In the Hotseat this week is Alex Wood, who has worked as a Conference and Events Executive for 6 years. She has been part of the MEETinLEEDS team for 18 months and in that time she has worked really hard to support the University and the wider team.
What excites you about the future of the events industry?
The most exciting thing for me will be seeing how the events industry recovers from the last 18 months. Throughout the pandemic I have been so proud to be part of an industry that has continued to put the needs of the customer first, constantly adapting and learning to foster new ways of working, all for the ultimate goal of keeping the future of our industry alive. It’s been really inspiring! I also think a real key thing to have come out of the pandemic and what I’m excited to see more of is how well the city has come together as a whole to support one another.
What do you think will be the most important skills in the future of the events industry?
I think it goes without saying that being able to offer a mix of both virtual and face to face events will be important for any event venue. We are very lucky to have run a number of activities virtually and in a hybrid format over the last 18 months and we feel prepared to be creative and innovative moving forward.
What skills have you gained in the last year that you think will help you moving forward in events?
I think we’ve all had to up our game in terms of our personal IT skills and I can safely say that I can now do my job from anywhere. This has definitely pushed a lot of people out of their comfort zones, but I think it could encourage a more productive way of working moving forward. I also think my communication skills have been improved massively without the option of face to face.
What would be your dream event to work on?
My dream event would be one that encompasses the whole city. We have done this before on a medium to large scale, but I think that Leeds’ capacity for major large-scale events is only increasing and for me, post lockdown, this is what I would like to be working towards. I would love for us to host an international conference that brings together all of the universities, hotels and venues and I feel strongly that with the help our local conference bureau that an event like this could be on the horizon in the next few years.