A coffee break with Conference Manager Athina Goutzamanis
The coffee machine is roaring, what are you having?
An almond latte.
So you're the newest member of ICMS.
Yes! I've been a Conference Manager here for just over five months. On my first day, the office flooded. I tried not to take it as a bad sign!
How long have you been working in events?
I’ve been in the events industry for 16 years. Throughout that time, I’ve worked in both small and large scale PCOs, as well as in the private sector, which has included some association management.
Can you explain the value of engaging a PCO?
Well the biggest benefit is certainly the expertise and knowledge, especially when you engage a PCO that has been in the industry for as long as ICMS has. Organising an event takes time and resources, which an association may not necessarily be able to produce, which means they are not able to reach their full potential. A PCO will ensure businesses and associations can focus on their goals as a whole, without getting distracted by running an event.
Take me through a typical day in the ICMS office.
I don’t think there is any such thing as a typical day in the events industry, which is what makes it so appealing. At the moment, my key focus has been on working with clients to postpone their events and working on contingency plans, should 2021 not go quite as we are anticipating. I have also been focusing on ensuring that we are in a position to produce engaging virtual and hybrid conferences, as we navigate the COVID-19 world.
Speaking of the pandemic, have you picked up any new hobbies?
I’ve been doing a bit more cooking and baking and I even managed to get a puzzle done!
What have you loved most about joining ICMS?
Hands down the people! Not only do we have a wonderful team here, but we get to work with a lovely and diverse range of clients. I was also fortunate enough to put on the ICMS uniform and attend our first and last conference – as we knew it – for the year.
And what about when it comes to the events industry?
The collaboration involved in achieving outcomes for our clients is so rewarding. We are lucky that in delivering an event, we get to see the result of everyone’s hard work and celebrate the achievement together. That includes our team, clients, industry partners and key stakeholders.
Pick a delivery method: face-to-face, hybrid or virtual?
Face-to-face of course, but given the current climate, I am excited by the challenge of creating interactive and innovative hybrid and virtual events.
Last but not least, do you have any tricks of the trade when it comes to travelling for work?
I always make sure I have something easy to listen to or watch on my phone.