Bob Ferneyhough

Bob Ferneyhough
Director, IEM

As part of our commitment to championing the industry, we are talking to people about their careers and what IEM means to them.

Bob Ferneyhough is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has over 40 years business experience as an HR professional in successful international companies. With sector experience in FMCG, Information Technology, Industry and Manufacturing, he is a former Board Director and Company Secretary with Henkel, responsible  HR, Health and Safety and Corporate Communications across the UK & Ireland. Apart from several charity trusteeships and pro-bono work for the IEM, he is a Trustee Director with the Henkel and Acheson Pension Schemes.

Q What does the IEM mean to you?
An opportunity to provide professional recognition as well as personal, practical and career support for event professionals, so that they can tackle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges with confidence.

Q Why did you decide it was important for you to get involved?
Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work for organisations that encouraged personal development and supported me to study for and acquire professional qualifications through my professional body, the CIPD. It was a “win-win” as I was able to acquire new skills, take on more responsibility and improve my performance which directly benefitted the Companies I worked for.  I recognise a similar strong desire for career development support and professional recognition from those in the events sector and I see the IEM as the “go to” place to meet this need.

Q Where do you hope to see the IEM in 20 years  time?
A Over the past 20 years I have seen my own professional body, the CIPD, flourish and really take off internationally, through setting standards, providing support to members and an independent voice and being recognised for its expertise. The opportunity is there, with your help, for the IEM to develop along the similar lines. Let’s not miss it.

Q What is your favourite event related memory?
Being piped aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia at the final night of the 4 day Global Henkel HR Conference in Edinburgh. The 43 seats at the dining table were filled by my fellow HR Director colleagues from around the world. I had the pleasure of organising the conference with the support of a wonderful Event professional. After dinner our pianist for the evening made an arresting entrance wearing his kilt and sporran and entertained us by singing Noel Coward songs, just as the Queen and her guests would have enjoyed. Unforgettable!

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