That’s a long time to spend with one group and the longest stint of my career, but it’s also not a co-incidence. I’d be lying if I told you 10 years at IQPC was all roses, so why stay for 10 years?
It’s pretty simple, the people.
I have worked with some of the best managers in the business, and I have learnt something from all of them. I have many people to thank for opportunities in the past and I currently work with a great management team, who continue to inspire me and share their insight, there is no greater teacher than experience.
The people I work with directly are also some of the best marketing managers in the business. Together they bring a unique set of skills that in itself motivates me and their teams. We have some truly talented people, some of which we have taken the time to develop internally, which is even more rewarding, but some who have also been attracted to the fast paced marketing of B2B events and the entrepreneurial or innovative culture at IQPC.
I believe the culture at IQPC encourages team effort and innovative thinking. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a team start with nothing and build a successful event that meets our commercial targets and makes sponsors, delegates and partners happy. Similarly, in the past few years seeing our online communities grow beyond our expectations has been very rewarding.
I’ve also been lucky enough to work around the world in this business, including long stints in Chile, New York, Sydney and Dubai. I have also worked closely with teams in Argentina, India, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Canada, Brazil and the UK. No two offices or events have been the same, it makes going to work fun!
It’s been a rewarding career, and made me think, so what I have learnt in 10 years with IQPC:
Great product solves 80% of all your problems.
Continually learn – most importantly, every event is different, learn from each experience and read (a lot).
Learn to listen more than you talk. People who do this are always more successful in this business. Also be great at the art of questioning.
Answers to problems can come from anyone on the team. A great event or marketing plan takes team work.
Trust your gut.
Get the basics right, tackle the 4 p’s, use industry or economic models to explain the dynamics of your product.
Research, research, research. Speak to your target audience and partners, gain a first hand understanding of their challenges, and build a product and story that resonates. And challenge all assumptions.
Plan, Execute, Monitor and encourage innovation, testing or experimentation at every corner.
Find an anchor or driver for your event that evokes passion in your audience. Use this to drive all communication.
Great systems and processes help you sleep at night! But people make it happen.
The conference industry in general can be challenging at the best of times, constant time and budget constraints combined with the need to innovate every marketing plan will keep you on your toes. It’s never boring…even after 10 years.