Sophia Koutsandreas

Vancouver Convention Centre

This year, PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties program honors exceptional young leaders in the business events industry. Class of 2024 member Sophia Koutsandreas, Sales Manager, U.S. Corporate, at Vancouver Convention Centre, shares what she likes most about her job, and how she picked up the best career advice she’s heard from a Convening Leaders speaker.

What do you like most about your job?

There are many aspects I enjoy in my role. First are the travel component and the excitement of engaging with other social individuals. What motivates me most is the opportunity to be creative in using innovative sales approaches to showcase the unique attributes of the Vancouver Convention Centre and the destination as a whole to bring prospective clients to our vibrant city — such as creating extremely personalized proposals that not only outline venue and hotel details but also highlight the essence that is Vancouver. And it would be silly of me not to mention the wonderful team I work with on a daily basis, both in the city and at the center. They are a great bunch who make coming to work much more enjoyable.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten?

Something I heard at PCMA Convening Leaders 2022 from Indra Nooyi, business executive and former CEO of PepsiCo — the concept of being a human first and a CEO, manager, worker, etc. second. As part of such an innovative and dynamic industry that in a way connects to all industries, we should be putting a larger emphasis on ethics and doing the right thing, always. While a simplistic concept, I believe it’s very important.

What made you choose the events industry as a career?

I have been fortunate to follow in my mom’s footsteps in this industry. Seeing how happy the people in this industry made her, I knew I wanted to be a part of the fun (and the work!).

How are you using AI for your job now (if you are), and how do you think AI will change your job or the events industry in the future?

I’ve used AI to summarize lengthy documents and to simplify complex information, saving both time and effort. Additionally, for presentations, AI serves as an excellent tool to provide a solid outline and starting point — shortening the initial drafting phase. Personally, I find that using AI allows me to establish a starting point more quickly, facilitating more efficient work and granting a faster transition to new projects or tasks. If you have not yet used it, I would recommend trying it out!

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2024, supported by PCMA Foundation and Experience Columbus, were recognized at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024, Jan. 7-10 in San Diego, California.

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