Creating a fully functioning, knowledgeable and balanced Ops Team is no easy task ... step forward The Ops Nest.

We have made it our mission to help ops directors, head of ops and managing directors do just that.

Why? Have a read of our story…

Why it all began

After close to 30 years in ops, venue management, a brief spell as a contractor plus a moment of madness when launching a show, I have seen an abundance of what works and what doesn't.
Lou Kiwanuka

My biggest challenge was creating and developing an independent ops team. 

Managing the ebb and flow of EventShaper, an outsourced ops team where mistakes and their monetary value were very much in the spotlight, I struggled to find opportunities to fully train and nurture my team. 

I wanted to expose them to the learning that had taken me years to absorb at the same time as running the business, managing extremely technical shows and looking at the wider ops picture.

So, I created Lous Lessons, monthly learning that the whole team, regardless of experience, could benefit from, drawing on the perspective and knowledge of many industry experts - thank you especially to Jim Mitchell from GES for our electrics lesson!

Over the same period, I developed a four-day hands-on ops course that would give ops assistants and execs a good grounding in the basics. In essence, everything I wish I had learned at the start of my career plus everything our contractors wish we knew too.

In early 2020 ExCeL and a bunch of fabulous contractors were ready to help me bring this to life. 50% of the places were sold when … Covid happened.

Ops in Lockdown

Without wanting to lose momentum and under the impression that lockdown would last a matter of weeks (how wrong we all were), I flipped the first three workshops of Ops Foundation into hour-long online sessions and Ops in Lockdown was born.
Ops in Lockdown April 2020

The Fledging Nest

As events unfolded, Ops in Lockdown grew to be a weekly opportunity for the industry to come together online to support each other and become a community. Ops in Lockdown proved that those at the operational coalface – whether organiser, supplier or venue – could solve common challenges with more diverse solutions when we worked more closely together.

A few months in Jo Burton and Rebecca Davis came along for the ride. Together with a group of legendary founding members we created the first iteration of The Ops Nest that we see today.

A year later, Jo and Rebecca both got back into traditional ops jobs and I looked around for who might be the ideal people to take the bigger vision forward...

The Ops Nest Today

Fiona Robinson and Tamla Humphrey came together in 2020 to drive the community and learning that the nest now offers. The earliest that our trio worked in events together was (cough) 1999 and we boast a collective 75 years of experience between us.
Fiona, Lou and Tamla

As a collective, we all think we’re pretty lucky not only to work alongside two awesome people, but we also get to be part of a brilliant wider community. 

The Ops Nest has been created on the basis of working a limited week so that we focus on only the best ideas while still allowing us to do consultancy in our own rights. The balance enables us all to be connected into the industry and of course juggle work and home – something that most opsprofs dream of.

The Ops Nest Collective are always hands-on at each Ops Nest event and open to chatting with you about what The Ops Nest could offer so give us a bell.

Meet The Ops Nest Flock

Our members represent organisers, suppliers, freelancers and venues. Many of them have been with us from the very beginning and we are proud to count over 180 among the Ops Nest Flock! Here are just a few of our founding members...
A group of 30 people wearing hard hats and high vis, photographed from above