A Day in the Life of a Gartner Conferences Production Director

Gartner provides world-class conferences for every core business area. Our more than 75 global conferences focus on providing actionable advice aligned to our clients’ key initiatives. Pamela Hardy, Director, Global Conference Logistics, based in North Sydney, gives some insights into her work at Gartner.

No two days are ever the same, as you just don’t know what you might be faced with. As much as we have rigorous plans and processes to ensure flawless execution, conferences are living, breathing things, and anything can happen. I’ve been faced with transportation strikes, flooding at a venue, and a guest speaker delayed on a flight. Problem-solving is probably my No. 1 attribute! But if I am faced with a challenge, I know I have a huge support network and a professional team always willing to help. It’s a very collaborative environment. Gartner has a great team culture — we are all in it together. Our mantra is “work hard, play hard.”

My days sometimes start quite early as I have conference calls with my U.S. peers. We are a truly global business and we ensure we collaborate across the world, and ensure best practices and global consistency. I often get to travel to provide support on-site at some of our larger-scale conferences. During my eight years at Gartner, I’ve worked at conferences in London, Goa, Barcelona, Hawaii, Orlando and Vietnam. Apart from helping at the conferences, I get to network with my colleagues and learn from them.

Following my early start, my day can be quite varied. I might have meetings with the local team discussing our upcoming conferences, review our timelines, how we are tracking against our goals, what new and exciting elements we are testing, and what we are doing to enhance the attendee experience. Then I might have a branding meeting to discuss our signage and builds. Every Gartner conference around the world should have the same look and feel so we ensure we follow the branding guidelines provided while also getting a bit creative with certain elements. I love getting creative, especially with our on-site cafes and food stations.

Most days I spend time updating and reviewing our budgets. We have rigorous financial planning and forecast meetings, so I like to stay ahead by constantly reviewing and checking the details. At some stage during the morning, we will be arguing in the office over whose turn it is to do the coffee run. Coffee is the official fuel of the conferences team! My afternoons generally involve a few conference calls with my team in Mumbai. I manage the conferences logistics team in India, so I connect with them regularly to provide support, review timelines and discuss any challenges. Then I might spend some time focused on forward planning. As our conferences are constantly growing, I aim to think ahead to plan our growth strategy — when do we need to move venues, capacity planning, negotiating with venues, reviewing our contracts, etc.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Gartner: Our business is growing, our conferences are growing and that means the team is growing. Gartner is a people business, and this continuous growth means unlimited opportunities to realize your full potential. I love that I can grow and develop with Gartner while being surrounded by a fun, like-minded, hard-working collaborative team.

Gartner’s global conferences team is hiring! Find a new career opportunity here.

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