Celebrating International Women’s Day at IQPC Dubai

Our female colleagues in Dubai arrived at work yesterday to find this message in their inbox and a hand delivered gift…

 

Please accept this appreciation from the boys in the office

Previously called International Working Women’s Day, we were quick to realize our mistake and it was changed to International Women’s Day. Not only do working women deserve a special day in their honor; all women have earned their day for the various roles you play in our society. Therefore this is a message from all the boys in the office to all of you: our mothers, sisters, wives, fiances, girlfriends, friends, co-workers, bosses, mentors and leaders… and to all different roles I fail to mention that you play in our lives.

Thank you!

IWD Dubai

With women making up just over 50% of our Middle East Employee Base our Dubai team are justifiably proud of their diversity and gender equality and so are we!

 

 

Celebrating IQPC’s Female Leaders on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day I wanted to take a moment to recognize just some of the strong, inspirational female leaders here at IQPC.  These incredible women and so many more across our global organisation impress and inspire me daily.

I am extremely proud to work at an organisation that rewards people on merit not gender and that actively supports, encourages and enables female leadership across the globe.

Silke K
Silke Klaudat Managing Director IQPC GmbH
Kate B
Kate Bentley Managing Director, Commercial Events IQPC New York
emma-b
Emma Beaumont, MD, Global Strategy & Analytics, SSON
Vanessa Lovatt
Vanessa Lovatt Managing Director IQPC LSE
Liz O
Elizabeth Ong, Managing Director, Asia IQPC
Leila 2
Leila (Masinaei) Al Marzouqi, MD IQPC Middle East
Effa E
Effa Emelia Global Head of Events Marketing IQPC

 

IQPC Employee Spotlight Series: Meet Benny, Senior Delegate Sales Manager, Berlin

benny-profile-berlinIn the latest Employee Spotlight Interview from Berlin we talk to Benny about the characteristics that epitomize the IQPC team, available learning opportunities and why he enjoys his role in sales

When did your IQPC career begin? 29th of September 2014

How did you come to work for the business? I did an internship in marketing & sales in an e-commerce company. I decided that sales will be the right way to start my career. After 2 years in sales in e-commerce business, I came along the job advert from IQPC which sounded very interesting. I had never worked in the conference business before and now I’ve been here more than 2 years.

What is your current role and responsibilities at IQPC? I am a  Senior Delegate Sales Manager and I am responsible for planning conference campaigns which includes market segmentation, market research, cold calling & negotiation with delegates. Currently I also work as a mentor for new starters in the German portfolio.

What characteristics would you say describe up your colleagues at IQPC? In general goal orientated, ambitious, organized and team orientated. In sales definitely target driven.

Do you get the chance to socialize with your team mates at work? YES! We are sitting together for lunch, we have after work drinks every Friday and every 3 month we have a team event.

Why did you decide to work at this company? IQPC is a global player in conference business, they have more than 40 years experience and they work globally. For me also interesting was to learn more about different industry field and develop new markets.

Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your career? There are a lot of training on the job. We have every week a team training, we can have external training if we want and I also joined the IQPC 2IC program this year.

What lessons or skills have you learnt during your time here? Campaign planning, high level communication, time management, team work and mentoring skills.

How has your time with IQPC helped you grow and develop? I have received a lot of training in sales and currently training to become a leader someday. I also participate from the experience of my colleagues which is the most important influence you will get.

If you could do any job in IQPC what would it be? Director Delegate Sales or Director Sponsorship Sales.

What do you enjoy most about your role? Every day is different. I am more than happy to talk to delegate and try to convince them to buy a ticket for our conferences to see what big value they will get when they are joining a conference. I also enjoy to mentor new starters and the creativity you have here.

What are some of the challenges or roadblocks you come up against in this role? We need to work on our German portfolio to build more German language events

What metrics are used to measure your success in this role? We work with KPIs which are measured e.g. call time, dials and the number of proposals you have to send out. We also have a revenue target to reach by end of the month. Then we also have regular appraisals which focuses on our skill development

What advice would you give to a new employee starting at IQPC? Be open-minded to new things, use the experience to learn new sales skills and take the opportunity to orientate from employees with more experience in the business.

What would you change about the business if you could? I’d love to see the planning of more German Campaigns for my team to sell!

 

 

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MD of SSON, Emma Beaumont on event differentiation, data analytics and life at IQPC

emma-bThis month I met with Emma Beaumont, Managing Director of SSON to talk about the growth of this exciting space and how data analytics, a commitment to excellence and sheer hard work have made SSON the market leading information provider in the Shared Services and Outsourcing space.


