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The importance of mentoring in the events industry

Mentoring is not a recent concept, in fact the word mentor comes from the ancient Greek tale of Odysseus who entrusted his sons education to his friend, Mentor. However, the value of mentoring is becoming increasingly recognised across the meetings and events industry, not only in terms of job satisfaction and career progression, but also because of the impact it has on industry advancement and keeping on top of technological developments.

With applications for IBTM Worlds first-ever investment and mentoring programme, Event Business Accelerator now open, we caught up with four of the mentors to find out what has inspired them to guide industry peers through their careers and help them grow, both professionally and personally.


Q: Why do you think mentorship is important in the meetings and events industry?

Viona Terleth, managing director of Terleth Consultancy and co-founder of DSCVRME: "We all know that being an event professional means were operating in the top ten most stressful jobs in the world. As we are results-driven, and always under pressure, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. We dont ask for help, but instead take the bull by its horns and try to solve all issues on our own. I believe that any meetings and events professional should actively have a coach or mentor as a sparring partner to mirror you on blind spots, help you develop, and most importantly support you in keeping your balance. In my view, this is essential to stay ahead of your game."


Majbritt Sandberg, founder of RED LAB Experience & Bullseye Branding: "Mentorship in any business is very important. Having a someone you can bounce ideas off and share your dreams and fears with is extremely important. In the meetings and events industry, which is constantly faced with new trends and challenges, it can be difficult to keep up and stay focused. I think mentoring is a way to enhance the success of others, and ultimately create a further educated and innovative industry. Also, it is an opportunity to create shared learning to benefit both the mentor and the mentee."


Ingrid Rip, owner of RREM: "I think mentorship is important in any industry, providing a support towards personal and professional growth. Learning from the experiences and challenges of peers who have a longer history in the industry than you will help close the gap between theory and day-to-day activities."


Q: Whats the best piece of advice youve ever received from a mentor and how has it helped you?

Viona Terleth: "One of my mentors taught me that a big mistake, conflict or complaint with a person or organisation can actually be the basis of strong growth. As long as you are honest, transparent and have sincere intentions, it can greatly strengthen your relationship and partnership for the future."


Majbritt Sandberg: “Always be generous with your knowledge and give the client a little more than they expect.” This advice was given to me by a mentor during the financial crisis in 2007-2009. I had always been all about sharing my knowledge and learning new skills to improve my business however, during those challenging times I was distracted by cutting costs and growing my business, and momentarily I forgot the core value of my business and the key components that had made it successful in the first place. The advice helped me retain my existing clients and even transformed some of them into brand ambassadors who helped get my business back on track.


Richard John, COO of Realise Me, and managing director of Ideas Nest: "I once created an event that was struggling, which I was holding on to, thinking that the next one could be the turning point and it would perform better. My mentor told me to “take the emotion out of the decision”, which made me realise that selling the event was a much wiser course of action. It was an emotionally painful decision, but without the mentor I would have carried on the decline."


Ingrid Rip: "The best piece of advice received during my education to become a trainer and coach was to “focus on your talents”. I can be easily distracted as I find almost all aspects of the events industry exciting and fun. Since I am now focusing on my talents, I can provide a much clearer proposition to the market."


Q: While older workers have plenty of highly valuable insights, what are your thoughts on reverse mentoring - younger peers coaching senior executives?

Viona Terleth: "What I love about reverse mentoring is the energy and passion my younger peers have for wellness and a work-life balance. I believe their increased levels of enthusiasm and self-awareness inspire the wider industry to infuse more passion and wellness into events and their day-to-day activities."


Majbritt Sandberg: "Getting a fresh perspective through reverse mentoring is so valuable. We are all creatures of habit and learning something new means that you will get things wrong in the beginning. Reverse mentoring is not only a way to stay ahead of technology trends, but also a unique way to look through the lens of a different person."


Richard John: "Reverse mentoring is a brilliant concept. I deliver Event Assistant apprenticeships in the UK, so I work with many people aged between 18 and 25, from whom Ive learnt so much over time. What I love the most is that I can hand them over any social media-related tasks, knowing theyll always deliver."


IBTM Worlds Event Business Accelerator will see the selected finalists participate in an intensive mentoring programme of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions with a team of industry experts. The mentors will support them as they develop and scale their ideas and businesses ahead of pitching for funding to help bring their idea to fruition or to grow their existing business.

To apply for Event Business Accelerator, simply complete the submission form detailing your business proposition. The entries will be scored by the panel of industry judges, with finalists being selected and announced this September 2019. IBTM World 2019 will take place from 19 – 21 November at Fira Barcelona.