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‘If I were taoiseach I’d contract the vaccine rollout to the events industry’

The Lighter Side with Rob Allidine, managing director of MCI Ireland

Rob Allidine at an MCI event at the Jameson Distillery, Smithfield, in June 2019.Photography: Brendan Duffy

Rob Allidine at an MCI event at the Jameson Distillery, Smithfield, in June 2019.Photography: Brendan Duffy


What businessperson do you most admire?

You can’t but be inspired by Steve Jobs and how he brought phones, computers, Walkmans, cameras, diaries and the video store into one easy-to-use device. From a people management perspective, I really admire Cathriona Hallahan, Microsoft’s leader in Ireland. She has put in the hard yards to get where she is and leads an amazing company, but I’ve always appreciated her human touch and down-to-earth approach.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Probably eating pistachio ice cream before launching into an hour of my very own car karaoke on the way home from work.

How do you unwind?

When work finishes, I love to get the barbecue going. I’ve had 18 already this year. I love throwing parties or surprise food and drink experiences for friends and family.

How much money is in your wallet?

There’s €50, which I took it out of an ATM in February 2019. Like us all, it is contactless payment these days.

The last book you read?

I’m more into podcasts and particularly enjoy The Stand with Eamon Dunphy. I love his irreverence and respect for storytelling, and his interaction with fellow journalists.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?

Surround yourself with like-minded, passionate people with complementary skill sets and expertise.

Who is the most famous person in your contacts list?

I’ve been fortunate to work with a wide range of musical, sporting and movie celebrities over the years and have amassed a lot of numbers but I’ll only be calling when we have something we want them to get involved in.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

Working in the event industry is a vocation. I genuinely love what I do and build social time into worktime, but nothing beats spending time away from it all with the family. I can usually be found in a theme park in Florida every December.

The last film you watched?

Last film I saw in a movie theatre was the last Star Wars movie. Since then, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Netflix. Really loved The Bodyguard.

What is your favourite possession?

I prefer experiences and memory making to possessions but I love my home and couldn’t be without my iPhone.

What’s your most memorable holiday ever?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big kid at heart and I’ve been fortunate to spend a Christmas in Disneyworld with the family. Nothing beats the festive, feel-good atmosphere there.

What social media do you use?

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I love LinkedIn from a business perspective but equally love how Facebook connects us all.

If money were no object, what would your fantasy purchase be?

I’d buzz JP McManus and get him to sell Luttrellstown Castle to me. It would make a great home and venue for events and weddings so every day would be a party.

What is the first website you look at every morning?

A quick flick across all social media to see what’s going on.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Absolutely a night owl.

If you were taoiseach for a day what would you do?

I’d contract the vaccine rollout and centre constructions to the events industry. My colleagues in EII, EIA and Epic have all the logistical and design know-how to mobilise and deliver quickly. After that, I’d look to create a government-backed home purchase scheme, so everyone has a chance to own their own home. 

What’s your favourite place in Dublin and why?

There’s nothing I like better than having a few mojitos in Zozimus before dropping around for a meal in Fade Street or The Rustic Stone. It’s either my right-hand man, Ronan Coleman; or my wife, Inez, with me.

Anything you would like to plug?

Absolutely. We have an array of virtual and hybrid event experiences that take virtual to a new level, so if you’re looking to motivate, inspire, reward or educate your team or clients, get in touch with me at MCI Ireland. We create experiences.