Good morning Emma and thanks for taking some time out to chat with me. To start off I wondered if you could briefly tell me what SSON stands for?

SSON, or the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network to use its full name, is a 21 year old division of IQPC with 130K members worldwide. That makes it both the largest and oldest community of Shared Services and Outsourcing professionals in the world.

A core focus of SSON is the delivery of exceptional conferences and I think it would be accurate to say that SSON is the market leader in this space. Why do you think that is and how have you managed to achieve this?

emma-b-1Undoubtedly SSON is home to the largest, and frankly most well known conferences in this space, which by itself is often considered to be the ultimate benchmark of market leadership. I would counter that view and say that whilst size and brand awareness do matter, a true representation of market leadership is so much more. To my mind, our continued growth and success really boils  down to the quality associated with the onsite delivery of those events. We take the customer experience extremely seriously, that means every event needs to deliver both excellent networking opportunities and value-added content that gets right to the heart of our members challenges. To achieve this we operate under some fairly strict internal policies around factors such as minimum ratio of practitioners to vendors onsite, and of course our famously vehement stance on no onstage sales pitching. We reserve the main stage for pure-play content discussions and that’s how many executives justify taking the time out from their busy schedules to attend.

But SSON is also much more than just an events brand, it’s a community. Can you tell me a little about some of the initiatives that support that community build?

We like to reinvest  our success back into our members experience whenever we can . One great example was the launch of our online practitioner forum (Shared Intelligence) last year. Members told us they needed somewhere private to be able to message/connect with each other and share tips and trade questions away from the vendor community.. so we built them a platform and it’s now available for free to any practitioner who attends an SSO event. GBS Elite is another great example – it caters for literally just a very small % of our members who run GBS organizations globally and needed a small closed-shop environment to meet and talk only with others in the same role.

In 2015 SSON took its first steps in the Analytics world, how and why did this come about? What value does analytics add into the SSON portfolio?

sson-analyticsI moved form our London HQ to Asia in 2014 (a nod to the large growth in Shared Services activity and the recent maturity growth spurt the APAC region has been experiencing). Singapore has been attracting a lot of data analytics activity for the last few years, and so we undertook a feasibility study and decided to locate open SSON’s first global data analytics center here. We also pitched the Singapore government for a grant to help towards the cost (which we were awarded) but largely this whole exercise has been funded by our very forward-thinking CEO.

It’s very early days to actually start quantifying value for the portfolio, and I’m not sure the full value will ever be completely track-able, but every day I come across customer feedback that reassures me we have set ourselves light years ahead of the competition by accessing this data and unveiling these previously unknown industry insights. The biggest eye-opener for me has been the number of big shop consultancies and thought leaders who have engaged SSON Analytics to help them find answers that their own data couldn’t answer. We are even undertaking a climate risk data project with NASA as our data is helping them to understand how weather patterns can help with predicting BCP in the US.  The centre took over a year to build and consolidate the proprietary data from all IQPC offices around the world so we’ve only just started to offer the data services commercially to the world. Time will tell, but I’m optimistic that we are offering the world something that no-one else in this space seems to be able to..

It seems like it’s quite a different business to events, do you need a different profile of skills in the team?

Yes and no. Half of the SSON Analytics team have a technical background (developers, web crawlers, data scientists and solution architects) and these roles were very different to any I had previously needed to hire for IQPC. The other half, the “business” team focus on analyzing the insights coming out of the data, reading between the lines and finding the “story” and then marketing that information to the members. The skills in this part of the data centre are much more akin to marketing and production skills that we see elsewhere across IQPC offices.

(Click here to read more about our SSON Analytics journey)

And had this changed the culture from a standard IQPC office?

Yes, It couldn’t not really as we’re a small team, essentially running a start-up company (albeit with strong parent backing) and that means everyone has to pull together on daily projects to meet our ultimate goal. There is a high level of brainstorming needed all the time as we are constantly being asked new data questions the market want answers to.  We rely a lot on the team to find new data sources and solutions to every day data challenges. Creative thinking and initiative are pretty much musts!  In that sense we operate very much like an IQPC event team does. I think the biggest difference is  that we have to think on our feet constantly and need to operate on much faster turnaround periods to come up with the goods for the customer. If you think IQPC runs at a fast pace (and it does) then the data centre is possibly a sprint by comparison.

So what is the vision for the future? What would you like SSON to achieve in the next few years? Are there opportunities for growth?

