Over the past five years, Showcare has expanded its footprint in business events, forming new partnerships with organizations like Tourisme Montréal and CadmiumCD and offering registration and housing services for organizations like the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder and High Point Market. Amilie Parent, CPA, CA, helped pave much of the company’s growth as the company’s vice president of finance and administration. In April, she moved into the driver’s seat with her appointment as president of Showcare.
“This is an exciting time as the organization is well-positioned for success and growth,” she said when the move was announced. “I look forward to serving the organization and enabling our team to make a meaningful impact by becoming a thought leader in our industry with the best track record for client success and happiness.”
Parent didn’t start out in the industry. She began her career as an accountant and manager at auditing giant KPMG. “I always say that KPMG was the best school for me,” Parent told Convene. “There was never a client that was the same. I had clients in pharmaceuticals, service, medical laboratories, technology, and manufacturing industries, and it exposed me to many different strategies and situations early in my career.”
Parent acknowledged that the nature of the work in auditing, tax planning, and overseeing mergers and acquisitions may seem much different than what she does with clients who need assistance with planning and producing meetings and conferences. However, she has applied many of the lessons she learned at KPMG to help grow the company.
“The relationships and the trust you build with clients is key in any industry,” she said. “At KPMG, we developed close relationships with our clients, partnering with them to develop strategies and navigate challenges. The same happens with our clients in events. We become an extension of their teams, and we feel just as invested in their success.”
Parent is focused on turning clients into what sounds more like teammates. She credits the company’s aim to develop processes and tools that can help them understand each client’s specific needs as a main reason for Showcare’s recent success, and continuing that customized approach is her top priority for the future. “We want our clients to feel confident coming to us for advice,” she said, “and to trust us to help them build their event strategies.”
In addition to having conversations with her clients, Parent is contributing to the conversation about the future of the entire events industry. She currently serves on PCMA’s Board of Directors, and she is passionate about advancing the organization’s mission to use business events to drive global social transformation. Her time with the board also helps inform her own thinking about Showcare. “PCMA provides a global understanding of the big picture of what is going on in our industry,” she said. “Having this big picture view helps us be better positioned to adapt our service offerings, and we are better equipped to support our clients with the challenges they are currently facing.”
Those service offerings include lead retrieval services, mobile apps, CE tracking tools, and more. While leading the way in the digital landscape will be a key ingredient in Showcare’s future, Parent said that people are at the center of the company’s success. “We are going to focus on reinforcing our company culture to recruit the right talent and position ourselves as an employer of choice,” Showcare said. “We use technology to serve our clients, but our greatest assets are our team members. Our people will be the ones that continue to push the company and the industry forward.”