This International Women’s Day, EVCOM and HBAA have come together to create a programme of content including virtual events and written articles. This week we speak to Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events – London & Partners about change, collaboration and what words of wisdom she has for the younger generation.
How has the events industry changed over time?
The event industry has changed enormously in my few decades in the industry – we’ve become so much more creative, so much more ambitious, and I think we’ve grown up…..we understand the value of events not only in terms of client ROI, but in terms of personal growth for attendees, knowledge exchange, and the value of events within the wider economy as well as within the marketing arena.
What key advice would you give to the younger generation?
For the younger generation I’d still advocate that it’s a fun and exciting industry to be in, although not always the glamorous one some think it will be. My advice is to leave the 9-5 mentality at home, and to get out there and make the most of the fabulous networking opportunities – build a wide network across multiple disciplines, not only will that put you in good stead for future roles and opportunities but that’s where some of the innovative ideas and collaborations are born.
How have you juggled and thrived at the same time?
I’ve loved working in this industry – starting in the hotel world, before moving into destination marketing; I’ve made lifelong friends and when you’re working with ‘friends’ it’s always easier and more enjoyable and that’s what’s helped me to thrive. Having an understanding partner who’s a true co-parenter has also helped!
Why is collaboration key?
Collaboration is key, whether that’s in planning and executing events, learning from other operations or destinations, or just simply in bouncing ideas around. There are always new pieces of the jigsaw out there that can help you to overcome obstacles, or help you to see something from a completely different angle, or even push you towards creating a completely new picture.
So my mantra is enjoy, don’t be afraid of hard work and long hours, learn to juggle, make friends and collaborate!