Annie Lowney

Why We've Decided to Host a Conference

I remember being with Jane Kwett, now with Patreon, several years ago in New York.

I’d just started a new role in marketing (with a heavy emphasis on events) and Jane was part of the company’s onboarding team. It was snowing and I was wearing a summer jacket. Jane was wearing a puffa jacket because that’s what you should wear in New York in February.

“Why are you wearing that jacket?” Jane ushered me inside to look at a venue.

“I didn’t realise it got this cold here.” Jane looked at me blankly as my eyelashes started to frost over.

“Yeah Annie… it gets real cold here. You’re not in Ireland anymore.”

I studied Jane as she walked me through an event that she was planning. She made everything look so effortless, especially the community building part. You can’t learn that from a book, just as you can’t put that knowledge into a book as 99% of education about events is down to personal experiences.  

A decent amount of years later I found myself interviewing Megan Sheridan of Intercom for a Tito blog post. Megan’s focus and her appreciation for the art of event production really stuck with me. She started off organising small office events in Intercom and then, when the role of event manager came up, she was very clear on what she needed in order to do that role.

“I had to be in charge of everything. I did not want to report into someone else.”

The folks at Intercom granted her that wish and she ran with it. The autonomy allowed her to create an incredible world tour that so many companies are now copying.

I left that meeting with a huge amount of respect for Megan. Her confidence was inspiring. Her understanding of and talent for creative direction was infectious. But I also wanted to know more about successful event managers like Megan. I parked that idea as my role in Tito took me elsewhere.

Cue now. We at Tito have wanted to host a large scale event for some time but we did not know what the main topic should be. During my event topic research I found that any information available about events is very tactical, for example how to get sponsorship, how to market your event, etc. These headings have their merits, but they don’t speak to people that have been organising events for years.

The other thing that struck me when we were originally deciding to host an event is how hidden event managers are. This could be attributed to some companies viewing it as something that is behind the scenes, so not a key company function. Event managers create amazing experiences but you never know about them.

Nowadays it’s increasingly being seen as a role in itself especially in the area of brand building via experiential marketing. I want to hear their stories because, as I mentioned earlier, 99% of learnings come through people's personal stories. That is was why we created a conference called Admission and why the tagline is stories from people behind great events.

I’m chuffed that so many outstanding event managers from top companies have agreed to speak at the conference. It shows that there is an appetite to share. It’s now time for event managers to take centre stage for a change!

For full details about Admission, click here:

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