19 Sep 2016

Chapter President's Voice: Héctor A. Venegas MPI Germany Chapter

Interview with Héctor A. Venegas, President of MPI Germany Chapter

Could you give us a brief overview of your background and how did you start your career in the Meeting Industry?

I was born in Santiago de Chile and raised in different countries on this planet. I always thought that I would be working in an international field. Having learned 5 different languages, I thought Law would be the right way. So I studied Law at the University of Cologne. To be able to pay for Law School I had to work. After some time in the hotel business, I found the events industry and fell in love with it immediately. So after graduating Law School I did what I had to do: I founded an event planning company.

How has your active MPI membership affected your professional career?

I came across MPI quite early in my career and became a member soon. I soon realized that I could get the best benefit out of it by being actively involved. My personal and professional network became bigger and bigger, and soon learned what it means to be in this community. I learned so much from fellow members and had the pleasure to help others within this community. Giving and receiving is easy along the fellow members. New collaborations and alliances were built and whole new ways of business were made.

What is the value for you to be a chapter leader volunteering for board position?

It is a tough “job” besides your real job, that should not be forgotten. But it can open some doors. Be it because you are in a leading role and have to learn how to lead, which you can apply on your paid job, or because you get to meet people you would have never met without being in the position you are in.

What is your current position and role in the industry?

I am the current CEO of SwarmWorks Ltd., a company dedicated on actively involving attendees of meetings and events.
There are so many events where the main characters are ingnored and forgotten: It’s the attendee. The attendee is the one we are doing the event for. It’s for the attendee that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year. So why would we forget about this person?
If we just have a show from the stage to the attedees we will reduce them to be mere spectators and audience. That is not enough.
We need to turn them into participants, make them actively involved.
There are so many ways tio get there and every event or meeting needs another way of involvement, but it needs to be done.

Tell us more about how you keep up with innovations

I do visit as much of international events as I can manage in my schedule. MPI events like EMEC, WEC or industry exhibitions like IMEX and IBTM are the meeting points of the industry.
If you want to get e feeling how the industry is developing and want to learn new ideas, this would be the places to be.
Every time I visit those events, I come back with new impulses and ideas. Beside that you get to meet a lot of former colleagues and friends and get to know new ones.

What’s new with the MPI Germany Chapter and what are the main objectives for the future?

We are structured in regions, as the country is big and people in Germany don't tend to travel a lot. So we heve to be close to the members in those regions, where we do our edicationals. Recently we have reopened two regions that were long in “sleeping mode”. Those are the regions middle (Frankfurt) and south (Munich). I’m very proud that we managed to revitalize those regions, as they are quite important to the industry.

What advice would you give to young professionals beginning their careers in the Meeting and Event Industry?

Believe in yourself and try to get a good network. It is a very versatile industry. If you believe too much in competition, you will be competed and defeated, if you accept that you might have strong fields and someone else might have others, you will succeed.
If you give a lot you will receive even more.

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