Stewart Buchanan

Managing Director, Clever Event Technology

With a bachelor’s degree in commerce, Stewart joined the workforce unsure of what he really wanted to do. He started in a research/planning role at an ad agency and then was drawn to exhibitions and events because of the wide portfolio of events and industries on which he could work. Stewart has gone on to build his own business within the industry and has never looked back. Stewart started out in the industry working for major event organiser, Diversified Communications, in a research role and explains how this led to starting his own company.

Coming from an organiser’s background, it was really clear to me that data was crucial to the industry. I saw a gap in what ticketing and registration systems were doing. With the emergence of mobile – from nobody using phones for anything more than making calls into mobile phones being ubiquitous and being able to scan tickets and badges – the disruption opened up opportunities.

The business evolved from a research business, into a technology business and then finally into a ticketing and registration business. That evolution started in 2011.

Once you’re in the industry, there’s opportunity to grow into lots of different areas. I didn’t really enter the industry expecting to be running a ticketing company in 10 years.

My career has taken a couple of different trajectories.

I’m confident I could have gone into a sales role or an event management role. It’s not an industry where you need to be shoe-horned into one job forever. Once you understand how the industry is built and managed and run, there’s a lot of flexibility in the roles that you can grow into.

People don’t leave this industry because it offers something that is pretty unique – there is a lot of variety and flexibility.

Stewart’s advice for anyone interested in a career in exhibitions and events:

If you’re passionate about something, then you can find an event that is in the category. I’ve worked on motoring events, health and fitness, fashion, industrial design and food. There are so many different shows. It’s what I love about this industry.


“It’s been a really enjoyable journey. I love the industry, I always have. I wanted something that had variety, so I wouldn’t get bored. I didn’t really enter the industry expecting to be running a ticketing company in 10 years.”