To stay at the forefront of exhibition design and production, Proj-X needs strong leaders who can be the bridge between art and execution, innovation and strategy. Ben Feltham is one of those people.
Serving as company director, Ben develops strategic plans for the company, drawing on his business insight and hands-on experience. He’s spent his 15-year tenure in the industry right here at Proj-X, managing projects around the world and playing a key role in fuelling our team with the right talent, personalities and resources to ensure standards stay as high as ever.
“My focus these days has shifted from the project management of our large overseas projects to project managing the development and growth of different areas of our organisation,” Ben said.
“I thoroughly enjoy delivering systems that provide greater management capabilities, more transparency or new insights into what we do and how we do it.”
With a knack for marketing and engaging with clients, he’s been instrumental in raising the company’s profile and nurturing the kind of long-lasting, collaborative relationships with customers that sets us apart.
What is your favourite Proj-X design and why?
Easy. The EADS stand at the Singapore Airshow 2010. Although we delivered this project in 2008, 2010 and 2014, the 2010 edition of the stand at this event stands head and shoulders above all others.
It was a great mix of following corporate guidelines but being given the space to suggest creative solutions. It had the budget to deliver high-end finishes and use cutting-edge technology in creative ways. It also provided me opportunities to learn new things, which is one of the things I love about our unique industry, that each project is different from the last.
The EADS stand had so many individual highlights for me it’s hard to pinpoint one, but a few things stood out. For one, we used Solid surface for all exhibit furniture. That’s a man-made material usually composed of marble dust, bauxite, acrylic or polyester resins and pigments (think Dupont Corian kitchen bench tops).
The stand also featured a giant Barco screen wall in the shape of a 1:1 scale A400M aircraft fuselage displaying animations of the interior of the aircraft whilst being loaded with vehicles and equipment. And the list goes on….
What fuels your creativity?
I cannot complete a task badly in an hour when I could spend three hours systemising it, error trapping it then launching it for the rest of the company to benefit from. I believe that we should be better today at what we do than we were yesterday.
What’s your most quirky work habit?
I wear some PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at my desk – specifically, industrial earmuffs which protect my concentration from the ambient noise and distractions in the office!
It gives me a kind of tunnel vision and amazing focus on detailed tasks. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone working to deadlines and producing nuanced planning documents.
When one of our team walks into my office to discuss something, they know to give me a moment whilst I remove my earmuffs!
In your opinion, what does the future of your industry look like?
The same trends and technologies that impact our lives so profoundly are displayed, tested and sold at the events we deliver for our clients. For this reason, cutting-edge technology will always be a major part of what we do. In terms of the elements we build, I expect less waste through the increased use of recycled materials as well as smarter ways of doing things.
An exhibition stand built by Proj-X today is vastly different from how we delivered a project five or ten years ago. We see a quantum leap with advanced composite materials, the latest labour-saving machinery, less waste and a smaller carbon footprint now an everyday part of what we do.