I didn’t set out to work in the events industry but after studying economics at university, I decided that rather than go into a traditional finance or accounting career, I set out into a sales career. I joined an exhibition organizer before moving onto event agencies including GPJ, CWT Meetings & Events and my current agency, 2Heads, where we deliver B2B brand experiences for firms including Bombardier, BBW Worldwide, Sony and Airbus.
Through MPI, I’ve met some great people in the events industry both in the UK and overseas, and made many friends. By hosting events on behalf of the UK & Ireland chapter, I’ve also been able to gain valuable public speaking practice that has definitely boosted my presentation confidence.
What’s new with the Chapter and what are the goals that you would like to achieve with the UK&I Chapter in the coming months? My year as chapter president begins in July 2016 but the wider board that I’ll work alongside has recently been elected. We meet as a team at the end of June to build our plan for the coming year in terms of campaigns, deliverables and targets. Since I joined the UK & Ireland chapter board in 2013, we’ve been focused on delivering great content at the chapter events – it’s something we’ve done well and certainly something we plan to build on during the next slate year. We’ve also launched a fantastic CMP Bootcamp programme that will continue next year. We are confident that certification will help industry professionals gain the recognition and compensation they deserve.
I think, in the long term, the UK meetings and events industry will continue to thrive irrespective of the Brexit vote outcome. As a destination, the UK boasts excellent venues, transport infrastructure and cultural attractions that make it a popular choice for incoming events. Plus the creative talent and respected supplier base means that we can expect continued demand for these services overseas. I don’t expect a vote either way to have a significant impact on these levels of demand in the long run.
Get involved in networking activities to meet as many industry colleagues as you can and build personal connections. Don’t expect networking to deliver immediate returns – it’s really unlikely that the person you meet will offer you a job the same night or invite you to an RFP for a high value project. What is more likely is that the person you’ve met will remember you from your conversation, and if they like you, they might recommend you when that job or tender comes up.
Interview from: Jane Baker, Commercial Director, 2Heads & President Elect, MPI UK & Ireland