Five Minutes With...Matthew Woodham

MatthewWoodhamHow long have you worked at the College?

It will be 15 years in February. Longer if you count my years as a student here, when I worked in the summer with the housekeepers and porters.

What has been your best experience so far?

There have been quite a few, especially the Olympics, and pre-Olympics events that helped us secure the Athletes’ village contract. Some of the filming projects have been fun, such as Downton Abbey and Celebrity Masterchef. The ICTD Conference in 2010 is the largest conference I’ve worked on to date, involving nearly 600 delegates.

Tell us a little known fact about yourself.

I’m an occasional soloist for a community choir in Berkshire.

Tell us a bit about what you do at Royal Holloway

.My main role is to co-ordinate and deliver conferences at the College, as well as some of our largest accounts, including Royal Ascot and the ISIS language school. ISIS alone brings in over £1m and our conference business generates a further £2.5m. Many conferences are initiated by our own academic colleagues, often for research organisations and societies such as the Royal Economic Society and British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, or partners including HEFCE and AHVLA. I work particularly closely with the Science Faculty, which is an important part of my role. It creates strong relationships between academic and professional services communities, working together to build our reputation. I’m also putting together a training course on conferences for PG students.

What motivates or inspires you?

Royal Holloway is a fascinating place to work and we’re fortunate to share some superb facilities on a beautiful campus. Since investing in the Windsor Building and high quality accommodation, we now rank amongst one of the top academic conference venues in the country. Ultimately it’s the people that make Royal Holloway.