Meet the Team

Rob Debenham, Show Manager
Email: rob.debenham@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8129

Rob has worked directly for a number of enigmatic and successful entrepreneurs over the years including Felix Dennis, Richard Desmond and Lord Heseltine. This has reinforced in him that vision and passion are key to the success of any venture. It’s this approach that was instrumental in bringing Rob to the role of Head of Sales for the Destinations shows nearly 3 years ago. Travel now courses through his veins and as a member of the CTO, AITO, ABTA and ITT he has found the industry and market that he will remain in for many years to come.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Sienna for the Palio. The beautiful streets of this idyllic and mesmeric walled city resound with the cheers and cries of each Contrada as they sing and wave their horse to victory. A truly spectacular setting in the Tuscan hills. Oh yes, they have Chianti there too…Enough said.

Las Vegas. Having stayed at The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bally’s, The Flamingo Hilton, Monte Carlo, The Imperial Palace, The Rio, The Venetian, Excalibur and Bellagio – the best still has to be Caesars for a tad of history and class (as much as you can expect in Vegas).

Rome. Although it’s the 2nd Italian destination here, but it just has so much of everything…great architecture, history, music, food and yes…wine.

Best holiday?
The next one…

Recommend a place to stay
Hotel Delle Nazioni, in Via Poli, Rome. 50 yards from the Trevi Fountain and perfectly positioned within walking distance of Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese, The Vatican, The Colosseum and Roman Forum. A cracking hotel with great staff and a really friendly approach.

Nick Pratt, Sales Manager
Email: nick.pratt@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8127

Nick joined Clarion Events in 2011 working on the Top Gear Live Shows as a sales executive. Nick quickly worked his way up to become the Sales Manager across Clarion’s Motoring Portfolio including The NEC Classic Motor Show, Classic Motorbike Show, Practical Classics Restoration & Classic Car Show, Race Retro and the National Car Club awards. Looking for a new challenge and a change of directions, he decided to join the Travel team, having already worked for the Destinations Shows shortly in 2012.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Southern Provence, Sri Lanka – Beautiful country with amazing people.

San Francisco – Cool city with awesome things to see and do.

Three Valleys, French Alps – Beautiful scenery and best skiing in the world.

Best holiday?
Sri Lanka, I don’t think I have a bad word to say about my holiday to Sri Lanka. An absolutely stunning country coupled with some of the kindest, most polite and chatty people I have ever met. The food was great wherever we went and the wildlife was absolutely amazing, seeing elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles and even a leopard. 

Recommend a place to stay
Pokkuluwa Tea Cottage, Mepe Village, Sri Lanka is a beautiful indoor/outdoor living cottage on a working tea plantation in the middle of the jungle. With absolutely stunning views, you are looked after by the unbelievably kind Namali, who is the house keeper, and Manoj the chef. Manoj will cook, undoubtedly, some of the best food you will taste in your life, all from his mother’s recipe books. You will be able to watch the wildlife including monkeys and peacocks whilst chilling out around the beautiful infinity pool. 

Syed Hassan, Sales Executive
Email: syed.hassan@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8143

Syed joined Clarion Events in 2015 and has been working as part of the Destinations team since August 2015. He has a real passion for travel and the industry as a whole.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for its beautiful beaches and majestic waters. You can also take a ferry (approx. 30mins) to Cozumel Island, which is one of the top diving destinations in the world. Stunning clear water just off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.
 
Cartagena, Colombia on the Caribbean coast. It has excellent beaches and is a historic old town with beautiful colonial architecture.

Miami, Florida. World Class hotels and restaurants. Plenty of activities such as parasailing, surfing as well as being able to take the Jet Ski for a spin!

Best holiday?
I would say Cartagena just because of the rich culture and the beautiful walled city which really lets you soak in the local culture. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants and it has amazing weather all year round.

Recommend a place to stay
Fontainebleau, Miami. By far the best hotel that I have stayed in. 5 Star Hotel with all the trimmings. Being able to wake up on the 24th floor of the Trésor Tower looking over the ocean with a stunning city view was something special not least to mention you get to relax with the celebs who also admire the quality and taste of the hotel. Would definitely recommend this hotel if you ever visit Miami!

Robert Hawthorne, Senior Marketing Manager
Email: robert.hawthorne@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8128

Having worked as marketing manager for Wanderlust for over 3 years, Rob joined Clarion Events to run the marketing for the Destinations Shows, London & Manchester, in 2011. 

Top 3 places worldwide?
Iceland for its incredible landscapes, natural wonders and the northern lights. 

New York for the iconic sights, delicious (and fatty!) foods and the amazing Empire State Building.

Marrakech for the magical atmosphere of Jemma el-Fna in the evening, mint tea on roof top terraces and the souks. 

Best holiday?
It's a toss up between Iceland and Kefalonia, Greece. I spent my honeymoon in Iceland having an amazing time quad biking, having a dip in the Blue Lagoon, being sprayed by the erupting Strokkur and driving across its wild landscapes. Kefalonia is a wonderful island with beautiful locations such as Myrtos Beach (one of the top beaches in the world) and the lovely towns of Assos and Fiskardo. 

Recommend a place to stay
One of the rented houses on Ocean View Avenue, Carmel, California. It's moments from the nearest beach, 15 minutes from Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Restaurant (amazing steaks) and you're just over 2 hours drive up the breath-taking Pacific Coast Highway, Route One from San Francisco. 

Neli Zlatanova, Marketing Executive
Email: neli.zlatanova@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8126

Neli moved to London in September 2014 and did a postgraduate degree in Event Management & Marketing. She has been with Clarion Events since January 2015 and joined the Destinations Team in November 2015.

Top 3 Places Worldwide?
Barcelona, Spain. Neli studied and lived in Barcelona for two and a half years and during her time there she fell in love with the architecture, the vibrant streets, the great night life and everything else the city has to offer. Neli still visits Barcelona at least once a year.

Rome, Italy. There are many cities with rich history and Rome is right on top of the list. It is one of those places you want to get lost in and when you do, you discover all the hidden places just as impressive as all the big tourists’ spots, if not even more. Plus who can say no to a rich espresso in the morning and a good bottle of wine at night?

Diani Beach,Kenya. Located south of Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean, this coastline has pearl white sands that can easily be compared to paradise. Tsavo National Park is located just a few hours away, as no visit to Africa is complete without a safari.

Best Holiday?
Euro road trip. Starting in her home town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria Neli did a 10 day roadtrip to the UK a couple of years ago. Stopping in multiple cities such as Belgrade, Ljubljana, Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Cologne, Southampton to end up in London, she loved being in a new city everyday as well as everything you get to see on the road, which is most likely not included in any tourist’s guide.

Recommend a place to stay
If you are every passing through Bulgaria, I would recommend staying in the Old Town part  of  my home town, Plovdiv. Plovdiv is one of the world’s oldest cities and it has an Ancient Roman Theatre dating from 2nd century.