MEETtheTEAM: Introducing Alexandra Wood
In this new blog segment, we’ll be putting a spotlight on individuals who make up our hardworking and close-knit team here at MEETinLEEDS and Cloth Hall Court.
First up is our Senior Conference & Events Executive, Alexandra Wood, who chats us through the day-to-day life of working as an integral part of our team.
What does a day in your position look like?
As Senior Conference & Events Executive I am lucky to have a really diverse role so no two days are the same. Some days my feet hardly touch the ground as I am out meeting with clients, doing show rounds, attending events and catching up with colleagues across campus. Other days I am more office based and I will be checking in with the team, monitoring the enquiries to ensure all our clients receive a great service, ensuring we are quoting consistently and coming up with new and exciting offers and concepts for our clients. These days…things are rather different but keeping in touch and ensuring great customer service is still at the forefront of what I do.
What first attracted you to the conferencing industry?
I think my interest in events in general was first peaked during a module at college. This idea then sprouted wings and before I knew it I was applying for an events management degree. It was only during my degree and specifically my placement year at the Leeds Playhouse that my love of conferencing was realised. I love working with a client to bring their ideas to life and working at a dedicated conference centre is really what I have strived for throughout my career. It is a venue to be proud of and one that our clients return to time after time.
What has working in the conference industry taught you?
To be organised, creative, resilient and always stay ahead of the curve. The conference industry is one that is constantly changing and is also highly competitive. Knowledge is key and I am lucky enough to work in a city that has an excellent conference bureau that is committed to bringing new business and tourism to the area. I am also a part of a close-knit community of sales managers through the Leeds, Hotels and Venues Association that share their knowledge and expertise to ensure that as a city we are winning rather than just as individual organisations.
What is your favourite thing about working in the conference industry?
My favourite thing is without a doubt the people. There isn’t an industry on the planet that work harder than those in the hospitality industry and I am so lucky to be part of such a driven and hard-working team. The thrill of delivering a conference after what is sometimes a year or more of planning is like no other and the whole team from reception to the sales team share this passion.
How are you adapting to the current situation?
This has been quite the challenge, as I’m sure it has for everyone. My daily routine has changed dramatically but I think I’m getting into the swing of it now. I’m taking multi-tasking to a new level as I also have my toddler wreaking havoc but I’m so thankful that I am able to keep working. Again, staying in touch with colleagues and clients is keeping me sane and also my highly anticipated one walk a day.
What does your new way of working mean for the customer?
This is an unforeseen positive as the situation is actually bringing us closer together with our customers. Everyone is in exactly the same boat and it all feels very ‘human’. Whether we are catching up on the phone or doing a video call, staying in touch and keeping the conversating going has never been more important and I think our customers see that. We are also doing all we can to ensure complete flexibility in this very uncertain time which I know is a huge sigh of relief for all our clients. When we re-open our doors, we can do so knowing our customers will be by our side, so we feel really lucky.