Ultimately true success for DART (SSON’s data centre) looks like 3 things: 1. A stand alone, profitable business that financially supports itself on its own revenue channels. 2. Driving recognized, track-able, fiscal value to IQPC’s other channels (events and digital portals) 3. Industry acknowledgement that we are now not just a network and events origination, but a true research house driving content into the industry that the market benchmarks against (For me this last point will have been achieved the day our phone rings and a competitive event organizer asks SSON to present our research on their stage…. Watch this space)

Do you think SSON’s journey is indicative of where the conference industry as a whole is heading?

I think the conference industry as a whole is evolving at an extremely rapid pace, and sitting back and operating BAU is simply not an option anymore to stay ahead of the game. IQPC is very fortunate to have a CEO and board that recognize that, and one that is willing and happy to invest in necessary support functions (such as digital portals and analytics centres) that frankly are necessary to survive the tremendous digital shift this industry is undergoing. Networking events will always play an important role in customers needs, but critically the success of those events will need to be supported by a digital, data-driven framework to enhance and elongate the customer experience. Ten years from now, or possibly even five, my best guess is that the event companies at front of the race, will be those that have morphed to essentially become research houses with multiple digital channels. Home not just to customers databases but real, industry analytics which feed rich, unrivaled content into their conference programmes and f2f agendas keeping them not just a relevant source of info to their market, but an essential one.

Now can you tell me a little bit about yourself, how long have you worked for SSON and IQPC? What has your career journey been like?

emma3Almost 14 years. After finishing my law degree the only thing I knew was that I definitely didn’t want to be a lawyer.. The reason I’ve stayed so long is the fact the job has kept changing and growing and the opportunities to drive new strategies and idea really are supported here, and not just paid lip service. I cant imagine this level of autonomy existing inside many other companies in the world. IQPC has to be very rare in that sense.

And what do you love about your job and the company?

The people. Both internally and externally. Outside of SSON  the world of Shared services is very incestuous.. truly everyone knows everyone and I have come to love working with these very passionate and clever bunch! I rarely attend a conference and come back with anything less than 3 very solid ideas I want to implement inside our own business.. That proves how smart our members are. I blatantly copy their strategies everyday! Internally, there is a core group of IQPC leaders around the world (they know who they are) who have helped me to grow and develop the confidence and skill set I have today as a person and as a business woman.  I am truly grateful to have colleagues and mentors like this around me to learn from and bounce ideas off. This sort of genuine support structure in an employee environment is something that I not only value, but have come to treasure over the years.

When you first joined IQPC, did you ever imagine this is where you would be now?

In short, No! I can honestly say I had zero idea where this job would lead when I took it. I liked the sound of a production role and it sounded more fun than being a lawyer.. I also wanted  a job where I got to travel the world a bit. I guess that last one gets a massive tick too thinking about it.

Finally what advice would you give to people looking to start a career in either events or analytics?

Get to know your topic. Read everything. Make at least one new industry connection every day (at least one f2f per week). Make it your business to know everyone who is recognized as an influencer in your space and more importantly make sure THEY KNOW YOU.  Listen. Take notes and above all get to the facts as fast as you can. The hand that holds the data rules the world..  Above all else, take yourself and your own career seriously. If you don’t, you can be absolutely sure no-one else will.

Thanks Emma, an absolute pleasure as always! 

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IQPC Employee Spotlight Series: Meet Nichole, Enquiry Sales, New York

 

nichole2Nichole Brodach is a true IQPC employee success story.

She joined the New York office on the VIP sales team a little more than three years ago. She worked her way up through Delegate Acquisition as a top performer and finished as the top sales rep for the Enquiries team in 2015.

In 2016 Nichole passed another major company milestone achieving $1,000,000 in Delegate Acquisition sales! IQPC’s Core Value that best defines Nichole is PASSION! She constantly strives to achieve her targets and sets high expectations for her performance.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Nichole and learn about her successful career with IQPC. This is her story in her own words.

How did you come to work for IQPC?

I earned a degree in Social Work, and started working with specials needs children, but it didn’t feel like the right fit. In May 2013 a family friend who worked on the Delegate Sales team suggested I come in for an interview, and after I met the team I knew this was something I wanted to do.

What do you enjoy about working for IQPC?

The environment; It’s important to like the work you do and who you work with. I love my boss and my team.

Can you sum up our culture in three words?

Warm, supportive, like a family

IQPC is known as a transparent, no place to hide business. People are measured on their results and expectations are high. What does it take to flourish in an environment like that, and why does it work for you?

First you really have to want it; you need to be organized, determined, and conscientious, determined and have a high sense of urgency. I love working in a high demand environment where I can responsible for my results. I also love the supportive team environment.

