The Miller Tanner difference is our people. That’s why we want to introduce you to our team of superstars that brings our corporate meetings and events to life for our clients. Today, we introduce you to Production Manager Richard Chalmers, our associate based in Singapore. Richard brings a myriad of creative skills, AV expertise, and innovative solutions to Miller Tanner and to our clients.
Meet Richard Chalmers
Tell us about your current role with MTA. What are your primary responsibilities?
In a nutshell, my main responsibility is to provide MTA face-to-face events with a “Top-Gun” level of AV expertise on site and pre-event. I also provide support outside of this with my experience in video editing, graphics, photography, CAD skills (making layout plans) and willingness to help out. I can’t stand only having one solution to a problem, so I tend to get absorbed in looking for alternatives, challenging the status quo and looking for new things to bring to MTA events.
How long have you been with MTA? I will have completed 2 years around mid-November.
What led you to your career in media production?
I actually started on stage, mainly in musicals. But I started to be more interested in the backstage (namely the lighting) and ended up lighting my first show at 11-years-old. After school, I went on to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and got a degree in ‘Theatre Practice – Lighting Design’. Back then there wasn’t much of a career in theatre, so I ended up doing corporate events, which were just as fun in many ways. Jumping forward, I moved to Singapore in 2012 to work in ‘experiential brand events’, followed by Universal Studios as their lead technical manager for all special events, mostly Halloween Horror Nights. Around that time, Chris Scott called “for a chat”. The rest is history.
You are currently based in Singapore. How long have you lived there? What are some of your favorite things to do or sites to see there? What do you enjoy most about where you live?
I’m based in Singapore and have been here since 2012. Time goes very quickly here as there are no seasons, no daylight savings and the weather, sunset, and sunrise is the same every day of the year. Eating is a big thing in Singapore, so I probably do too much of that. But travel is also amazing and cheap from Singapore. You can jump on a 1-hour plane journey from here and see places you only see pictures of in National Geographic – live volcanoes, orangutans in the wild, all different cultures and religious events.
What interests do you have outside of your professional pursuits?
I like gadgets. I find it really hard to pass up a good gadget that I probably don’t need. Other than that, I really like photography, and at MTA I get to do that while I’m working too, so it’s a win-win.
What’s been your most favorite location for a meeting and why?
I can’t really think of one place. Each location has something appealing to me, whether it’s in a place steeped in tradition like Japan, or familiar like Europe, or frantic and busy like Korea or even just somewhere where the weather isn’t 5000 degrees every day.
What makes Miller Tanner stand out as a meeting planning company in your opinion?
There’s a thing in Singapore called ‘Kampong Spirit’. I’d say it’s that. It basically means that we’re like a community with compromise and understanding amongst the team and social cohesion. Everyone knows everyone in MTA, so the communication channels can be easy to navigate, unlike a big corporation. For our clients, I feel that gives them a certain familiarity and puts them at ease that things are in good hands.
What’s your best advice that you would give to a client when it comes to planning their media needs?
Speak to your AV team or production manager about what you want to achieve. You don’t need to have all the answers or the know-how; that’s what we do.
Any trends in media production that you are noticing?
Things tend to go in cycles a bit. Each time something comes around, there’s some improvements and changes. Attendee devices (like voting pads) have been around for a while, and now everyone has a smartphone, it’s all about apps, engaging and aligning your audience better. If people can’t put their phone down, then might as well take advantage, right?
Since you travel a lot for your position, tell us some of your best travel tips.
Airport security makes you take your laptops and tablets out of your bags pretty much worldwide these days; however, if you have a lot of cables, wires, hard drives and so on, you can be asked to take all this out too. Keep everything in pouches or pencil cases so it’s quick to take it out of your bag and repack quickly.
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