Conference management is an excellent career choice…

For those of you that read the, you will have spotted this article by Michael Skapinker earlier this month. For those of you that didn’t, here it is in it’s full glory. Naturally, we couldn’t agree more.

Several people I have met recently have asked bashfully whether I can help a daughter or son get into journalism.

I tell them there is nothing I can do; the Financial Times’s graduate entry and internship schemes have procedures laid out on our website.

But I ask why their children want to be journalists. There are far fewer openings than there used to be and competition for those is fierce. The outlook for the profession isn’t great.

So what should they do? In the 1967 movie The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is approached by a family friend, who says to him: “Just one word. Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.”

If I had one word for a graduate today, it would be: events. There is a great future in managing events.

There are plenty of other careers: teaching, nursing, medicine, engineering, banking, management consultancy. Some of those are socially useful. The last two are better paid.

But there are five good reasons to go into the events and conference management business.

  • It has a future. A curiosity of the internet age is that the more opportunities people have to talk and see each other online the more they want real contact. You can see it in the number of live events: concerts, debates – and business conferences.

In its Occupational Outlook Handbook, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says it expects employment opportunities for meeting, convention and event planners to grow by 33 per cent from 2012 to 2022, “much faster than the average for all occupations”.

  • You will pick up valuable skills. Whenever I speak at or chair a conference, I am struck by how much the organisers, at every level, have had to master: choosing a venue, evaluating the acoustics, deciding where everyone is going to come in and how they are going to move into the hall, whether the speakers have arrived, how soon to fit their microphones, how to get everything to run on time.

There are crises to be managed, such as speakers who are delayed. There are other contractors, such as sound engineers and translators, who have to be co-ordinated. Many businesses talk about execution. At conferences you learn how to execute, or the whole event goes awry.

The skills required are advancing all the time. Rob Davidson, who taught events management at Westminster and Greenwich universities and now runs MICE Knowledge, a consultancy, points to the level of technology in today’s conferences. Many events are webcast; they often have their own app.

  • The intellectual content is high. Conferences need more than organisational and technical skills. Agendas have to be crafted and speakers contacted. Each conference requires industry research, getting to know the companies and their people.

You won’t get much time to listen to the speeches. Consider yourself lucky. Many of them are dire. Running conferences is more fun than attending them – but the preparation means there are endless opportunities to learn about new sectors.

  • It is easy to get experience. There are undergraduate and postgraduate courses in events management, but they are not essential.

Most universities run conferences, especially during the holidays. You can volunteer for or work at those. It is a chance to see whether you like it, and you then have something to present to future employers.

  • It is a great stepping stone to other things. Mr Davidson says most of his graduates tend to stay in events management and move up. He comes across them running large venues or trade shows.

But if you do want to do something else, this is the perfect career to make contacts. You meet the top people at a huge range of companies, government departments and international and non-governmental organisations.

You also get the chance to impress them. Conference speakers, however experienced, are nervous. Look after them, get them on and off the stage, tell them how well they have done and they are more likely to remember you.

Do you want to get on board? Hhave a look at our current vacancies.

Training at IQPC

When candidates put themselves on to the job market, the driving force behind their job hunt is inevitably varied; we’re all motivated by different things. However, there’s one requirement for the future that comes up again and again in these conversations – training.

Regardless of how senior the individual is, the desire to join a business that offers training seems to be a common theme. Of course it’s on every job description out there, every business claims to be offering it, but how many businesses actually do? We are incredibly proud of the training that we offer across our business globally, we believe it really sets us apart from the other organisations in the industry; in fact we often get feedback indicating exactly that!

The induction training in sponsorship so far has confirmed what I already knew really (having experienced what other companies in the same space has to offer) – IQPC training is industry leading” – Alex

Any new starter coming in to a sponsorship position in our company can expect to undertake a very detailed 3 month training induction. We cover the A-Z of solution selling and best practice, giving every sales person that joins this business the same platform to accelerate their career from. This is a set schedule of training sessions that really works, conducted by every senior manager in our business. (It’s a great way to meet our senior management team, 99% of whom have progressed in to their current position.) There really is no stone unturned and even season sales veterans have come away with another string to their bow.

“It was very useful for me to find out more about IQPC – history, departments, successful projects. But the most important thing is that I saw how people are excited about what they are doing at IQPC and their contribution is highly appreciated within the company.” – Geniya

Of course the training doesn’t stop there. Regardless of how long you have been employed in our business, training will feature in your week, every week. This could be collaboration with other sales people in the business, 121 training with your manager or external training on current challenges. This environment is one of constant development, we persistently look at ways to be better, and we aren’t afraid to try new things. We actively look to recruit people who want to better themselves, so if you had ‘training’ on your criteria list, I can confidently say we’ll tick that box.




