Ken Findlay, Co-Founder of Events R Talented, proves there’s more to the events industry than meets the eye while raising money for an incredible cause.
Events R Talented began in 2018 founded by Ken Findlay, Paul Tidy, Graeme Saunders, and Matt Curran as a way to raise money for charity while celebrating the events industry and its talented event professionals. Five years later after three successful shows and surviving the pandemic, the talent show is preparing for its 2024 entrants and raising money for Rare Dementia Support, a personal cause for Ken Findlay’s brother.
If you’re thinking about entering next year’s show Ken says: “The condition for entering the competition is that you have to work in events as a standard event professional, so you’re not working events as a singer or part of a band. But it’s that you’ve always had this idea that you want to do – whether its as a singer, as a dancer, or as a comic or whatever else – it’s just having this performance talent.”
The overall winner gets to perform at the M&IT Awards Dinner to over 1, 200 people and is invited to a special five day trip to the Caribbean. For someone who has a hobby and a dream of becoming a performer this could be your first professional credit and a great stepping stone to stardom. Previous winners have had the boost to pursue their passions and careers further after competing. 2018 winner Eiza Murphy, a singer-songwriter, now has a record contract and three Spotify number ones and Johanna Potkin winner in 2022 is a talented flute player who was approached to play with The Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall after her win. This year’s winner Reina Villaneuva performed a set at the Famtastic Awards in Manchester where Ken says: “People couldn’t believe she wasn’t a 100% professional singer.”
What’s more, the talent show warms the hearts of the event industry and beyond with its committed charity ventures. Ken says: “We invite people along to our evenings; we normally get 70 to 100 but
we have had as much as 140 on our very first night. And we don’t charge them to come to the event, we ask them to make a donation.” At the show’s live auction and a raffle there are epic prizes to be won, such as, tickets to see Paul McCartney, and VIP tickets to the National Television Awards.
This year’s chosen charity, Rare Dementia Support (RDS), helps individuals and their carers who have one of seven rare forms of dementia, which most typically affect people aged under 65 and as young as 20 years old. One strain of which, Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), has recently been in the media spotlight with Actor, Bruce Willis’ diagnosis in 2022 which was first misdiagnosed as Aphasia due to the lack of knowledge surrounding rare strains of dementia.
Ken’s brother has also been affected by the same strain of dementia, Semantic FTD. He recounted: “The day after the M&IT Awards I got a message from my sister- in-law to say that my brother had been given a formal diagnosis of Semantic FTD and though he’s 67 now, he first started showing symptoms of it when he was 63 in 2019. I spoke to Paul, Graeme, and Matt in a meeting and told them about the situation with my brother, and I said: ‘So are you guys happy if we make this our charity for 2024?’ and straight away they said you don’t even have to ask.”
To get involved with Events R Talented and its support of Rare Dementia Support look out for its booth at events throughout the year, scan its QR code, or and visit its website: