Newsletter Issue 14 : May 2015

BEST COMPANY | INTERVIEW | JOB BOARD

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THE BEST CONFERENCE COMPANY TO WORK FOR

This year at the Conference Awards, we have a new category which is free and easy to enter “Best Conference Company to Work for” do encourage your whole team to enter – it will be a fantastic accolade for the winning company. The deadline for nominations is 31 May.

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Conference Awards at the Hurlingham Club on 3 July – if you still need to book yours contact sian@conferenceawards.co.uk or book here.


INTERVIEW

AN INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE JENKINSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, RBI CONFERENCES & COMMUNITY CARE

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing conference businesses today?
I think there are a number of challenges, which tend to be interlinked.  Share of time is a key challenge and opportunity.  As business people find their time stretched, the choices they make in attending conferences are more important to them.  In an increasingly competitive market place, this can give us an advantage though.  To retain customers, it’s essential that they leave the event feeling that they’ve had a valuable experience, so ensuring that an event has delivered return on investment for both attendees and sponsors is critical. 

With sponsors, getting clarity on their drivers and aims for the event is challenging but again absolutely essential to exceed their expectations, deliver ROI and retain them as customers for the future. 

What skills do you now need which perhaps you didn’t when you first started in the industry?
Opportunities to engage with your audience are so much greater than they were a few years ago.  Event marketers have so many methods of reaching an audience, and knowing the most effective for your market is key to a successful campaign. 

Customers too expect to be able to engage with the event and other delegates in ways that they couldn’t before.  In the past, they would turn up at the event and work the room face to face to get the most from any networking opportunity.  Now, we need to deliver multiple chances for customers to connect to enable them to get the most from the event. 

Has recruitment and the talent available changed?
In this business, our talent is everything.  Our products are the direct result of the creativity, market knowledge and business acumen of our people. 

It’s certainly never been easy to recruit great sales people, but it seems to be harder still in recent years.  RBI is a fantastic employer with cool new offices in Holborn, market leading brands and amazing opportunities to grow a career for the right people, but even we find it challenging. 

Have models and formats changed?
The face-to-face experience and the chance to combine networking with industry insight and learning are still the key drivers for our customers.  At RBI, our events tend to be a mix of the two, but in some markets there is a stronger drive to learn and update on new developments, and in others, the need to meet and do business is stronger. 

It’s important to know what the customer is trying to achieve and provide them with an environment that fulfills their needs.  That does mean that we need to be creative in the way we design our programs, perhaps adding one-to-one networking sessions or introducing a workshop, for example. 

Are there particular challenges in the market you operate in?
Our conferences are in wide ranging markets such as aviation, petrochemicals, energy, finance and property.  They all present different challenges, but the things they have in common are the pace of change and development in the markets.  This presents us with great opportunities for new topics and content that customers must know to do their jobs, but it also means that we have to be one step ahead of the market always.  Lead times in the event world mean that a new piece of legislation or new development could be old news by the time the event actually takes place.

We work in global markets, so we’re not reliant on any particular region for our business, which has been helpful in our growth.  We’ve been particularly successful in cloning events into new regions over the past few years. 

What makes RBI special? Is it very different to working at EMAP with the large publishing business alongside it?
The opportunity to work with world leading brands, with the reputation and awareness in the market gives us a head start.  When our teams call customers about a new conference idea in one of the sectors, they are instantly recognized. 

Give us one tip / one key lesson / recommendation which you would pass on for success.
It’s essential to put your customers right in the middle of everything you do and think about.  Find our what they want, what their challenges are and what problems they are trying to solve. 


JOB BOARD

For more information about GCN Talent see: www.gcntalent.com

Chief Marketing Officer – Conference Company - £80-£90K plus bonus – London

Senior Sponsorship Sales Manager - £50K base £100K OTE – London

Portfolio Director – International Real Estate Events – London – up to £48K base £78K OTE

SPEX Sales Manager – Singapore - £30K base £45K OTE plus relocation and benefits

Sponsorship & Exhibition Sales Executive – up to £28K base £40K OTE

Events Marketing Manager – Association – up to £45K plus bonus – London

Sales Director – Renewables Events - £50K base £90-£100K OTE – London
 
Account Manager/Agent – Specialist Speaker Bureau – London £30K plus commission

Delegate Sales Executive – £20K base - £30K OTE – London

If you’re a recruiter looking for help with a particular vacancy or recruitment campaign, please call us on +44 (0)20 8123 5805 or email kevin@gcntalent.com and we’ll be delighted to discuss your requirements and how we can help.