Kevin Jackson is truly inspirational for everyone starting in the industry or wants to advance in their career. He was voted most influential person in the event industry, he is a very popular international speaker, he regularly contributes to podcasts and featured in industry magazines. He is currently president elect of ISES and vice-president of sales and marketing, EMEA at global experience agency George P Johnson (GPJ), a role from which he is to resign in October to pursue new projects, which are still unknown.
Having such a strong personal brand in the events industry, I asked Kevin how he got there.
He is just back from Rodan + Fields Convention in Austin where he gave a talk about brands and personal branding. He suggested that before talking about personal branding, it is important to understand brands in general as it gives context. Brands are a short hand for the values that they contain
In fact all brands are is a set of promises: a set of promises you make to your customers, clients and consumers. And the way you behave i.e. what you do is how you deliver on those promises
What importance does personal branding play in the events industry?
Very important. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, a personal brand is vital. It’s how you differentiate yourself, it’s how you become strategic – you are building something personal. It’s how you invest in yourself.
How do you define your target audience?
Everyone you come into contact with. It doesn’t matter what or why they need to experience your brand.
You are often featured in the press, how do you get press coverage?
You start by always saying yes – Can you write a .. YES, can you create a.. YES, can you speak at.. YES.
You need to build your network and your knowledge by having a point of view and keep investing in your own knowledge and building your brand.
How event professionals can identify and leverage their strengths in the business environment?
First they need to understand what their point of view is. What their brand stands for that is unique. There is a sentence I use and they need to complete it “My brand is the only one that…”. Start there.
What tools, both online and offline can help event professional market themselves?
Knowledge, opinions and skill. All of these things are what online and offline audience are looking for you. If you’ve got one and are willing to share – you are unique.
What tips would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
It doesn’t matter how far you go in any industry everyone is guessing. You guess/ opinions are just as good as anyone else’s. And finally, you get paid for the job you do (no matter how hard or how long the hours are) you get rewarded for the value you had. Do a great job but look for ways of adding value – That’s building your brand.