DEI Spotlight: Kyle Smith, DES

After earning his DES certification earlier this year, Kyle Smith now leads Conference Consultancy South Africa’s digital department, which is dedicated to producing digital and hybrid events. He also serves as the Pretoria firm’s information systems manager.

During his 13 years in the events industry, the 29-year-old has worked on some of South Africa’s largest conferences, including the International Aids Conference in 2016, which attracted 18,000 delegates.

The first DES in South Africa, he will serve as a panelist at a DEI panel session during Convening Leaders in January. Given his resume, it’s no surprise that Smith was named to the “20 in their Twenties” class of 2018.

What prompted you to pursue DES certification?
As an organization, we wanted to explore, understand, and offer digital and hybrid event solutions to our clients. After my company suggested it, I knew PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute was where I could learn everything I needed in order to propel me to plan, produce, and measure digital/hybrid events.

What value do you place on the certification?
It’s invaluable, giving me incredible insight and exposing me to thought leaders and top professionals in the digital-event space. It has given me a strong framework of skills and knowledge that is practical and applicable. I now have the advantage and recognition in my local industry, which benefits our clients and my organization.

How will you apply those skills?
It can be daunting at first — having all this knowledge and now needing to apply it. I apply what I’ve learned by producing digital events for our clients and using it as a tool for a long-term engagement strategy to assist, benefit, and achieve their event and organizational objectives.

How are you using digital and hybrid events?
Firstly, we use digital and hybrid events to provide a service and solution to our clients. Secondly, we use them for marketing, training, and competence development within our own organization.

How has your audience responded?
We have seen a great response from all stakeholders; they are really excited and are embracing it.

How have the digital or hybrid events you planned gone?
So far, so good. It’s been challenging with so many details from start to finish, but also exciting. I’m glad I have my DES certification because I would not have been able to accomplish what I have without it.

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