Having launched the concept of giant smartphones back in 2011, tech pioneer Mark Jones has taken Giant iTab from a fledgling company to a highly respected global brand with multiple awards and global partners around the world. We speak to Mark and find out more about his innovative range of products that have propelled him forward in the digital era, as he is crowned Most Influential CEO 2022 – London, United Kingdom.
Like many before him, Mark Jones started out as a one-man band working from his dining room table with an abundance of ideas, a very small budget, and an acute passion for film. Having worked in film & media for MGM and Sony Pictures, Mark recognised the undeniable benefit of digital presentation and is a true believer in the universal truth that‘content is king’.
Combining a degree in engineering and experience working with touchscreen manufacturing, he saw the potential for a ‘giant smartphone’, having observed that 50% of attendees at a leading tech exhibition were looking at the large touchscreens on offer, whilst the other half were on their new iPhones – leading to his eureka moment for combining the two!
From relatively modest beginnings, he quickly made friends with major brands and built a network of reliable ‘best of breed’ technology supply partners who have helped form the backbone of Giant iTab’s client portfolio for many years. Recognising the enormous contribution made by digital pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Jobs, Mark often refers to his own company as “standing on the shoulders of giants”.
Mark’s current role as a proactive CEO is balancing the executive management of Giant iTab, whilst being at the epicentre of generating the vision to take the company to even greater heights. This involves succession, bringing in experienced people to take over the day-to-day running of the business, and creating more time for driving new product development, building professional teams, and securing more global business.
As an independent, family-owned company with a dynamic team of specialists that services the full spectrum of the event industry – from exhibitors, through to conferences, organisers, venues, experiential agencies, and stand builders – Giant iTab’s international footprint and partners span across four continents. The company’s work ethic and drive rotate around its core values and purpose: “making presentation technology more familiar and more engaging by leveraging the most significant digital device in the world… the smart phone.”
Before they became event profs, the giant smartphone concept was originally designed to be sold into the retail and e-commerce market – and then serendipity herself delivered the events business into the team’s hands!
“We had a good idea and worked hard to make it happen. We were also fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. The events business was showing interest in the use of technology to deliver a better visitor experience, and smartphone apps were being created as digital show guides for almost every large event. The need to make a big impact in a short amount of time became a key market driver for the growing exhibition and event sector.
– Mark Jones, Founder CEO
Leveraging the success of the smartphone, Mark has carved an important “niche” in the market as a global supplier to blue chip companies and the exhibition and events market, providing a range of giant smartphone solutions which have been proven to create better visibility for their clients, sponsors, and exhibitors, by providing more engagement and an improved customer experience for visitors to events, exhibitions, and conferences all over the world. As a result, the company has won multiple awards including the prestigious EN Best Supporting Supplier Award and EN Best Sales Tool 2022, forging Giant iTab into the event tech history books.
After speaking with Mark, it’s clear that from his more than 6 years as CEO, his leadership style has been shaped around the events industry, even becoming a notable thought leader. He’s created a progressive and high-performing team supported by a healthy work environment, with the foundation of his leadership style being based upon core values revolving around honesty, work ethic, performance, generosity, people first, service and support. It’s evident he adds value to everything he’s involved in within his company, and this shows as Giant iTab has translated it’s attentive level of care into higher client retention and stronger brand loyalty year on year.
Mark handpicks each staff member to ensure they possess the qualities best suited to the core values of the company, and that they can demonstrate the skills needed, not just to fulfil the requirements of their individual positions, but to showcase that they have the communication, self-awareness, and technical skills needed to engage with senior members of staff and clients at all levels. This high calibre of personnel creates a competitive and progressive environment, simultaneously supporting each other to reach a common goal, which ultimately, is the driving force behind the company’s continued successes.
In light of the global Covid-19 disruptions, rendering the live events and conference industry to zero, Giant iTab’s bounce back has been nothing short of phenomenal. Having been chosen to build custom giant smartphone solutions for TikTok, the fastest growing social media brand in the world, at a time where live events and conferences were completely off the cards, Mark took it upon his shoulders to rise to the challenge and deliver an amazing series of innovative products.
When live events were finally back on, Mark understood the necessity to diversify and adapt to the challenging circumstances by introducing ‘smartphone sanitisers’ so events can demonstrate they are following government guidelines to combat Covid-19 and provide a safe environment for staff and visitors, truly bringing to life that “necessity is the mother of invention”. Mark’s trailblazing and thoughtful nature during these challenging times has enabled Giant iTab to continue to procure high-profile partners as well as create a very pragmatic and elegant new solution to its product range.
With the growing appetite for success and innovation, Mark and his team are always developing their product range, with the ultimate goal of improving user experience and options for their clients. Their most recent project involves the design, manufacture, and marketing of their 7th generation model, the ‘G007’ – otherwise known as the ‘Salesmate or Executive Sales Tool’. This is your very own ‘portable’ giant smartphone – perfect for the ‘on the go’ event prof. or salesperson looking for a lightweight sales tool to carry with them and present all their apps, websites, social media, and other digital content more effectively. The fact that this particular giant smartphone comes in a custom briefcase compliant with airline hand-luggage allowances, makes it the ‘must have’ sales tool of today!
Mark’s Simple Tips for CEO Success
“Be optimistic. Believe in yourself. Trust in your own capabilities. Know your CEO style. Revisit your assumptions on a daily basis. Stay focussed on what your best at. Set achievable goals. Communicate effectively. Search for the best in everyone and build the loyalty of a good team around you by showing you care. Leverage technology. Take the role of CEO with pride and act as a true north compass bearing with all your company’s, colleague’s and client’s best interests at heart. Celebrate your journey”