Business Elite MD of the Year 2016

Simon Plumb, MD of the SPA Group Ltd, explains his journey and how it feels to win ‘MD of the Year’.

‘Based in leafy Lymm in Cheshire, The SPA Group, a dedicated marketing agency for over 22 years, delivers integrated marketing, PR and event management campaigns for an array of diverse clients, across many sectors. As such, I really love the variety of the work we do here and no two projects are the same. It is a constant challenge, but we always enjoy rising to the occasion and achieving stellar results for our clients.

Only as good as your last campaign

Despite being around for over two decades, 2015/16 was actually a record year for SPA and a culmination of a great deal of hard work by the team here. While we are successful, and it hasn’t happened overnight, we never rest on our laurels, because in our industry you are only as good as your last campaign or live event.

As for our clients, I work across many industry sectors, spanning American Golf and Black Death Vodka and to the lime industry and commercial engineering. All of these endeavours require a fresh approach to their marketing, PR and events, and this is something I really enjoy conceiving and delivering. When expanding our client base, we are often approached direct, but I also recommend networking at the highest level, as this is something that has certainly paid off for me.

The Wodka from Varrington

In terms of my experience, I started my career, and built my reputation, as the brand manager for Vladivar Vodka, ‘the Wodka from Varrington’, working for Greenalls’ Brewery. After that wonderful opportunity, spending 10 years in-house, doing amazing marketing and powerful PR stunts, I stepped over to ‘the other side’ and joined the agency world. It was in this environment I was able to use my flair, creativity and sense of humour, aligned with marketing nous and experience.

Generally speaking, I enjoy going into companies where growth is an issue. I tend to come at problems from a new, but informed perspective. I find this can awake slumbering giants who are embedded in old ways, and the younger members of the in-house management teams tend be fully supportive of these fresh ideas. When they start to work, everyone feels the momentum and we are all winners.

Reflection of a certain doggedness

Looking further down the road, there are many issues facing companies in our industry. Succession planning is one for all ambitious companies. However, I intend to continue developing my team and delegating greater levels of responsibility. If I can get my golf handicap down to around 15, my succession planning would be deemed to be working.

As for this award, I am delighted to have won this very prestigious ‘gong’ and hope perhaps it is reflection of a certain doggedness to ride through both recessionary times as well as the years of plenty.

Ultimately, if I can continue growing the bottom line, doing great, exciting work for some fantastic clients I will be very happy. It’s not about me or my business, but moreso about the success and growth of my clients’ businesses. If we get that right, everyone succeeds!’

A night on the TILES

Tile Association Awards evening from SPA Group on Vimeo.

From the Tile Association Awards to Utility Week Live, May has been a month of contrasts for us here at the SPA Group, but it’s been really busy too – just how we like it.

The Tile Association Awards is like the ‘Oscars’ of the Tile Industry and we loved planning this event, the stunning troupe of Brazilian dancers were a real hit on the night itself and later on, they had everyone up doing the conga – a 50m train no less, quite a sight to behold!

We look forward to more of the same next year.

Bear necessities pulls in visitors

We joined Lhoist UK on their stand at Utility Week Live, held at the NEC in Birmingham. The pièce de résistance was our huge 7-ft Neutralac bear, busy shaking paws with the many visitors to the show. We held a competition to name the bear at the event, as well as asking our Twitter followers in a poll. And, as we take democracy seriously in this office, I’m delighted to announce the bear will be named Bear McBearface!

Lhoist UK

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Merry Christmas from SPA

Before we all depart today for our annual SPA Christmas lunch, we would all like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The New Year promises to bring lots of exciting new projects for SPA and we can’t wait to get going on them, but we are also super excited to have a little break and spending some quality time with our families and in front of the television (nothing beats Christmas TV!).

From all of us at SPA we hope you too have a fabulous festive season and see in the New Year in style.


Hurrah SPA have done it again!

We are very excited to inform you all about another successful Christmas Pantomime from SPA Group in conjunction with Lymm Rugby Club.

This year the adult pantomime was entitled ‘Snow White and her Seven Dwarfly Sins’ and it was a sell-out show!

SPA strive to raise as much money for the Rugby Club as possible. This year the club’s Grass Roots Appeal is concentrating on buying more land for the Clubhouse as it is long overdue a renovation. We are so pleased to announce that this year the pantomime, written and directed by SPA MD Simon Plumb raised over £30,000 for the Club!

Thank you to all those who bought tickets supporting ‘Grass Roots’ and we hope you enjoyed the show as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Until the Summer we hope you can survive on the memories of the Panto alone. Alternatively you can purchase the DVD and continue the hilarity by watching it on repeat over the Christmas period!!!