New IQPC Marketing Roles in New York

IQPC New York has two exciting Marketing roles open.  It’s a great opporunity for a talented marketer to join our energetic team in the big apple, full job descriptions below:

Marketing Manager, NY

Sponsorship Marketing Manager, NY

If you’d like more information please email

Why work at IQPC Sydney?

Learn more about our business, culture and what we can offer you for a career by watching our new recruitment video.

Maidenhead, SL6

Situated only 30 minutes by train from Paddington and close to Reading, Slough and High Wycombe, Maidenhead is home to 50+ blue chip organisations – including our delegate acquisition team! Since the start in June 2010, our Maidenhead office has gone from 12 staff to around 60 employees.

Our delegate sales team are responsible for bringing attendees to our events – after all there can be no conference without an audience.  Our Maidenhead sales team proactively approach businesses who may be interested in our upcoming events as well as responding to the huge amount of enquiries we receive every single day.

The Maidenhead team is made up of talented individuals who are all keen to start their career. Some of our employees had experience from recruitment, teaching, retail and customer service; others were fresh graduates with an interest in business and sales.

I joined IQPC last June and I have been with the business almost a year. I had never worked in sales before but the training I received at the beginning was excellent and gave me all the foundations and tools to be successful and have a great career in sales. Maidenhead is a buzzing sales floor with a great talent, atmosphere and banter to keep you on your toes but also learn from each other. For me personally, Maidenhead is a perfect location to work as it’s a short walk to where I live so no busy commuter trains for me. In terms of career opportunities, IQPC recognises and rewards top performers with incentives, promotions and pay increases so there is always something to work towards. – James, Delegate Sales

Our Maidenhead office is still growing and we are looking for people who are passionate and committed to pursuing a career in sales. There is a training academy running in Maidenhead covering all aspects of sales, you will have support from an experiences sales manager and on going development. IQPC has clear career paths and a strong culture of promotion from within. More than 90% or our senior management team have progressed from graduate level positions.

I am a senior sales executive at the IQPC in Maidenhead. I started 16 months ago from a different industry with absolutely no sales experience. The company were willing to take a chance on me and I received very detailed high pace training that enabled me to really hit the ground running! Since starting I’ve hit senior sales and am currently going through the process of management training and mentoring the new starters which has really allowed me to express myself professionally. It’s great to feel like I am getting somewhere and the company really rewards achievement. I live outside of Maidenhead but the area has excellent travel links and well equipped town centre for after work drinks! – Christopher, Delegate Sales

As a person who had never worked in sales before, IQPC could see the potential in my skills and brought me in to the Maidenhead team.  Their belief in me gave me the opportunity to not only prove to myself that this is something that I wanted and felt passionately about, but allowed me to prove to them that taking a chance on me was the right thing to do.  As soon as I started I was given professional training and was welcomed into the team with open arms.  The office is a great mix of banter and professionalism, allowing us all to come together as a team and work as a unit to make the commission we all dream of.  There is always a helping hand if need, and someone always driving you to your next goal; this can be proven and as of recently I have just hit my senior sales target and can now proudly hold my senior sales title as an achievement.  – Aiden, Delegate Sales

So if you have a strong desire to start a career in sales and you want to learn everything from A to Z, get in touch now. We don’t mind what experience you have, we think attitude trumps experience every time. Maidenhead is the perfect place to start your career, please send your CV to our recruitment team –


New Australian Graduate Programme

Sales Development Programme – Your ticket to a glittering career in sales

Sure, experience helps, but we think raw talent and attitude trump experience every time.

And we also think that by investing a little more time in the right people right at the start of their careers, we’ll be able to unlock greater potential in the long run.

To back up our thinking, we recently reviewed the backgrounds of the top billing Sponsorship Managers in IQPC, both those that are new to the role and have made the fastest of starts, and those that have been with us for 8-12 years, breaking sales records each year and earning the kind of money uncapped commissions allow.

What stood out immediately was how many people on this list had joined IQPC as graduates and gone on to work their way up through the ranks.

Now we’ve consistently been told that our sales training and development is the best in the events industry, so perhaps this observation simply reinforces that fact.

But as proud as we are of this, we also fervently believe in being better, so over the last year have spent our time improving the structure and delivery of our training to make it even more effective and accessible for graduates.

If you are just getting started in your career and have a burning ambition to progress and ensure you become the best you can be, we should talk about the SDP and whether it could be the step forward you are looking for in your career. It could be the most influential conversation you ever have.

Because a truly successful career comes down to a few things you can control: hard work is one, skill is another.  We think getting into the right habits early in your career is the third vital part of this equation; but you need the right environment and support to be sure of getting this right.

