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. Marie-Claire Caldwell, sales and marketing manager for ICC Belfast in Northern Ireland, shares her thoughts about the industry.
What do you like most about your job?
In covering sales and marketing, I’m involved at every stage of the customer journey — from prospect to repeat business. This gives me a broad opportunity to create commercial relationships and emotional connections with new and existing corporate and association clients in order to deliver economic impact for the city of Belfast. These clients all have different requirements and designing innovative and engaging campaigns in response to their needs is very rewarding and means I’m constantly trialing new concepts.
What do you like most about the industry?
The collaborative nature of the meetings and events industry has got to be my favorite part. I have found that regardless of whether someone is your competitor, supplier, or client, there is a real willingness to have open and honest discussions and work in partnership to deliver solutions that result in higher standards across the board.
What’s one — or more — event trends you have your eye on?
I’m watching the rise of AI and how the inimitable traits of human emotion will be complemented by digital tools to create an immersive event experience that offers something totally brand new for delegates. Sustainability is an industry trend that’s gaining momentum in line with the greater focus globally in this area from government and the private sector. I’m pleased to see this as we all must be cognizant of the impact of our operations and take appropriate measures to mitigate the damaging effects.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
To fulfill my ultimate career goal, I’d like to gain significant experience within a convention center setting in my current role. In five years’ time, I would like to be in a position where I’m able to progress to a director level role within business tourism in Northern Ireland, using my specialist skills and knowledge to drive prosperity for all of Belfast and Northern Ireland and ensure our country is recognized as a global player in the business events industry.