Meet Anthony Kelly, Head of New Business Marketing, Penguins, a UK-based Event Company and SITE’s 2020 Member of the Year
Anthony Kelly started in the incentive industry in 2015 after seven years of marketing across a wide range of industries. When he saw the job advertised as marketing manager for Penguins he felt like the job was made for him.
“I thought I had a good grounding with years of hospitality while at university, including two years at Gleneagles and studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Stirling. I also worked in marketing across a range of industries including oil and gas, engineering and dentistry before I joined the MICE world. I haven’t looked back,” he says.
“I have a passion for marketing and get a massive thrill from developing strategies that are built around the needs of audience groups that go on to deliver fantastic ROI. The key to success is continuous testing and measuring, learning from mistakes and amplifying the tactics that deliver.”
One marketing campaign in 2018 for FIFA World Cup caught the eye of Pádraic Gilligan, SITE Chief Marketing Officer, and he reached out to Anthony to extoll the benefits of SITE.
“As an agency in Europe, our role is not just to sell incentives to corporations, but to support the adoption of travel as a motivational tool among corporations. SITE gives us a voice and clout; the word of the many is better than the word of one. It is an industry where it pays to work together,” says Anthony.
“Now I am surrounded by professionals and friends that inspire me every day, from their dedication to their work and the industry to their kindness and ability to let their hair down like Jenn Glynn, Didier Scaillet, Aoife Delaney, Mary Collins and El Kwang. Our community is outstanding!”
Today, Anthony is proudest of being awarded SITE’s Member of the Year at the Global Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada in January.
“Being recognized by such a fantastic group of people is mind-blowing, if not a bit daunting. Imposter syndrome springs to mind,” he says with a laugh.
When Anthony is traveling—which is quite a bit, he likes to taste local cuisines and attempt to create the dishes at home.
“Cooking is my time to relax, particularly outdoor cooking. I have four types of BBQ! It is also a great past time as it means I can invite my friends ‘round to eat and be merry with me.
“My family is hugely important to me (particularly my mum, who is an absolute rock). I like to travel with them as much as possible. In recent years we’ve had road trips to the United States (Boston, NYC, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Houston), spent time in Cape Town, celebrated in Croatia and relaxed in the North of Spain (Asturias has a special place in my heart). I also like acting like a big kid with my little nephew Albie; he is the apple of my eye.”
Downtime is spent reading “You must read if you’re into marketing” and he particularly liked Youtility by Jay Baer and The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. His favorite movie of all time is Midnight Express and he likes the Kings of Leon and Fleetwood Mac.
And if he was hosting a table at his favorite restaurant he’d invite: “David Attenborough, because he’s a legend; Nina Simone because of her character and her music; Ferran Adria – the chef behind El Bulli, possibly the most famous restaurant in the world; Walt Disney just to pick his brain for a minute, and Adele because she comes across as extremely funny, talented and down to earth, she seems like a good person to have a drink with.”
And the best piece of advice Anthony’s ever received? “If you reach for the stars you might touch the ceiling, if you reach for the ceiling you will never leave the floor.”
“It’s a quote from Scottish footballer Bill Shankly who went on to manage Liverpool FC. I’m not a massive football fan but this quote has stuck with me since I heard it back when I was 17.