Aug 24, 2021
Today we have the great pleasure of talking to Amy Calvert, the CEO of the Events Industry Council! Over time, Amy has gained a unique perspective on where the meetings and events industry is coming from and where it is going. In this episode, Amy shares her insights and talks about the valuable resources available on the EIC website.
We hope you enjoy listening to our conversation with Amy today!
Amy Calvert’s bio:
As CEO of the Events Industry Council, Amy Calvert oversees a global federation of more than 30 member organizations representing 103,500 individuals and 19,500 businesses in the events industry. With more than three decades of diverse event experience, Amy is a fierce advocate for all aspects of the industry’s complex, interconnected ecosystem. She is known as a community builder, strategist, and diplomat, able to tackle complex issues with empathy and a grounded business focus.
Before joining EIC, Amy served as Visit Baltimore’s Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services for 12 years, where she had budget oversight for a $4 million program budget. She also served as Regional Groups and Meetings Director for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for 10 years.
Amy studied Liberal Arts in college. After graduating, she worked in sales and marketing for a while. She loves to cook, so she decided to work for a hotel and get into food and beverage and operations. From there she got an internship as a Catering Coordinator and eventually moved on to the sales side.
The people and the relationships that have been built over time fuel Amy and keep her going.
A creative exercise
After joining Visit Baltimore, Amy went through a creative exercise with a company called Minding Your Business. They did a lot of qualitative and quantitative research to find the right cities to align with Baltimore. That eventually evolved into an alliance with Anaheim and San Antonio.
The alliance collaborated to create a strong value proposition for clients rotating throughout the US with their larger annual meetings.
That brought the whole community closer together, and they developed a think tank of peers in each city to help them navigate those times.
The last eighteen months
Over the last eighteen months, many professionals have experienced heartache and loss and have had to navigate unanticipated challenges and changes to their careers. That has highlighted the importance of peer-to-peer engagements and networking.
Amy Calvert’s thoughts on leadership
Leaders should help new people in the industry, or those with less experience, to see the value in investing in collaborative communities, according to Amy. Leaders can encourage and inspire those who feel alone or adrift by reminding them that there is a vast world of opportunity out there, and many resources are available.
Reflecting and evaluating
It is important to take the time to be quiet, reflect, and evaluate whether what you are doing is what you truly want to be doing, whether you are living your values, and what you could be doing to contribute more.
Before the pandemic, the EIC board members had the opportunity to work on a vision. They also had the chance to go back and reflect on why the EIC exists, what their purpose is, and the impact they can have when living their purpose and values. When the pandemic hit, they saw that they serve the entire ecosystem through advocacy, research, and the honing of professional standards.
The APEX Commission
Amy wanted to bring the APEX Commission back to bring people together. She wanted people to think collectively about what they are dealing with in terms of Covid and how to address it.
Global professionals from all sectors and regions came together to share their resources. Since then, there have been almost 300,000 downloads of the various resources in the APEX Covid Task Force library.
Amy Calvert’s mission
Amy’s mission is to make sure as many people as possible know about the resources in the APEX Covid Task Force library and go to the EIC website to interact and begin a journey of learning.
An EIC group
There is an EIC group that is looking at new business models. They start with why things are done rather than how to do them. They also look at renewed commitment to true partnership and explore opportunities to create more value.
Resources for business owners
The resources on the EIC website are fantastic, and they are all meant to work together. There are some common themes woven into all of them anchored to the EIC’s principles for recovery.
Meeting and Event Design Guide
The Meeting and Event Design Guide has been one of the more popular resources on the EIC website.
The B2B/B2C Guide is popular because it resets the expectations around what is possible, with what destinations, venues, and organizations are facing. It explains how to share risks and objectives and create and communicate experiences that people value and feel safe participating in.
Supporting our workforce is foundational to the industry right now
Amy feels that how we commit to supporting our workforce, inspire people to come into the industry, and help people to reposition themselves through upscaling, rescaling, continuous professional education and wellness is foundational to the industry right now.
EIC member sites
The EIC member sites are full of rich resources about many topics. The topics include equity, career development, mindfulness, and cultivating leadership.
Amy’s hope for the foreseeable future
Change starts with all of us as individuals. As an industry, we can be a catalyst for change. Amy hopes that we can commit to driving meaningful change in the areas of equity and inclusion, and we can collectively set an expectation to not return to doing things in the way that we did them before. She hopes that we can be united in our effort to tell a better story about the business events sector, and look back in the next decade and feel proud of the path that we paved for ourselves. She hopes that we do not lose sight of the impact that staying connected can have on the future.
Connect with Eric
Connect with Amy Calvert
On the EIC website