The Master Planner
“Anything and everything is within reach. You just have to want it enough to get it.”
As CEO of Informa Exhibitions and Conferences and President of Informa Canada, Will Morris oversees all of Informa’s Exhibitions portfolio as well as conference, training and publishing businesses in the Middle East, Singapore, China, Brazil, UK, France and Canada.
Will Morris has had 27 years organizing events, having started in the exhibition industry in 1987 as the Operations Manager for the South African branch of Montgomery, at the time one of the leading international exhibition organisers. He puts his entry into the world of events down to a chance meeting at a drinks party in Johannesburg. He has never looked back.
Will was the third generation in his family to graduate from the famous Royal Military Acadamy of Sandhurst and to start a career in the army. After 9 years of adventure, travel and sports (which included climbing in the Rockies), Will left for new challenges in the world of commerce and business, which included becoming the General Manager of Grace Bros Cleaning Services in Sydney Australia and working in executive search and recruitment with Coopers & Lybrand New Zealand, before marrying his South African wife, Jo, and heading to Africa in search of new challenges.
From South Africa, Will returned to the UK in 1989 to take up the position of Group Exhibition Director with Reed Exhibitions, with responsibility for their largest industrial trade show group. He then became General Manager for their Birmingham branch and Deputy Managing Director of Reed’s UK.
Ever the wanderer, in 1994 Will and his wife and two sons headed east to Dubai to run the exhibitions department of the Dubai World Trade Centre. It was an exciting time in the oil-rich gulf, and Dubai was entering its fastest growth phase, which provided wonderful opportunities for launching and developing trade shows in a region which included India, Azerbaijan and East Africa.
But after 3 years, Will felt the time had come to launch his own start-up show business to create new niche events which could eventually be acquired by and integrated into larger less nimble organisers. He created Intermedia and IM2 in 1998, and sold the last event, the Superyacht Cup, to Informa in 1998 thus beginning what he likes to term as his last chapter in the organizing business. In 2009 with the support and approval of Peter Rigby, CEO and founder of modern day Informa, he embarked on a 5 year strategy to shift Informa’s events business from being mainly conferences and training, into a more evenly balanced conferences and exhibitions business.
Will lives mainly in airports, always en route to visit one of his 8 main offices that span the globe. But when not traveling he can normally be found either in Dubai where he keeps a residence, or in Geneva and his beloved Alps where he enjoys skiing, walking and sailing on Lake Geneva, or at his wife’s home in Cape Town South Africa. Outside of trade shows, which Will says he enjoys as much today as he did when he started out 27 years ago, he is an intensely family man married for 26 years to Jo, and helping his sons Patrick who is studying architecture at the famous AA school in London, Toby who is studying hotel management and events at the Ecole Superieur de Hotelerie de Geneve and Jeremy who is slogging hard to get good enough school grades to study medicine in Geneva.