Name: Alessandra (Aly) Damant

Job title: Project Manager

Office: Melbourne

I enjoy my job because: I love helping clients reach their financial objectives – I’m a stickler for keeping fastidious track of budgets and ensuring we are working in the most cost-effective ways.

The event I’m most proud of is: I couldn’t pick just one! The International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 2019 (ICPhS 2019) was the longest lead time that I have had for an event (2 years altogether) and I am proud to say that I was there from start to finish. It was a great and successful Congress with just under 1,000 delegates in attendance, taking place in the UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Languages which made it highly relevant, and the committee was lovely to deal with. We also had a lot of news coverage thanks to one of our keynote speakers and his social robot – Furhat. I’m also very proud of Project Managing the General Practitioners Education & Training Conference (GPTEC) 2019. We introduced initiatives such as tribal networking and a Future Forum; the latter is already helping shape the future of the GP industry. We averted disaster when 5 days prior to the meeting our Gala Dinner venue was shut down and whilst it was a big task behind the scenes to quickly secure an alternate venue, the delegates barely noticed!

Three must-haves while on-site are: My run sheet, my mobile phone and water.

My advice to ensure things run smoothly on-site are:  constantly keep track of details the client shares about their expectations for onsite, building a good relationship with the AV technicians to ensure all technological aspects run smoothly and to ensure the onsite team is supported.

The biggest challenge in managing and delivering events (in my experience) is: finding the delicate balance between delivering a new and exciting event whilst reaching the client’s financial goal. I find that this can be achieved by making sure the project team aligns themselves with the client objectives and keeps these in mind each step of the way.

My two favourite venues are: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre for their service delivery and the flexibility of their infrastructure and Crown Conference Centre, for the quality of the catering and the convenience of having 3 hotels in the complex. I have found that both venues will go the extra mile to assist our team in the lead up to the event and onsite.

Three tips for anyone hosting an event are: never assume anything is complimentary / included, read the details and always picture yourself at the event to see how the delivery would happen, in order to understand all the steps behind it and action accordingly.

When I’m not delivering inspiring experiences, you’ll find me: enjoying the best Melbourne has to offer on the hospitality scene – quite often with visiting friends and family from my homeland of France.

In 5 years’ time how will the events industry look? Australia will keep getting closer to the rest of the world (once the COVID-19 crisis is resolved) and we will continue to see an increase in the number of international delegates.

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