This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlights planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world.
Name: Iryna Chekhova
Company Name: Metis
Job Title: Head of Events
Years of Experience: 10
How did you get your start in the events industry? What made you pursue this role?
It is a very interesting story. I was 18 and was traveling to Crimea (Russia/Ukraine) on a train. I shared a cabin with one young lady who happened to be an HR manager for the largest event agency in the country. She took my number because I could communicate in English. 6 months after, I received a call from her with the invitation to an interview as the agency had a large project along with a British company and they were hiring people who spoke English. I passed the interview and got a freelance job as a junior event manager. My first event was the EBRD Annual Conference in Kiev in 2008. Thanks to that trip, I found the industry I wanted to work and grow professionally. It’s 2022, and I am still working in the events industry, which has become my passion.
How do you compare planning your first in-person event post-pandemic, to planning meetings/events pre- Covid? What was different and unique? What was similar?
What was your number one challenge in hosting your first in-person event(s) and how did you overcome it?
It was a bit different for me personally, and here is why. Pre-COVID times I worked in corporate event management (agencies and hotels). After COVID, I transitioned to the web3 industry, which is absolutely different in terms of event concept, TA, culture, and approach. However, event planning never changes. It has the same rules, work, structure & communication. The difference between pre & post-COVID is the set of regulations and restrictions on the number of attendees; also, there is a virtual element in each event which makes the customer experience more unique & gives an opportunity for planners to attack a wider audience.
A challenge was to sell tickets to an event and make people come to your event. More details: the web3 event industry differs greatly from the corporate one. Every protocol throws its event during a major event (for example, ETHDenver, Consensus, ETHCC etc). therefore there is high competition in getting guests into your event. The solution is good marketing and promotion, good speakers, constant communication with the attendees, a convenient location, and a great venue.
What is the top learning that you uncovered from the last two years that you’re implementing in your planning process today? (any other tips or tricks you want to share?)
Communication is the key! Attention to detail and continuing with great detailed planning!
Hold the meetings, ask questions on the number of servers assigned for your event; know the check-in process; ask to pre-check in the group; very clear payment instructions. I had a significant issue with one famous hotel in Singapore. Sometimes you can’t do or change anything, it will give you tons of stress. Some of them are just on the “never again” list.
Nope, the same way. Just making sure about the cancellation policy
I wish they would be a bit more flexible.
Due to the pandemic, our events community had to evolve, adapt, and grow. Many planners started to embrace new technologies as a result of the pandemic. What new tech are you using today in your planning process as a result?This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlights planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic w,orld.
Same old thing. Social Tables is a good tool. I think it’s a personal choice which tool to choose.
Since education and relationships are two major pillars in the meetings and events industry, any suggestions on how other planners can learn and network with their peers across the industry?
I wish we could have more educational in-person events for event planners where we could learn from each other and network.