Young leaders paving the way forward
The Venues Collection sales manager, Madeleine Silva, reflects on the importance of relationship building and power of face-to-face events in a post-pandemic world
What attracted you to the business events industry?
I was introduced to the business events industry in 2018 after completing a Bachelor of Business (event management and marketing). I love the creative aspect of the industry.
Planning and organising events requires a unique blend of imagination, innovation and attention to detail, but it also demands adaptability, quick thinking and problem-solving skills, which keeps me on my toes and continually learning.
This industry not only offers a unique blend of teamwork and collaboration, but also provides a platform for networking and building connections across different industries and communities.
What are the current concerns of your corporate clients? How are you addressing these needs?
Corporate clients place great importance on creating a memorable and engaging experience for their event attendees. They want to ensure that participants have a positive and valuable experience that aligns with their brand and objective, contributing to their ROI.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly prioritised as clients seek to make a positive impact on the environment while ensuring their event is cost-efficient and delivers value within the allocated budget.
These concerns can be addressed through effective communication, flexibility and providing transparency. Understanding the client’s vision and what they are trying to achieve will assist in creating a curated experience and meet your client objectives.
When it comes to negotiating with clients, how would you describe your approach?
My approach is centred around open communication, mutual understanding and finding win-win solutions. Understanding the needs, concerns and goals of my clients is essential in any negotiation, as well as establishing a strong rapport and building trust, which allows for more productive and constructive negotiations.
The business events industry is diverse, catering to a wide range of clients with different objectives and needs. Taking a consultative selling approach allows you to understand a client’s goals and challenges. By asking questions and actively listening you can uncover the client’s pain points and provide solutions.
Strong relationships are essential in this industry as it often involves long-term partnerships and repeat business. By investing time in understanding their requirements and consistently exceeding their expectations, you can foster trust and loyalty. Positive word of mouth referrals from satisfied clients can be a powerful driver of new business.
The current business environment poses many challenges as companies are dealing with high inflation while navigating the post-Covid world and the need to bring remote teams together. What role can business events play in overcoming these challenges?
Business events provide valuable networking opportunities where companies can connect with industry peers and potential clients. Attending these events offer the opportunity to bring teams together and provide companies with access to the latest industry trends and market intelligence.
By fostering collaboration and relationship-building, these events enable businesses to explore new avenues, exchange ideas and learn from industry experts. This will help companies to adapt and find innovative solutions amid an evolving business environment, allowing them to proactively respond to inflationary pressures and identify opportunities for growth and operational efficiency. This can also support companies in adapting their business models and operations in the post-Covid world.
As a young professional, what does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means taking on the responsibility of guiding and inspiring a team towards a shared vision or goal. It involves effectively communicating the vision, setting clear expectations, providing support and resources, and empowering team members to reach their full potential. Leadership also entails leading by example, being accountable, and fostering a positive and inclusive work culture.
What changes, if any, would you like to see within the industry?
I would like to see more collaboration and partnerships between event organisers, suppliers and industry professionals. By working together, venues can stay informed about emerging trends and provide added value to event organisers. Collaboration can lead to the development of innovative event concepts and the creation of memorable experiences.
In your opinion, what does the future of business events look like?
In the next 5-10 years, the future of business events is likely to undergo significant transformation driven by advancements in technology, which in turn, will impact attendee expectations. I believe the future of business events will be marked by innovative technologies, immersive experiences, an even greater focus on reducing our carbon footprint and improving attendee wellbeing.