Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2020 already have proven to be leaders, putting their own mark on the business events industry. Jillian Cardinal, sales manager at JPdL in Montreal, shares her thoughts about the industry.
What do you like most about your job?
When people say no two days on the job are ever the same, they aren’t kidding. I love how varied my role is. As a sales manager with JPdL, I get to form relationships with diverse clients and suppliers. I am able to be my little curious sponge self, ask all the questions, learn, and formulate my ideas to present to the client. Every day I gain knowledge. I love how the company took a chance on me (and I did with them) having not come from the industry (nor the city or country for that matter), but we both had a good feeling about one another. More than two years later, it is working and I am in the right place.
I love the opportunities I am afforded, my sales travels including conferences (unlimited education and networking make for one happy Jillian), sales missions, trade shows, and more. It is an excellent day when I meet new people, bounce or pitch ideas, and design something inspiring.
What do you like most about the industry?
I love how inspiring, nurturing, and invigorating this industry is. For me, people will always be the most important aspect. Our industry’s foundation is about meeting face to face. There will be an evolution as to how that will be defined in the future, but what better time to be a part of it? My peers nurture and nourish my curiosity and provide me with unlimited inspiration. Every conference I attend lights a new fire within me and sparks new ideas.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from someone in the industry?
Follow your instinct; it is what differentiates you and makes you unique. You are surrounded by so many exceptional people to connect with who can be resources for you, but ensure that you are putting your ideas, creativity, and personality out there.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
The impact that can be made in all that we do is tremendous and I want to ensure that we continue to do so. I want to be someone who is an advocate in our industry, who will be on the stage saying what needs to be said and ensuring that we have the buy-in to keep propelling forward.
No matter what I do, paramount for me is that I must be dealing with people. One of my biggest strengths is my relationship-building skills and my ability to actively listen and then bring forth action, both in others and myself. I want to keep honing this and refining these strengths as I continue to mature professionally.
I do not know exactly where I will be ultimately, but that is the beauty of this industry. There is no “ultimate” as day in and day out the industry changes due to trends, political climate, socio-economic challenges, and even the environment. I know that I am not going anywhere and will keep on making sure that my thoughts, and those around me, are being heard as we create the business events industry of the future — a business events industry 2.0 reflecting how we want to be and who we want to be.