We can help you get into these habits. The habits that will ensure that in 10 years time you’re paying the mortgage off on the kind of property you can only dream about today. The habits that you will carry with you for the rest of your career and that will under-pin any success you go on to have, even if you do decide to move on from IQPC one day.

Why are we so confident? Because people keep telling us:

“I can honestly say that the training and development I received at IQPC was by far the best in my career to date. I left 5 years ago to pursue a career in hospitality sponsorship but continue to rely on the skills, techniques and disciplines that were instilled in me in my time at IQPC” William Dineen – Business Development Manager, AEG

In fact, one recent leaver wrote to us unprompted and said:

 “I can truly say IQPC has been by far the most enjoyable environment to work in I’ve ever experienced, stuffed with memorable episodes and even more memorable people. It is without doubt my proudest professional achievement to have made it a success in what was an entirely new field and method of selling. I won’t forget it. In fact I’m pretty sure it will form the cornerstone of how I consider things should be done for the rest of my working days.”

In short, people who have passed through this process in the past have gone on to have lucrative and meteoric careers.

Either working their way up through the ranks into Sales director positions in one of our 9 global offices, growing into key account and high value Sales Managers, billing 1m + a year and reaping the rewards of our uncapped commission structure which rewards sales growth and elite performance generously.

Others still have transitioned into other roles within the group such as production or marketing or Managing Director roles; wherever they have found themselves, the grounding received in their formative years at IQPC has gone with them, and they look back on these formative experiences as being fundamental to their success.

So how does the SDP actually work?

From day one, you’ll be immersed in the sponsorship team, after an initial induction to the business, the first 3-6 months will be spent learning the ropes by sitting amongst the team, where you can learn from those around you, shadowing top performers and learning from the best.

You’ll attend all our sponsorship induction training sessions from the get-go as well. These intensive sessions are critical to your development of course, but we place as strong an emphasis on coaching, so you will be assigned a Divisional Sponsorship Director to coach you along the way, as well as helping you acclimatise to the business as whole.

The theory in our training sessions is one thing, but practice is another, so you’ll start applying these techniques immediately, honing your skills on a combination of Delegate Sales and New Business Sponsorship sales calls. Vitally, you will receive on-going coaching and real-time feedback to fine tune and bed-in these critical skills and habits.

As well as the training and coaching, you will also apply yourself to, and be assessed on specific tasks that will set you up for success in the role, helping you to ace the practical skills that you will rely on for years to come such as:

  • Writing and proofing proposals
  • Lead generation
  • Social media activity
  • Value proposition creation and testing
  • Writing and editing sponsorship marketing copy
  • Negotiation and objection handling
  • Time management
  • The list goes on…

At the same time you will get to know and understand the roles of other departments, improving your commercial understanding of the business and your role within it.

Then as soon as you are ready, you will be assessed on skill uptake, before graduating into the full blown Spex Manager role. The combination of training, tailored coaching and actually “doing” over this period of time gives you complete control over your development and gives us the time and ability to work through your specific challenges with you.

Still not entirely convinced by this approach? We’ve already tested it. Here’s the view of Alex on how the first 6 months have been for him:

“The quality and amount of training I have received has exceeded my expectations. I knew I would receive training on the job, but my manager has really gone above and beyond, spending a lot of time with me to ensure I am able to sell to the best of my ability. I am part of a very close knit team, who have welcomed me and took me under their wing. I have the opportunity to earn a very good wage, if I am prepared to put the hard work in. I like this because you know that if you produce good results you will be rewarded handsomely.”

So, to recap all this, we’re talking about:

  • The best sales training in the events industry
  • A coaching programme to tailor the training to your specific developmental needs
  • Time to learn through trial and error without the pressure of hitting sales targets from day one.
  • Assignments designed to develop key skills and bed in top performer habits
  • £22.5k salary, increasing to £25k on completion and a competitive commission scheme which enables a realistic OTE of £60k in year one in the Sponsorship Manager role

I need to be straight with you though because we are genuinely ONLY going to be taking on the people who we think have the DNA of a top performer, because in taking you on for this role, we are investing in you for the long term. We’re in no rush to fill seats here at all, it’s about quality not quantity.

But if you think you have the right attitude and have the staying power as well (and I have to be honest with you up front, it will not be easy, and there will be tough days, weeks and even months) then I urge you to apply.

Seeing as you’ve got this far, I am guessing some of the things I’ve said are striking a chord with you and think this could be a turning point for you.

If so, the next step is to have a 5 minute conversation with us to rule this in or out, so drop us an email or give us a call.  As I said, it could be the most influential call you ever make…

Joby Turner


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