice you’ve received about working in the events industry?

Be flexible. Be prepared for change, our industry evolves quicker than any other. Also, don’t be scared of a challenge.

Views expressed in this Q and A are solely those of the subject of the Q and A.