“Hope you find a nice job soon!” is a wish we frequently hear from friends and family in our pursuit of career growth. Because job search can be a nightmare.
We suspect you may be one of those naturally curious, energetic and hard-working young professionals who are looking to build a striking career but are lacking experience. Or, maybe you have already had a job that you hated – wrong position or even industry? That can happen too, especially if you are too creative and passionate about your work to do something mundane, so you are looking to switch industries and struggling to get a fresh start.
Here we will talk about one of the possible ways for you.
B2B Event Industry Explained
Not an obvious choice for most, but indeed one way to kick-start your career is by joining the B2B event industry.
B2B events can be of very different types and formats ranging from huge expos to conventions, smaller scale think-tanks and business breakfasts. The key point is that most of them focus on providing valuable insights and solutions to the top management participants while presenting them with valuable networking opportunities ultimately allowing them to grow their businesses. B2B events act as a matchmaker for businesses looking for the right connections to grow, innovate, build new partnerships, and more.
Even in these uncertain times, and despite the pandemic and government restrictions, quite a few companies in the event industry are blooming. For example, in Management Events, we were quick to shift from our traditional face-to-face events to a completely new virtual format in order to suit our clients’ needs.
While it is widely thought that in events you can only be either in sales or in operations – setting up the stage and liaising with suppliers, it is not entirely true. The pillar of most B2B events is the content – and this is where the Conference Content Producer comes in.
Brain Behind The Event Scenes
Who said you need special education and years of experience to be the brain behind a product with vast and very real responsibilities? Here is a myth-buster for you: as long as you have curiosity, ambition, strong attitude and persistence – you can go a long way in B2B events content development.
You could compare this role to running a business of your own, or being an inventor. Every event you are assigned, will be based on your ideas, strategy and planning since you are essentially charged with every aspect of the event development, starting from defining target audience, event content to inviting speakers who would present at the event.
As our B2B Conference Content Producer, Anton says, “I enjoy being able to create something new. What I create, starts as an idea in my head and as time goes on the pieces fall into place and become something amazing that will be enjoyed by so many people.”
Develop Strong Research Skills
As a Conference Content Producer, it is important to build an event program that has its own unique selling points and is relevant to the participants. Having the right content on the agenda requires a comprehensive market analysis for the target audience.
Our producers admit that the research stage is often challenging, yet always interesting. And that is where you can really test yourself and see if the Conference Content Producer career is for you. It is vital to enjoy every aspect of research, be curious about market trends and challenges and always look to learn more about technologies and how they can help businesses in various situations. If you feel this is something you want to be learning and discovering constantly – this career may be a great fit!
“This role is all about gaining insights and learning new trends. The ability to level with our participants about their challenges is quite unique. The art of translating these challenges into event themes and presentation formats is not as easy as it seems!” – Bryan, B2B Conference Content Producer.
B2B Networking That Gives Valuable Connections
You may have heard the phrase “work hard until you don’t need to introduce yourself.” In this role, you are required to be in constant communication with prominent expert leaders and senior executives from top 500 companies in your country! Anton highlighted, “I also love the fact that I get to deep dive into so many kinds of fields and talk to so many interesting people.”
Interesting people! – think VPs and CEOs who would normally be your interviewees for research phone calls, speakers you invite to present or participants at your events.
As a Conference Content Producer you have the unique opportunity to quite literally learn from the best, as you discuss various industry trends, most efficient business strategies and newest tech solutions on the market with your C-level customers. Building these connections will allow you to develop better communication skills and grow your own professional network by establishing long-lasting business relationships with your customers, partners, and speakers.
Unleash Your Creativity – Write!
If the event is an opera, you are the composer behind it. You define the target audience, content, format and select speakers for the event.
Based on the market research you will draft the event program and topics, write event descriptions for the website and brochure and explain what is so special about your event to your audience. Here you can really unleash your creativity and become the “enthusiastic journalist” converting discovered in the research information into engaging and unconventional ideas for event elements and session formats.
“I always seek to write in a way which appeals to the reader. I research deeply about the target audience profile and try to understand their challenges – that helps me to create a good event agenda, which I strongly believe will add value to the participants.” – Lavynnia, B2B Conference Content Producer.
With a solid understanding of your event structure and format, you identify and invite the best speakers that you want to present and share their insights. Remember we mentioned those CEOs and VPs? That’s another opportunity to establish good connections with them! But you can always go further and invite Futurists, Visionary or Leadership speakers, as well as founders of hot start-ups, “It becomes extra rewarding when you manage to find exclusive, outside-of-the-box visionary speakers that the participants do not want to miss!” – says Bryan.
Full Ownership of Your Product
It is a role where you can take pride in your work, where your events will act as a representation of your skills and abilities, rather than just passing hours in the office.
Conference Content Producer acts as a project manager – you will work closely with marketing teams brainstorming the best copies for emails, social media posts and other materials; guide delegate acquisitions and sales teams to help attract more participants and sell your events to the clients. Your role here will be paramount – as an event content owner, you will find yourself in the middle of all processes.
Teresa, B2B Conference Content Producer for DACH market explains, “I enjoy being in the center of the project, cooperating with so many people (customers, delegates, colleagues from marketing, sales and other teams) – you need this collaboration in order to get the best product.”
The Event Day: Results and Impact!
What can be more satisfying than seeing the results of your hard work?
The event will normally take about a year to plan, starting with research, content building, and speaker acquisition to inviting participants and technology experts.
In spite of the intense responsibility, the day of the event itself always gives you tremendous emotions. You get to meet your speakers and delegates personally (or virtually) at your own event, talk to them and get to know them on a more personal level (as they are usually quite excited as well!) .
Especially receiving positive feedback from them gives you the biggest pleasure and motivation.
Malin, B2B Conference Content Producer shares after one of her events, “Oh my god, I am SO PROUD! I didn’t think I could get that feeling (especially now that we are virtual) but wow – it’s simply amazing and makes all the hard work worth it. Watching your event also makes you think about what you can improve and develop for next year – which for me, tells me how much fun I think this role is.”
Bryan adds that, “Seeing the delegates absorb the knowledge and insights from the speakers is amazing. The day after you usually have the “event hangover” when you still feel the excitement, and then looking at the feedback of attendees adds on to your ‘happy feelings’ about the content of the program”
Any Conference Content Producer always looks forward to the event day, when you get the recognition for all the effort you’ve put into the project.
The bottom line is, experience is not always the determining factor for a B2B career. Often the curiosity, willingness to learn and grow, the right (can-do) attitude and effort can be enough to start and develop a successful B2B career with plenty of opportunities.
An advice worth highlighting by Iouri, B2B Conference Content Producer from Copenhagen, “The creative part, both in terms of what to include and who to invite to the event, but also adding that little red thread to the event flow in a way that makes sense – that takes some skill and patience. And the only way to learn is to be open to failure and adjustments through feedback along the way.”