In the spotlight: Daniel Caleb, Wellcome Collection

With the meetings and events industry full of exceptional talent, it's important to recognise the valuable range of insight we have available within the mia network. We caught up with Wellcome Collection's Daniel Caleb to get his thoughts on the industry and events in 2021.

Describe your day-to-day duties

In non-covid times my day is spent ensuring that events taking place in Wellcome Collection successfully achieve the client’s objectives; managing budgets and ensuring that the commercial venue hire team is motivated. A proportion of my day is spent focusing on the future strategy of the commercial team, looking at how we can develop the business to be able to gift aid more profit back to Wellcome to support its mission. 

We are always looking at ways to improve the visitor experience in Wellcome Collection and much of my time is exploring these options. In late 2019 we upgraded our AV to include video conferencing and live streaming, which has proved to be quite timely, then during the last 9 months with more time available we’ve decorated the conference rooms. In addition to this, I am vice-chair of our staff forum which involves listening to employees around Wellcome and offering insights to the senior leadership team. I am also chair of Wellcome’s social committee arranging sports and social events for Wellcome, while outside of Wellcome I’m on the board of Unique Venues of London and a Trustee of EventWell so my time is spent very much around the industry offering support and networking.


How did you get into the industry?

I studied International Hospitality Management at Bournemouth University, and as part of the course, I had a placement year at Jarvis Hotels which highlighted my love for all types of events and in particular the sales element. During my time at University, I also worked in a pub which gave me an insight into Customer Service and together this helped me develop my skills for events and I went to work for Wembley as Sales Manager for the exhibition halls -  that was back in 2001 and I’ve never looked back.


What inspires you?

It’s a cliché but feedback from clients when they have had a great event. I’m a people person and I get inspiration from collaborating with others, so I’m lucky that the events industry has many of these people.

Over the last few years I’ve had a huge passion for sustainability and together with our caterers we have introduced different initiatives and the work of organisations like WasteKnot have shown that together we can all make a difference, all the work we have done on this has been recognised as we recently won the Sustainable Venue awards.


What is your favourite meeting destination?

There are so many great venues in London which make it a great destination for events and there is so much for everyone to do around their conference. Aside from London because I’m biased, I would say I love attending Conferences in Edinburgh. The city is amazing and every time I go I find something new like a ghost tour. I was lucky to attend an Association of Cultural Enterprises conference there a few years ago and many of the networking events were in different museums.


In light of COVID-19, what do you think are the greatest challenges the industry is currently facing?

At the moment it’s the uncertainty of what is coming next. We’ve now been through two lockdowns, managed to turn our venues around to accommodate social distancing but the biggest challenge is going to be to get the confidence from delegates to come back to events. I am positive that this will happen and even more so now with a vaccine on the horizon. The support of trade asscoaitions and bodies has been such a great source of comfort for many venues during this time, giving them an outlet to try and work through the various guidelines that have been issued and providing accreditation.


Where can people go to find out more about your services?

To find out more about Wellcome Collection then you can visit our website wellcomecollection.org; email us at venuehire@wellcome.org  and also view the venue via our virtual tour https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=rMGsprcVCAR