I am incredibly happy and honoured to have been selected one of the EN 30 Under Thirty and can say that it is one of my greatest achievements so far. EN 30 Under Thirty (EN30/30, or #EN30 on Twitter) is an event industry initiative by Exhibition News (Part of Mash media and Confex organisers) to recognise, nurture and develop young talent. In its first year, it generated great industry interest and attracted sponsors and partners including ExCeL, N200, ASP and AEO.
The awards night took place on 6th May at the Sunborn Yacht Hotel and announced all the individuals who have been chosen for the inaugural class of 2015.
After some drinks and networking EN managing editor Jamie Wallis opened the evening by sharing his story how he started in the industry and was lucky enough along the way to have mentors who helped him to reach his full potential. The vision of EN30/30 is to give the individuals the opportunity to be mentored, to get to know each other, network and learn, get support from more senior planners and appear on industry panels. He concluded with a quote from Matthew McConaughey who, when he went to pick up his Oscars said that he only goes against himself in 10 years’ time and that what drives him on – to be a better self. And so it is true for us. There is a lot of competition in the industry and the challenge is not your peers but only yourself.
Chris Skeith, Chief Executive Officer at Association of Event Organisers (AEO) talked about the selection process and shared some ideas how they will engage with the 30 finalists. They selected individuals who demonstrated commitment and initiative over their day-to-day job, winning awards or liaising with educational institutions. They want to engage the finalists in events and panels and ask “what keeps us awake at night”.
In order for the industry to grow and develop forward, they were interested to support this initiative and recognise, nurture and attract more talent.
Jeremy Rees, executive director at ExCeL talked about the global importance of events industry to the UK economy and current trends they see at ExCeL. Around £13m visitors visited exhibitions in the UK generating £13bn of economic impact, not including the broader events industry (conferencing, events and hospitality) which together sums up to £38bn. Nowadays, when internet dominates our thinking, behaviour and consumption, consumer shows and live brand experiences play key part in the mix and there to stay. Events bring people together to celebrate and share experiences, and enhance the power of physical and online communication.
For the finalists he gave an advice to “challenge and question the status quo, to go out there and connect face-to-face and continue developing disruptive business models”.
Julian Agostini MD at Mash Media, before handing out the certificated, concluded that we will meet again in five years’ time and see where everyone is with their dreams and careers.
To be honest with you, five years ago I didn’t even know that I will be in the UK, pursuing an event management degree and building my blog and all the great opportunities and fantastic people I met along the way. While I do want to tell you where I want to be, I keep an open mind, try different things, learn fast and constantly improve.
Listening to them was very inspiring but most importantly I think it is a big step for the industry going forward by investing and believing in young talent entering the industry! I was overwhelmed by the great support and positive feedback I got from friends and colleagues from all over the world when I published the news on my social media and would like to thank everyone and also EN for selecting me as one of the 30 Under Thirty!
Again, congratulations to all the 30 who achieved the EN 30 Under Thirty award and I invite you to follow me on the journey for the next five years and keep up to date with my career.