Mo Mahmut’s background is deeply rooted in musical theatre, having graced stages across the globe in shows such as "Spirit of the Dance," "Night of the Musicals," "Back in the Swing," and "Broadway: A Star-Spangled Celebration," among many others. He has worked on set with acclaimed directors Ron Howard and Tom Hanks.
Beyond performances, Mo has written and produced shows which have made their way to global stages and the seas. His talents extend to voice overs and narration, which has been one of his primary focuses in recent years. Mo has worked with Kru Live as an Event Manager for the best part of a decade.
We sat down with Mo to understand his work and what a ‘typical’ day looks like in the life of an Event Manager for one of the UK’s prominent staffing agencies.
What is your role in the business, and what are your main responsibilities?
I am an Event Manager at Kru, and I have been in the role for about ten years now! You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun…
Generally, my role involves me being the point of contact between Kru HQ, the client and staff on site. Depending on the activation, I could be managing a small or large team of staff for one day or a multiple day activation and my focus is ensuring that the activation not only runs smoothly, but that the clients’ needs are met, the staff know their positions and the role in each position, to manage breaks and importantly, to ensure that energy levels remain high throughout the day.
Can you walk us through a typical day in your role, from the moment you arrive at work to when you leave?
As the Event Manager, I arrive before the rest of the team, which usually gives me enough time to catch up with the client to see if there has been any changes since the first briefing, and account for that in my preparation for a brief with the team. I allow for any questions and queries to be addressed with the team before jumping into positions ready for the day ahead.
During the activation, I manage breaks, rotations of positions and maintain constant communication with the client. Should challenges arise, I play a crucial role in problem-solving, either by collaborating with the team or by making changes via the client. The end of the day is usually a debrief with feedback from the client and team, and if the activation is a longer activation, discussing ways to improve ahead of the following day.
What has been your most memorable activation / event and why?
This is a really hard question! I’m going to pick two! The first is the Samsung campaign during the 2012 London Olympics. Just being at the Olympics in our capital city was amazing, but the sheer scale of the Samsung campaign was mind blowing. We had a full retail store with product demonstrations, plus a lot of other activity on site, all for the launch of the Samsung S3. The vibe was - understandably - amazing and the staff were buzzing throughout, it’s one of my core memories of working for Kru.
The second activation that stands out to me is one that I have just recently finished. It was an escape room experience for Lego which means - you guessed it - everything was constructed from Lego. The parrots, the cars, the pictures and frames - everything - was built from Lego. As a massive Lego fan, this was incredible to see. The on-site team were all performers as well, which made the whole experience even more amazing for both the team and all our guests. And bonus, we got to play with Lego all day - what more could you want?!
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role, and how do you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges in this role - and equally, one of the most rewarding aspects - is placing team members in roles where they excel. On large campaigns, rotations are essential to keep it fresh and to keep the energy levels high. As an Event Manager, I work as part of the team, but I am also an observer, which means I am required to get to know the team and understand them.
In doing so, I am able to see where a member of the team is excelling or when they are in a position that they enjoy, and similarly, when they are in a position that they find more challenging or that they don’t enjoy. Rather than simply ask if they would like to be kept off a particular position or role, I would prefer to work with them to understand how I can make their experience more enjoyable. It's a skill I have developed over the years - and in some instances - can be challenging, but I really love to see team members grow in their role and in turn, excel in it.
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what keeps you motivated?
I love big projects with big experiences! Don’t get me wrong, the little ones are also fun, but the best part of this role for me is the immersive experiences - as someone with a musical theatre background - I relish the opportunity to be a part of the campaigns and activations that have a production aspect to them.
I also absolutely love campaigns that are longer than a day or two. I love it because you get to build a bond with people - whether that’s the team, the client or the audience. For me, it makes the whole experience much more enjoyable as you not only fall into the role and the intricacies of the campaign, but you get to work together to make it as successful as it possibly can be.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to work in a similar role or industry?
My background is musical theatre and anyone in this industry will know that you quickly learn to grow a thick skin - and it’s something that I have used to my advantage. As an Event Manager, you need to know how to evaluate yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses and not be afraid to build on the latter. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and you will not only grow as a person, but into your role as well.
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