In this month’s Employee Spotlight Interview we caught up with Jamie Burton, who recently joined IQPC to talk about what he sees as IQPC’s points of differentiation from other conference and events companies he’s worked at.
When did you join IQPC?
I joined IQPC LSE at the beginning of May 2016.
What is your current role and responsibilities here at IQPC?
I’m currently Deputy Marketing Director, managing a team of event Marketing Managers, a Digital Marketer and Content Editor. My portfolio includes Process Excellence, Customer Experience and Legal, plus a membership portal with over 130,000 subscribed users.
I’m responsible for delivering the Large Scale Events (LSE) Marketing vision which includes increasing our marketing reach, brand ownership and communications strategies, generating and engaging leads year round through authentic and thought-leadership content and continuing to grow our world leading portal PEX Network. To achieve this we need exceptional team members, which mean designing individually tailored training and development plans.
You’ve only just joined us so how did you come to work for the business?
I’d taken a sabbatical at the start of 2016 and recently finished cycling from Cape Town to Kigali in Rwanda (Roughly 6,660 kms!) and was looking for my next opportunity in the events industry. A recruiter I knew well was aware I was available and put me in touch. I started the next week!
That’s pretty impressive Jamie; the cycling! So, what did you do before that?
I’ve had a varied marketing career, working in the financial services, sports and events industries.
So, as a fresh pair eyes, what do you think is unique about working at IQPC?
The thing that stands out the most for me is the opportunity I get to innovate on genuinely huge events. Our events are industry leading, so the challenge is to constantly be ahead of the curve and the competition. The people here have to be the best in order to achieve this.
How would you describe the culture at IQPC? Can you sum it up in three words?
Innovation, excellence, encouragement.
IQPC is known as a transparent, no where to hide business. People are measured on their results and expectations are high. What does it take to flourish in an environment like that? And why does it work for you?
If you want to deliver events on the scale we do there needs to be a plan and vision in place to achieve this. This means targets and people who deliver results. Soft skills are often the most important, for example determination, competitiveness, collaboration and communication, the list is endless. I believe my background in sport has given me that competitive edge, importantly teaching me how to lose and come back from it with greater determination.
What is the Leadership Style at IQPC? What do you like about it?
There is a real mix of leadership styles at IQPC. Coaching, visionary, affiliative, democratic and pace-setting styles all come into play to varying degrees everyday. Part of the key here is that it’s recognised that people have different styles they respond to and every team and project is different so needs an individual approach.
So, you work for a business whose core purpose is to spread knowledge. Does that purpose filter down to the way you are managed?
Absolutely. My colleagues will laugh but ‘everyday is a school day’. We all benefit from coaching and training on a continual basis, plus people are encouraged to innovate and test new ways of doing things. Constantly striving to improve and deliver the best products is what motivates me, and I hope my team.
Can you tell me about the training and development you’ve received so far at IQPC?
My training has been very much tailored to my needs. With every new role you have to learn the systems and internal processes but what has been really beneficial to me has been the mentoring I have received. Having someone to guide me and act as a sounding board has helped enormously.
Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your career?
There are constant training opportunities, whether that’s part of a large group, small team or bespoke individual training. Everyone at IQPC has a structured training plan based collaboratively on their needs and career goals.
Coming in at a manager level, have you had a strong mentor at IQPC? And, what have you learned from them?
I’d say I probably have quite a few informal mentors at IQPC as well as my official one. What strikes me as unique is that everyone is willing to give their time to help. Specifically I’ve spent quite a lot of time on goal setting and how different people and parts of the business contribute to that success. This has given me real clarity on what I want to achieve, how to measure this and what individual actions allow me to achieve the goals.
What lessons or skills have you learnt during your short time here?
Moonshot thinking. Come up with the genuinely game changing, innovative idea and find a way to execute it. If you have never heard of Moonshot Thinking then have a look for the video on YouTube.
What do you want to learn about next?
I’m the first to admit that I’m still learning about the subject areas of my portfolio and building my network within them. There is so much knowledge in the wider business that I try to soak up everyday. Marketing has so many moving parts that are constantly evolving and one area that I would love to learn more about is mobile marketing. The lines are becoming blurred between B2C and B2B marketing and I believe we will start to see our traffic from mobile increase rapidly and we will need to have the skills and technology to satisfy their expectations.
I know it’s been barely a year, how has your career developed since you started with us?
Even in my short time with IQPC LSE my portfolio of responsibility has nearly doubled.
I can see that you’re very ambitious, so, what type of career development opportunities does the company provide that caters to your personal goals/ambitions?
The sky is the limit here with career paths and goals that are clearly defined. Specifically for me that means continuing to move up the ladder and explore the opportunities in one of IQPCs offices around the globe.
Can you describe a day in the life of a ‘marketer’ etc .,what type of things do you do?
No day in IQPC is the same. Most days involve project meetings on current events, idea generation for taking the business to the next level, talking to external marketing partners, writing copy, designing marketing collateral. The days and activities are so varied and bespoke on LSE events.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy leading a team that is passionate about what they do, who constantly exceed expectations and drive the marketing of LSE events forwards. Every member of the team is different and brings different skills to the table. Getting the best out of them and seeing their ideas come to fruition gives me a lot of pride. At a more granular level I personally love the creative side of marketing and delivering large scale events requires a huge array of collateral. Taking something from an idea, articulating that to a designer or videographer, through to the finished product is hugely rewarding. Seeing it deliver results is the icing on the cake!
And what has been the most challenging?
Lots of competition for marketing resources. Time and resource is limited and occasionally we cannot deliver all the ‘nice to haves’, so it comes down to managing expectations and having a clear plan.
What’s the one thing that most surprised you about this company?
The commitment people have to the LSE model. As a business we are only a year old, yet I would describe most of us as ‘LSE Evangelists’. By that I don’t mean we preach, but that we fully believe in the vision and our role in delivering it.
What advice would you give to a new employee starting at IQPC?
Say hello to as many people as you can and build your network. There is so much knowledge and skills to be tapped into, waiting to be utilised.
And what advice would you give to someone looking to join IQPC?
Do it. IQPC is the best in the industry. You won’t look back.