Dow Jones is a household name, but not everyone knows their fast-moving event team, who put on a variety of top-notch events moving at the speed of business. Oliver Smith, EMEA Events Manager at Dow Jones, shares an inside peek at what it’s like to run events for the business giant.
How long have you been working in this industry and what got you started?
I worked for a boutique talent and events management agency as part of a work experience programme at school when I was 16. I was fascinated by the industry after being put in front of professional footballers and tennis players (as a very keen sportsman myself!).
I then went on to study events management at university and was lucky enough to land a full-time job the day after my final exam with my placement employer and have never looked back. I love working in events for the end result, and seeing it all come together. I also get to travel to some pretty cool places.
You’re in charge of events on behalf of business publications: What kind of audiences do you serve and what makes them special?
One of the best things about working for Dow Jones is that we serve such a vast audience. We host events that cover all sectors at a global level, so we’re always faced with a fresh challenge. I usually don’t have a lot of time to wind down after an event – our schedule is so jam-packed we tend to move onto the next within 24 hours!
Typically, I find that I’m juggling between 3-4 events at any one time; it may be that we have a conference in Berlin, a hosted event in Stockholm, and a campaign event at the Cannes Lions Festival all at once.
How many events do you typically work on at one time?
Typically, I find that I’m juggling between 3-4 events at any one time; it may be that we have a conference in Berlin, a hosted event in Stockholm, and a campaign event at the Cannes Lions Festival all at once, while also having an overview for another event coming up in the following weeks.
Are you using any tools to manage your entire planning process, if so which ones and why?
For marketing, we use a number of different email marketing tools – the main one being Strongview.
To stay organized on event days, obviously emails are monitored on a constant basis. And zkipster comes into play once the event is live – it’s critical to the success and smooth running of our events.
How have you used technology to add a special or unique touch to your event?
We hosted a FinTech Conference in 2014 for our London publication, Financial News, and had caricaturists come in and produce cartoon impressions of the key topics discussed throughout the day.
Now for the rapid fire round, tell us what tool you’re using for:
Invitation Management: zkipster
Meeting Scheduling: Google
Presentations: Google Slides
What applications or services are you using after your event to help you evaluate its success and/or gather feedback?
We always arrange ‘wash-up’ meetings with senior stakeholders after our events. This is key to building on the successes of past and future events. Twitter feedback is also pretty useful!
Thanks for sharing a bit how you work! Finally, what kinds of things do you like to do outside of work?
I’m big into my sports; I play football, tennis and golf competitively. As I said before, being a keen sportsman really was the first stepping stone to wanting to work in the events industry!
Interested in more inside looks at top event teams around the world? Check out the rest of our interviews with event professionals.