In the latest of our Q&A’s with PA Life Summit speakers, we sat down with Live The City Managing Director Melody Brooker to discuss her career path, industry trends and advice for aspiring event managers…
Tell us a little bit about your career to date and what your current professional focus is?
I left a successful career within the educational travel industry to establish Live The City in 2006. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and exploring new places and so setting up my own company allowed me to put these passions at the forefront of my career. These days I spend most of my time focussing on the growth and direction of the company, but I always grab the chance to play an active role in the delivery of events whenever I can.
What do you believe are the benefits of attending the PA Life Summit?
The PA Life Summit is a great way for us to connect with our client base and to remain in touch with their needs. It’s also a really useful opportunity to learn about current trends within the wider market.
If you had not taken the career route to become a professional in this area, what would you be doing right now?
I come from a family of teachers and that’s probably a path that I would have followed if life had taken a different course. I’m really passionate about using the skills and experience I have in a way which can benefit others. Aside from my work with Live The City, I’m involved with a local charity supporting young people within the local community
What topics do you believe will be trending within this industry over the next 6 months?
As a service provider to the corporate events market, we’re really mindful of delivering experiences that add value to our clients’ conference programme. Budget and time is at a premium and ever more than before we are weaving client specific content into our team building experiences to continue to engage delegates in their learning even when they’ve left the conference room. I’m sure that this is a trend that is set to stay and it’s been great to put new platforms combining education and entertainment into practice.
What are the biggest challenges facing the industry right now?
Like everyone else, we’re affected by changes in the economy and the uncertainty surrounding the ‘B-Word’ is always hovering on the side-lines. Having weathered the 2008 crash just two years after founding the business, we’re know what we’re up against and are ready for the challenges we may face. When times are tough, it’s easy to understand why companies pull back from what they perceive to be the less critical business activities and team events can sometimes fall into this category.
And what are the biggest opportunities?
I’m a great believer that challenging times can bring opportunities. When the chips are down, it’s more vital than ever to motivate your workforce and let them know just how important and valued they are. The opportunity for us as a company is to continue to create fun, engaging and meaningful team experiences which don’t have to break the bank.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Securing a deal with Royal Caribbean International for a series of on-board treasure hunts for their cruise ships and being there for the maiden voyage of their mega-ship Oasis of the Seas. This deal came in 2009 (after we’d been hit by the 2008 financial crash) and was at a relatively early point within the company. I managed to network my way to an opportunity to present to the board of RCI in Miami – totally terrifying but ultimately an amazing experience.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Delegate! I’m a total control freak and for many years, found it really difficult to hand over any tasks to other members of the team. Having founded the company, it took me a long time to trust anyone else with ‘my baby’. I can still remember the sense of relief when I completely handed over the reigns on a large corporate event for the first time. I’ve learnt that I’m not invincible and there are people within my team who are much better than me at certain jobs. And that’s a good thing!
And what advice would you give someone looking to forge a career in this industry?
The events industry is pressured but it’s fun and you’ll never be bored. Always try to be the person who solves the problem and don’t wait to be asked. Be proactive and put yourself forward at every given opportunity.
Melody and Nicola Van Vliet, Sales and Event Manager at Live the City, will be giving their talk “Keeping The Focus, Adding The Fun!” at the PA Life Summit on September 30th, including an interactive demonstration of their key event formats, where you’ll be in with the chance to win some great prizes!
The PA Life Summit is a must-attend event specifically designed for senior and board-level PAs who want to find solution providers and discover innovative opportunities to help respond to the daily challenges of their professional lives.
Register here to secure your place – If you book early, your registration, refreshments, lunch and seminars are completely free!
Are you an industry supplier? Those attending the PA Life Summit are senior and board-level corporate bookers, with considerable purchasing budgets and the authority to spend them.
These delegates are actively looking to make new connections whilst reviewing their current suppliers – You could meet up to 24 of them.
For more information, contact Charlotte Russell on 01992 374080 / firstname.lastname@example.org.