IAN JOHNSTON – conference & live event producer
With training and a background in commercial theatre, Ian Johnston [a.k.a. The Hairy Nugget] is an independent conference and live event producer, specialising in corporate events production in a wide range of styles.
With an unusual mix of creative and technical skills and a friendly and approachable style, Ian is able to establish a comfortable and productive working relationship very quickly with presenters at all levels within a client organisation.
He is quick to understand the business and people issues facing an organisation and to identify the key messages and the subtleties surrounding them. Always keen to avoid the 'Death-by-PowerPoint' approach, Ian will look beyond the obvious for more effective and memorable ways to convey the message.
Ian operates as part of a 'virtual' team of like-minded individuals with a wide range of complementary technical and creative skills. Whilst there is always a need for the more conventional styles of presentation, he specialises in formats which often bring freshness and impact to an event.
Working with conference mediators such as Roy Sheppard, Ian is very experienced in producing events based on live interviews and open forum discussions. Careful structuring gives the speakers the necessary confidence in a process which appears to the audience to be spontaneous. It is possible in this way to convey many types of messages which can be difficult to achieve by other means.
With business performance consultants and facilitators such as Chris Howe & ChangeMaker, Ian designs and delivers powerful interactive events and tailored business 'games' which deliver a refreshing balance between talking and doing.
Working with the client team, Ian enjoys finding new ways to draw the audience into the conference and to promote active involvement in their event rather than passive listening.
With a technical and theatre background, Ian is able to turn creative concepts into a practical reality and thrives in the environment of a dynamic, interactive conference where there is a need to turn spur-of-the-moment opportunities into practical, working delivery channels.
Ian has also worked on the development of presentations for a number of professional speakers, including Roy Sheppard and Robin Sieger.
Over the years Ian has done many voice recordings for voice-of-God announcements at conferences & live events, together with a number of studio voice-over projects, including some voicing to animated characters. This is an area that is of increasing interest which Ian would like to pursue further.
Working primarily with client production companies, Ian has undertaken projects and events for a wide range of corporate clients. Prior to going freelance in 1996, Ian was Production Director with the Motivation Group in Hertford.
Ian originally trained as a stage manager at RADA and began his career in West End theatre in the mid 70's. Amongst other projects, he was chargehand electrician on Jesus Christ Superstar. He went on to gain a broad base of experience in electronics manufacturing, sales and exhibition work, including several years with Marler Haley. In the late 1980's he moved to a sister company - Giltspur International Productions - where, as production manager, he started to apply this experience to the world of corporate conference production, or "corporate theatre" as he prefers to describe it.
Ian lives in North London with his wife, Chris, and a collection of guitars that is growing at an alarming rate…