Something happened this week that took me by surprise. Now that in itself is nothing unusual as I am regularly surprised, but rarely am I surprised when things are to do with me.

The surprise in question concerned one of my regular corporate clients. I have for the last 4 years facilitated the opening ceremony of the Arch Triumph Pavilion followed by the awards ceremony and presentations.

This event takes place each year in early June and the Pavilion is based in Museum Gardens adjacent to the V & A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. The Pavilion is a temporary structure which stands in the gardens for around 8 weeks each summer, displaying new architectural thought, based around very set parameters.

However, this year when I followed up with the Director, Kim Benjamin Stowe, he informed me that ceremony was to be held on the 8th of June. Sadly I had to say that I was unavailable on the 8th as I will be running a Banquet at Mansion House for one of the Livery Companies to which I am Beadle.

“Oh I am sorry to hear that” came the reply. “Leave it with me, but can I ask, if I can change the date would you be available on the 9th?” To which I replied that I would be.

Today I got confirmation that they had been able to move the date. This is quite an ask, as it not only affects the museum who host the awards ceremony after the revealing of the pavilion, but all the technicians and designers and everybody else in the production.

The short message I received read “We have now set the date for the 9th, you were too valuable to loose on the day!”

When you dig a little deeper, it is not just that I facilitate the smooth running of the event, but it is the fact that my presence is enough to help some with less confidence than myself to be able to play their part, knowing that I have got their back, and can guide them through the maelstrom of events that make up the ceremony.

So Arch Triumph and in particular Director Kim, thank you very much for your vote of confidence and for moving everything to a day when I could help you.

For more about the Arch Triumph Pavilion go to where full details of this year’s finalists are on display.


James Hasler is a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. He is better known as The Man in the Red Coat, but is available for any kind of event facilitation in any attire that is deemed most suitable for the event.

To contact James please use the enquiry form on the website, or email or you can call him on 07773 229909