We recently interviewed Laura Brown as part of our 'Two Minutes With' series. The series aims to bring together some of our team members for informative and enlightening interviews - all in short, sharp two minute reads.
What is your job title?
My job title is Senior Vice President, Client Operations for Ashfield Meetings & Events, US.
How did you start in the industry?
I completed a BA Hons degree in Event Management. The degree course was only in its second year so was really new. After my degree, I worked in corporate hospitality before starting up on my own a few years later and winning a start-up business entrepreneurs award. It was around this time that I also began working with Ashfield Meetings & Events in a freelance capacity. As soon as I started working for the company, I really wanted to become a full-time member of the team. That was nearly ten years ago!
What does your day-to-day role involve?
I am responsible for overseeing the client operations for our US business. This usually means working closely with our senior leadership team to ensure our clients are happy, our events run seamlessly and our fantastic teams are supported.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The amazing people I get to work with every single day. I love being around our teams and hearing about their impressive achievements for our clients.
How have you seen healthcare meetings and events evolve during your career?
I’ve seen healthcare meetings and events evolve dramatically during my career – particularly in the way we sell to our clients. The meetings and events space is now highly driven by procurement who have evolved from being pricing managers into our agency partners.
Technology is transforming the way we do business, and our capabilities to train and engage audiences is on a different level to ten years ago. This has moulded our business and created the demand for our highly successful creative and production teams.
Lastly, the teams. Our people are not just event planners; they are creative curators, navigating our clients through the complex journey of delivering pharma-compliant engagements. Their in-depth, specialist knowledge and their ability to think creatively for every situation to ensure flawless execution, is so much more than simply planning an event. This is a complete 360 to where the talent was only a decade ago.
What can you say with ‘certainty’?
I can say with certainty that a meetings and events organisation is only as good as the talent of the people within it – and our talent stands us apart from the rest.
Who or what has had the greatest ‘impact’ on your career and how?
Probably the acquisition of the privately owned agency I was a part of by Ashfield Meetings & Events. To be a part of a PLC via Ashfield Meetings & Events’ parent company, UDG Healthcare, along with everything it has to offer was a game-changer in my career.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the meetings and events industry?
Probably the best advice I could give to someone entering into this industry is, be inquisitive, be interested, ask and understand the ‘why’ behind your events. In the same sense, I wrote a blog giving advice to other event professionals (and aspiring ones) who want to take charge of their career; you can read it here.
To read the previous 'Two Minutes With' interview, please click here.