The Ryder Cup Festival with Robert Kenward

On this week’s episode, the host Narmeen chats to Robert Kenward and discusses his dream event that is a Ryder Cup Festival. 

Robert is a specialist Fitability recruiter for the Live Event and Experiential sectors. He is a recruiter focusing on applicant’s career aspirations, rather than just their skills, which he has been doing for around four and a half years. Previously, Robert was an events professional for six years and a high street recruiter for ten years. This means, he has accumulated a vast amount of experience and skills over the years. Although Robert is an events professional who recruits and has a great amount of knowledge, he states that you would not want him actually delivering your event. 

As Robert is a “golf nut” he decided his dream event would be to run the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is a massive event with numerous logistical elements, this includes huge opening and closing ceremonies. 

In Robert’s version of the Ryder Cup, if it were to be hosted in America, it would be at Pebble Beach in California. However, if it were to be held in Europe his ultimate destination would be the Old Course at St Andrews, in Scotland. The Old Course has been described as the “home of golf” and Robert is still waiting for his shot on that course. 

The main theme of this event is “the past inspires the future”, with lots of harps back to the old days of golf, but many aspects of it being round the group of players moving the game forward. He describes it as looking back to use it as motivation for the future. 

The opening and closing ceremony would include The Rolling Stones, Fat Boy Slim, Oasis and Chemical Brothers to create a Glastonbury Festival feel to the event. He wants to create an environment where people can go to different areas and experience things, as well as watching the golf. After the golf is over, Robert wants Cirque Du Soleil type tongue and cheek entertainment with big band music to go along with it. 

Robert struggled when deciding what food to have at his event. He narrowed it down to finger food, beer and champagne. He wants to ensure there is little food waste as he has witnessed the amount of food that does not get eaten in the VIP tents or corporate areas. He wants easy to eat finger food that is quick to prepare and get out to hungry attendees. He wants to fill themed areas with street food vans and have drinks relating to that theme or region. He states that Food and Beverage (F&B) can strongly determine if attendees thought the event was good or not. Guinness would be one of the main suppliers to the bar as well. 

In Robert’s dream event, Europe are the winners and the USA do not even get a point. This means, there is a massive closing ceremony with everyone celebrating the win. Robert describes team USA as sore losers and believes they would be on the first flight back over the Atlantic. The captain would pass the ceremonial putter on to the new captain and they would do a “Snoop Dog/Dr Dre” thank you for the younger audience. The Queen would also make an appearance and knight the winning players. The captain would finish by saying Robert is going to T-off and open the next Ryder Cup. 

Special guests at the event would include Bill Murray, Michael Jordan, Noel and Liam Gallagher. 

How would this event be virtual?   

Robert states he would rather not do it, as he believes it would demean the event because the event is so live fan based. He would rather postpone the event a year and have more attendees. On the day the event would fall, he would do something to mark it. Live events have a purpose and cannot be replaced. The touch, smell, feel and electricity cannot be replicated virtually. 

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