To help mark Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on Thursday 12 April, Arinex CEO Tamara Kavalec led a roundtable that was streamed across the company’s five state offices. The discussion was aimed at helping Arinex staff share knowledge and experiences, as well as encourage some self-reflection on what values the events industry has given them.

The Arinex roundtable is one of a number of initiatives taking place around the world for GMID, a campaign that was started in 2016 to help spread awareness about the value of business events. Ms Kavalec said it was enlightening to hear the diverse and varied perspectives of the team.

“We work in such a fast-paced environment, it’s not often we take the opportunity to reflect on what drives us and makes this industry such an appealing and engaging place to work for, with people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,” she said.

“I particularly enjoyed hearing what it is about our industry that motivates our staff and those motivations change from person to person. It has been a really valuable discussion and a great way of marking Global Meetings Industry Day.”

Arinex’ forum centred around two key questions; what attracted you to the events industry and what inspires you in your career? Here are some of the responses:

“For me, events is in my DNA. It runs through my veins. I’ve just seen the industry grow and blossom and Australia has become more and more serious about business events. Events is still a growing industry whereas many other professions have plateaued. It is also a great industry for women. We’re seeing that there is still a glass ceiling for women across many other professions … but in events that’s not the case. Women are holding CEO and other leadership roles and have been for some time.”

–       Annabel Norris, Business Development Consultant, Sydney

“What attracted me to the events industry is how diverse it is and being able to work in project management, marketing, financial management, sales, hospitality… that diversity appealed to me and it is what has kept me hooked. Also, the industry just continues to evolve. Yes, technology is aiding that but the expectations from our clients have grown and shifted too. If you want to stay engaged in a role or even in an industry, you’ve got to seize the opportunity for growth and development. I’m also inspired by the people we come across in our roles, who are so dedicated and have such influence in their areas of expertise. In events, and in conferences particularly, you’re exposed to the high achievers in a number of professions and it’s a real honour to connect with them. I’m also passionate about seeing people progress and develop in their roles – for me that is so rewarding.”

–       Tamara Kavalec, CEO, Sydney

“I first heard about events in Year 9 at a career education class. I also had two family members who worked in events so my expectations about joining the events industry were pretty accurate – and I love it. Our day to day lives are really exciting; every conference we do is different, we get to meet new people and I like the overall challenge of delivering events.”

–       Lauren Detez, Project Coordinator, Perth

“One thing I’ve learnt – and come to love – is how in this industry, you get to be a part of some pretty significant moments. We all play our own, small parts but sometimes you forget the bigger picture. There was a biotechnology conference recently and it led to a big discovery, on how to edit people’s DNA. That came about because of the conference, because two scientists at that conference got talking and put their heads together.”

–       Shaun Daws, Business Systems Analyst, Sydney

“I started working in the disability industry and decided to come to events about eight years ago. I love the adrenalin of creating and delivering an event and being part of something big – and making other people happy because of it. People have said to me that working in the disability industry must have been rewarding – but I actually find it more rewarding in events. You feel proud of what you do and you feel like you’re making an impact. It’s completely addictive.”

–       Shireen Sampson, WA Business Development Manager, Perth

“I also started in another industry, as a social worker. I saw a job opening with a conference producer years ago, and I thought that sounded like a pretty glamorous job. I also liked the idea of travelling for work. That was what hooked me. Since then I’ve done marketing and communications and tele sales and now sponsorship and exhibition, and I think it’s great that we work in an industry that allows you to be what you want to be. What I find so rewarding is enabling others to achieve their goals through the work that I do as part of an events team.”

–       Elaine Koh, Account Manager, Sydney