Meeting Newz March / April 2021

Trish Kennedy, BEIA; Maxon Nunes, Wairakei; Ani Santos, BEIA E XH I B I T I ONS / TRADE SHOWS ] the potential to elevate the task to a level that was vital to the bottom line. He did – and that’s another story – and eventually became President Obama’s personal aide. “Never miss an opportunity, no matter how mundane it might appear,” says Hiatt. Hiatt’s own career from a fledgling company called Amazon, to the powerful Google empire has taught her many things and she continues to learn. Her key rules are: be fearless (take chances), be humble (accept failure), be influential (be informed), be curious (read a lot) and be balanced (make time for yourself). Do not be afraid to fail as long as you give it a good shot. Do not be afraid of thinking you are dumbest person at the table; be comfortable in not knowing everything and ask strategic questions. Most of all, your job should give as much to you as you do to it. JOHN SHAW – Former PA to CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the board of directors Microsoft After a harrowing beginning to his life before his grandparents rescued him, John Shaw’s career has been a mixture of happenstance and the ability to take and recognise chances. He stumbled into the music industry while waiting for his friend at her place of work on Nashville’s Music Row, when a harried PA thought he was the young man she was expecting for an job interview. After realising her mistake, she nevertheless offered the then college-student Shaw a job stuffing envelopes for country music star, Tracy Lawrence. It was all uphill after that and he was subsequently PA for Lawrence and later Reba McEntire and Naomi Judd. His career trajectory has continued in much the same matter, jobs by chance really. But these chances came about because he has always been assiduous about networking and building relationships. When he has decided to change direction, he has let his network know and jobs arrive, including that of EA to the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the road to which took five months, 15 interviews with 13 different people and a final eight-hour interview over one day. He has also been EA to the board of directors at Microsoft. Shaw is adamant that these opportunities were because of relationships he had forged. Relationships matter, he says, the human effect matters, contacts matter. And nurturing these relationships will help you get to your destination. Every encounter in life we have is pivotal. Some may only be micro-moments but all can manifest and amplify into a true pivotal moment. “Recognise these moments and seize them,” he says. Get a group around you and keep strong interpersonal relationships. Get to know the people on either side of you – say hello. Saying hello is free and you never know where it might lead. STEVE SCOTT – managing director Conferenz/Eventex. Bringing virtual and hybrid events to life In 2021 there is still a strong interest in live events – that is not going to go away – but there is also a strong interest in virtual space as a defined and set Plan B as well as exploring what a virtual space can do as an addition to live events, says Steve Scott. But, he adds, it is important to note that you have to take forward to the client or event stakeholder that there are some paradigms that you do have to shift. Virtual events are not easy and they are not cheap. And hybrid events can be significantly more expensive. People think the cost of these events is what they can physically see but don’t realise the weeks, months, sometimes years that go into bringing it to life. Virtual or hybrid conferences don’t eliminate that at all. Good events need a good foundation, whether they are virtual or hybrid. Virtual events also open up a whole new set of KPIs and metrics that you can bring forward. Should you pre-record or stream live? It depends on your appetite for risk. Scott himself is a fan of pre-recorded addresses, especially for keystone presentations, as even the best tech team cannot control the vagaries of the internet. If you hold a virtual or hybrid event you are now a meeting/event planner and a producer/broadcaster. Be planned and agile and remain focused on the purpose and outcome. KIMBLE VOWLESS director – Be Outstanding. Riding the wave – responding to change and challenge with resilience and adaptability Kimble Vowless’ presentation, Riding the Wave – responding to change and challenge with resilience and adaptability, was all about bringing the humanness back into the workplace i.e. bringing the whole person into the office. Change is everywhere he says; how do we cope and deal with it? There are four sections to the solution – mindset, purpose, mindfulness and self care. Mindset is something you choose. Like a baby learning to walk, you choose to persevere despite falling over all the time. ‘Learning to walk’ at work can be overwhelming but you need to keep trying and not beat yourself up when you don’t immediately succeed. Mindset is the first step in building resilience. He iterated Ann Hiatt’s advice to be curious; if you don’t understand, ask. Next is to know your purpose, the point of you getting out of bed in the morning; what you do, why you do it and what difference does it make. Mindfulness is to listen to your inner voice, be curious about what it has to say; be non-judgemental. Finally, self care is eating well, sleeping well, exercising and maintaining a social group. Exercises to help achieve these four things can be found o n showl Event lighting / Staging Exhibition lighting and power / Event Staging Theatre drapes / Temporary power solutions Lighting design / Truss structures / Generator Solutions meeting newz [march april] 2021 [31]