Member Stories: zestme
zestme have over 20 years of experience in the corporate events industry and specialise in providing fresh, energetic events to companies of all shapes and sizes. We spoke to John McIlroy, Director of zestme, about how he and business partner Nick Hilditch (Director), started the company, what they are currently working on, and how they are finding Ashton Old Baths so far.
John McIlroy (left) and business partner Nick Hilditch (right) in their office at AOB
How did you start your company?
Having worked in the corporate event industry for many years with other companies, I set up zest Meetings & Events four years ago with my business partner Nick. It seemed the right time and the perfect ‘next step’ for us both. We definitely made the right decision. From Day 1, we began to build up a loyal and dedicated client base and reassuringly for us, our clients come back to us time and time again meaning we must be doing something right! We started off small, working from home offices to keep overheads low. However we soon decided we wanted an office base... somewhere we could be proud to bring clients and business partners.... this is when we discovered the Ashton Old Baths development. We relocated here in May 2017.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are always working on lots of exciting event projects and the great thing about our industry is that every client brief that comes through to us is totally different. Our clients look to us to think outside the box and get creative in our approach. Current event projects we are working on include:
- An evening awards ceremony for 700 guests at the Principal Hotel in Manchester
- A three day fitness conference for 500 delegates in Nottingham
- A family fun day for a corporate client for up to 1000 guests
- A bespoke spy themed team building afternoon for 200 delegates
What do you like about AOB?
Ashton Old Baths provides us with the perfect base for our company. The staff are friendly, efficient and totally dedicated to providing a first class support service for their tenants. We love the whole setting - there’s a unique contrast between the historical Victorian building on the outside with the modern state of the art office facilities on the inside. It’s always a pleasure to show visitors around and use one of the many communal meeting areas for our business meetings. Finally, the business support offered by AOB and TMBC has really helped us grow. We are currently receiving regular business advice from the Business Growth Hub to develop our digital marketing strategy. This is a funded support and doesn’t cost us. We wouldn’t have known we can access such services without the help of the team at AOB and TMBC.
What projects/ambitions do you have for the future of your company?
Immediate plans are to grow our team of full time staff to enable us to service even more clients. The beauty about AOB is that offices are available in a range of sizes so it’s always possible to ‘upgrade’ to a larger office as your business grows. In terms of expanding our business, one area it would be great to offer in the future would be overseas conferences and overseas corporate incentives... how cool would it be to arrange conferences to places like Cape Town or Dubai?!
"The business support offered by AOB and TMBC has really helped us grow. We are currently receiving regular business advice from the Business Growth Hub to develop our digital marketing strategy. "
John McIlroy, Director of zestme