Jim Quintrell from the Conference Doctor is passionate about the events industry and building relationships with clients. He has a wealth of experience in the events industry and is passionate about achieving business objectives and delivering results.
We decided to sit down and ask Jim about his experience and knowledge, here’s what he had to say to us:
1. Tell us about your background in the events industry?
I started as a conference consultant with Hotel Scene when they were based in London (this is a big clue as to how long I’ve been in the industry) I moved from there to what was then Hotel Brokers International and spent 10 years while it became HBI and then Grass Roots, working as a Conference Manager and progressing to Operations Director. I left to join BSI as Director of Operations and spent 4 years at the company before they became Capita Travel & Events where I became Head of Account Management. After gaining all this experience I decided the time was right to start my own business with my business partner Paul Hussey just over 3 years ago.
2. Given all your experience in the field, how has the industry evolved?
I think the industry has evolved very slowly. At HBI we were one of the first agents to understand the role of procurement and the importance of strategic meetings management. 15 years later I’m still working with organisations who are just starting on the SMM journey. Commission is still a debating point because it continues to oil the commercial wheels of our industry and transparent open book relationships are still pitched as a unique selling point. What hasn’t changed is the benefit of face to face events and the importance of bringing people together to achieve remarkable results.
3. What trends do you see emerging in the corporate hospitality sector?
a. I’m watching with great interest currently as the traditional “big four” HBA’s are being acquired by the “big four” TMC’s. This begs the question as to whether the term HBA is relevant any longer and if this will change the agency landscape completely? I have a view that this will create opportunity for all agents but only the most agile will be able to grab it. The importance of being a specialist in your own sector of the industry has never been greater and this ability to show evidence is more important. How clients and venues react will also be interesting to see.
b. As founding Director of The Meetings Benchmark I believe that we will see a new era of transparency where pricing for meetings and events comes out of the shadows and the answer to “how do I know that is a competitive price?” is an easy one for agents to answer.
c. The last trend is one I hope we will see, where the best of consumerisation is brought into the industry. When I buy an album on Amazon I get recommendations based on my previous choices. This can be applied to when I book an event and repeat…
4. What is unique about the Conference Doctor in delivering solutions to the events industry?
I believe we have a breadth of experience as a consultancy in the M&E industry across sales, account management and operations that’s unmatched. We work with businesses on day one and try to quickly understand their requirements. The difference is we don’t just offer recommendations but we also get our hands dirty delivering them. To date we have worked equally effectively with agencies, corporates, government and venues because we have a 360 degree view of our industry. We also offer training and mentoring and deliver practical tools and techniques rooted from experience, not textbooks and can be implemented into businesses to produce immediate results.
5. What is your favourite team building event?
Totally Wiped Out – I’m very competitive, but also enjoy being competitive as part of a team so a physical activity like this would always be my choice.
6. What is your favourite place in the world to visit and why?
Loftus Road, W12… as a born & bred native of West London I’m sure I do not need to explain this answer! When the mighty hoops are not at home I regularly accept the North-West coast of Mallorca as a reasonable second best
7. Who would be at your dream dinner party?
Genuine answer… my partner and my three boys. As you might be looking for something more interesting I will say… ‘Sir’ Les Ferdinand, Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham & Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton. Topic of conversation would be my 3 favourite sports and I reckon we would sink a few beers too!
Jim is certainly passionate about delivering the best to the industry and we’re excited to see what’s ahead. Watch this space.