Do you get a chance to socialize with your teammates at work?

Yes definitely; I also see a lot of my teammates outside of work. I’m very close to my team.

You’ve been at this company for awhile. What keeps you motivated?

Every day is a new day with new challenges, and I love that the harder I work for more money I can earn. The team recently added new incentives for hitting targets, so I am rewarded for my performance.

Can you tell me about the training and development you received at IQPC?

I’ve earned two promotions since I joined IQPC. I was nervous when I first moved up into the new roles, and the hands-on approach to training gave me a chance to learn while doing. I learned from my successes and my mistakes.

What lessons or skills have you learned during your time here?

I had no sales experience when I started here so I learned how to be a sales professional. I developed strong phone skills and how to write professional emails. I’ve learned how to lead a sales conversation, and how to create and maintain a sense of urgency.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

Learning the nuances of brand new events coming to market; many are very tech focused so many topics may be unfamiliar at first, but it’s a great learning experience.

What’s the one thing that surprised you about this company?

I never expected to love working in sales as much as I do. I’m also amazed at how many friends I’ve made working here.

What advice would you give to a new employee working at IQPC?

Be patient and optimistic, and give it times. Success in sales doesn’t come overnight, but if you consistently work hard you will be successful.

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How to sell combs to monks!

Dora ZhangThis Monday when I opened my email after the weekend break I found the following story. It had been shared by Dora, one of our very talented and successful Senior Sales Professionals, with all of her colleagues in Singapore.

“This story taught me how to multiply sales results in my career. I would like to share it with all of you, so that we can continuously learn together how a shift in mindset and attitude can make a significant difference to results.” Dora 

I love the attitude our people have to learning and I love that success is seen as a collective rather than an individual venture. I also totally agree with Dora that this is a powerful story and one certainly worth sharing…

The Story

3 sales professionals applied to work for a huge company. As they were all evenly qualified, the interviewer decided to set a sales challenge and the person who sold the most would be awarded the job.

The challenge was to sell combs to monks of any temple up in the mountains. “You have 3 days, and the person who sells the most will get the job” said the interviewer.

After 3 days, the 3 applicants returned, and reported their results.

Candidate 1 said “I managed to sell one comb. The monks scolded me, saying I was openly mocking them. Disappointed, I gave up and left. But on my way back, I saw a junior monk with an itchy scalp; he was constantly scratching his head. I told him the comb would help him with his scratching and he bought one comb”

Candidate 2 said “That’s good, but I did better. I sold 10 combs.” Excited, the interviewer asked “How did you do it?” Candidate 2 replied “I observed that the visitors had very messy hair due to the strong winds they faced while walking to the temple. I convinced the monk to give out combs to the visitors so they could tidy themselves up and show greater respect during their worship.”

Candidate 3 stepped up “Not so fast, I sold more than both of them.” “How many did you sell” asked the interviewer.

“A thousand combs”

“Wow! How did you do it?” the interviewer exclaimed.

“I went to one of the biggest temples there, and thanked the Senior Master for serving the people and providing a sacred place of worship for them. He was very gracious and said he would like to thank and appreciate his visitors for their support and devotion. I suggested that the best way would be to offer his visitors a memento and the blessing of Buddha. I showed him the wooden combs which I had engraved words of blessings and told him people would use the combs daily and would serve as a constant reminder to do good deeds. He liked the idea, and proceeded to order a thousand combs”

You got lucky,” one of the other candidates said bitterly.

“Not really,” the interviewer countered. “He had a plan, which was why he had the comb engraved prior to his visit. Even if that temple did not want it, another one surely would.”

“There is more,” the third candidate smiled. “I went back to the temple yesterday to check on the Master. He said many visitors told their friends and family about the comb with the Buddha’s blessing. Now even more people are visiting every day. Everyone is asking for the comb, and giving generous donations too! The temple is more popular than ever, and the Master says he will run out of the combs in a month… and will need to order more!”

Learning Points

The three different candidates show us the different levels of sales performance:

Candidate 1 displayed the most basic level, which is to meet the prospect’s personal needs. The monk with the itchy scalp had a personal need; it was specific to him only.

Candidate 2 shows the next level – anticipating and creating new needs for the prospect. Perhaps the monk doesn’t have an obvious need for the comb, but how can it still be beneficial to him? When you can educate the prospect on new possibilities and benefits for his business, you are already outperforming your competitors.

Candidate 3 demonstrates the best level of all; an ongoing relationship resulting in repeat sales and referrals. Everyone was a winner, the monk, the devotees, the 3rd candidate and the interviewer. Help your prospects benefit their prospects, to create maximum value. View each prospect not as individuals, but also their contacts and network beyond them. See each customer as lifetime clients instead of one time sales.

