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The only free, offi cial conference venue-fi nding service for Oxford and Oxfordshire01608 731802Confex Stand B260www.meetoxfordshire.comOne of the most central and iconic meeting and events venues in LondonCall our sales team on 020 7412 5522 or email conferences@bl.uk . C onference Centre refurbishment just completed . Auditorium for up to 255 delegates. T he King's Library Gallery with spectacular views for up to 200 for post-conference receptions and dinners. T he Terrace Restaurant and Terrace including outdoor bar for up to 280 for post-conference barbeques and networking eventspeytonandbyrne.co.uk/venuesIT'S NOT JUST A LIBRARYIT'S THE BRITISH LIBRARYF291 BL Events Ad AW.indd 110/6/11 11:34:19

BIG INTERVIEW74 . www.conference-news.co.uk . February 20121980Grass Roots foundedHe remains true to his roots. "The company colours are red because I am a social capitalist," he says and admits to being a young communist, a belief picked up from his father, an old trade union offi cial.His mother was a Methodist just for good measure. So, no surprise Evans embraces both steely strands of thinking and claims his goals remain "greater than the wallet". He owns the theatre next door to his HQ and is a player on the political scene, occasionally, having visited Chequers recently (just down the road from Tring). "I told the Prime Minister, 'We're the real Big Society over the hill from you'," he recalls.The man now in charge of a £300m company claims to have met every Prime Minister since 1964.Evans took his fi rst job in advertising. "A trendy job for a young man from Rotherhithe," he says. "There was no fear of hairman of global perfomance improvement company Grass Roots Group, David Evans, could be forgiven for feeling he has done enough on the events and incentives track to earn a relaxing time away from the roots of industry problems.But recessionary pressures to combat, new international deals and projects and some sorting out at the top of the company's Marlow offi ce has meant Evans is not thinking about moving out to grass any time soon. In fact, the grass is getting greener, with Evans founding a new company in Wales producing sustainable ideas and products.He founded Grass Roots back in 1980 in the county which houses the HQ to this day. The company is based in a former stables just along the road in Tring from former champion jockey turned trainer Walter Swinburn's yard.The 64-year-old Evans is still in the saddle in the race for more business.Warhorsestill charging on home turfPaul Colston takes the train to Tring to meet the mastermind behind the Grass Roots story, Group Chairman David Evans, MBEGrass Roots has been described as a corporate butler. Clients take us into their confidence and into their metaphorical household. In return we carry out their every instruction, keeping our eyes and ears open, and our brains active. And, if all goes well, we enjoy long-term employmentGrowing the business from the roots1984 Evans consolidates company HQ in Hertfordshire2006GRG acquires the European arm of Maritz2011MD of the Marlow operation, Nick Bender, resigns2012Company employs 1,200 staff worldwide, with seven businesses in the UKToday Grass Roots Group boasts 2,100 clients, including 41 of the FTSE 100 companiesC2012February