Our beliefs and thoughts shape our actions and ultimately, our results. When faced with a challenge, how do you respond? And how big do you think? How can you create new needs for your prospect and benefit their customers?

 

 

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Employee Spotlight Series: Meet Robert, Team Leader, Enquiry Sales, Berlin

robert-fuldner

This month we catch up with Robert to talk about his life in sales and IQPC Berlin

When did your IQPC career begin? I joined IQPC in March 2014

Why did you join IQPC? I was looking for a sales job to start a career in sales.

What do you think is unique about working at IQPC? It is challenging on a daily basis. You put in hard work and see the pay off/ result quiet quicky. It is also very international and transparent.

Do you get the chance to socialize with your team mates at work? Yes – during our breaks at work we organize kickers games within the team or playing against other teams. After work we go out for drinks or do some other socialize activities.

What is the Leadership Style at IQPC? Very transparent. Goals are clear and you wont find any hidden agenda.

Where do people usually eat lunch? We as a team bring usually our own food with us and sitting together outside on the river Spree.

Can you tell me about the training and development you’ve received at IQPC? At the moment I am in our internal management program which is called 2IC. Since I have started I got a lot of training on the job/onsite, mentoring and coaching

Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your career? Yes- I receive training from my Director, our Head of Marketing and Sales here in Berlin and also from our Global EQ Director who is located in Sydney.

How has your time with IQPC helped you grow and develop? I came out of my comfort zone and developed my person from a very shy person to get more self-confidence.

Working for a global business is there opportunity for travel? Yes – I was able to attend some automotive conference where I have sold tickets in Germany and US.

What do you enjoy most about your role? Being able speaking to a bunch of people and the daily challenges.

What metrics are used to measure your success in this role? Personal targets

What advise would you give someone looking to get into EQ? APPLY NOW!

 

Employee Spotlight Series: Meet Damian, Sponsorship Manager, Berlin

damianIn our latest Employee Spotlight Interview we talk with Damian, who joined us as a Graduate in Sydney and now works as a Sponsorship Manager in our Berlin Office. We think Damian’s has had a pretty interesting journey with IQPC so far and hopefully this is just the beginning.


When did your IQPC career begin?

I started my IQPC career in the Sydney office back in July 2014 as a graduate in the sponsorship sales department

How did you come to work for the business?

I learned about IQPC through a recruitment agency just after I finished my university degree.

What is your current role and responsibilities at IQPC?

Currently, I am responsible to drive sponsorship revenue for 10 events across Europe and the USA. In order to properly compete this task, it is essential for me to have an indepth understanding in the main challenges of my clients and how I can best help them engage with senior level decision makers to gain new business opportunities.

What do you think is unique about working at IQPC?

Working at IQPC is very commercial, meaning ‘you get what you give’. There are plenty of opportunities to prove yourself in this company and there is the management in each office that is there to make sure you exceed.

Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your career?

Each office has Sponsorship Directors whose only role is to make sure their sponsorship managers succeed. In the Berlin office, I have weekly training with my director in order to further my progression. In addition to this, our Global Sales Director who has 30+ years of experience in this industry and makes several visits to each office throughout the year in order to train reps.

Is there opportunity for employees to work in different offices?

Absolutely. I started in the IQPC Sydney office two years ago and have been working in the Berlin office for the past 6 months, with a plan to move to the IQPC Dubai or Singapore offices in the next 2 years.

What do you think this specific role offers a Graduate?

The sponsorship manager position is not for the faint hearted, however offers significant monetary reward if you have the right mind set. If I had to sum this role up, I would stay that this role gives you opportunities to work and learn from the best in this industry, unlimited travel opportunities based on success and the advancement of life skills needed in any c-level role.

What advice would you give to a new employee starting at IQPC?

It is important you hit the ground running in the first 3-6 months at IQPC and to know there is never a stupid question to ask. IQPC conferences cover several different topics and in order to be successful on each event, it is imperative that you have an in-depth understanding of how each industry works.

 

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Sydney’s cool treat for a hot day!

While it’s currently winter in many parts of the world, in Australia the sun continues to shine and temperatures hit 30 Celsius plus last week. So to help the team keep their ‘cool’ our IQPC Ambassadors arranged for an ice cream truck to make an unscheduled stop outside the Sydney office and distribute some free treats. It was a lovely opportunity to surprise the team and give everyone a little boost. And from the photos it certainly looks like everyone appreciated it.

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