A chat with Hannah and her journey with Identity
Hannah has been a member of the Identity team since 2016 and in that time she has occupied various roles. Starting as a Digital Marketing Executive, Hannah is now an Account Manager and oversees some of our most important accounts. We thought it might be interesting to have a chat with Hannah to find out about her experiences working at Identity to date…
Hannah, you’re an instrumental colleague at Identity and have been with the team for a while now – how long has it been?
I can’t quite believe it but it will be three years in June.
In that time you’ve occupied several roles – what’s your journey been?
My first role at Identity was back in 2016 as a Digital Marketing Executive. I was writing and posting content for clients on various social media and marketing channels. I had a fantastic mentor in Shéa our Head of Brand Experience during this period. I learned a lot and little did I know back then, this would be the first building block of getting me to where I am now.
After 6 months in the Digital Marketing Executive role my directors approached me with an offer to become the company’s first Digital Account Manager – a big step forward for me. At first I failed to see what they saw in me and it wasn’t until I was thrown in the deep end that I realised “I can do this”.
Fast forward a year and I have dropped the ‘Digital’ part of my title due to a shift in the company as we are honing in on live events and stepping away from the digital marketing side of things.
Have you found it challenging adapting to the new roles?
In the first instance I think ‘rabbit in the headlights’ would have been a good description. Any new role is daunting and it was a big step out of my comfort zone. Come January 2017 I was embedding into my new role and was quickly learning the ropes, tackling challenges and successfully playing a part in project delivery and client satisfaction. One of the main aspects of good account management is communication and once you have that nailed the rest follows.
I also think in my case it has been less about adapting to the role and instead more about utilising an existing skillset to a better suited purpose.
As each role has required different a skillset, how would you say your skills have developed and improved?
Over the years I have definitely developed a much better understanding of what goes into delivering one of our world-class stand design and builds. I have recently been on a bit of journey within the company to learn more about our production process by meeting with different individuals to learn more about various aspects such as working drawings, materials and estimating budgets.
I would also say that my organisational, communication and negotiation skills have come a long way since the beginning. I have also been involved in several tender submissions and proposal presentations which has been a brand-new skill altogether for me and one I found myself really enjoying.
So how would you describe your current role to someone?
As an Account Manager it is my responsibility to nurture each of my clients and develop strong relationships with the teams I work with, both internally and externally.
Essentially, I am the middle woman between my clients and the delivery teams within the company. I am the client’s voice within Identity and it is up to me to ensure that we are meeting their expectations. It is a lot about teamwork as I rely a lot on those around me to achieve the end goal and it is imperative for me to know the nature of our entire process and business like the back of my hand and I can’t do that without working very closely with others.
It is a dynamic, fast-paced role in which you are constantly learning on the go.
You’ve been at Identity for almost three years but what makes it enjoyable?
Most definitely the people. I am so lucky to work with some really awesome and talented people. I genuinely enjoy working with everyone, including my lovely clients and I can actually say I smile and laugh every day at work.
What do you see as the next big milestone in your career?
As the Account Management team grows, I would like to see myself start to work my way up the ladder of seniority. Also next on the list for me will be taking on more global live event accounts with larger budgets and extending my portfolio and experience of working within this exciting sector.
For anyone looking to join the live events industry, what advice would you give them?
My advice would be: be open, willing, eager to learn and be prepared for a few late nights and early starts!
What would you say has been your biggest challenge to date?
Definitely moving away from digital and marketing projects which were large parts of my comfort zone. My first few live event accounts and projects were challenging as I was learning as I went but I thoroughly enjoyed being thrown in the deep end. It didn’t take long for me to find my feet with these types of accounts and with my recent training and experience I feel ready to take on the next obstacle.
You’re clearly driven and ambitious but what is it that motivates you to keep moving forwards?
My time at Identity has highlighted the fact that I am a bit of a perfectionist. So my motivation is to be as close to perfect within my AM role as possible. Now, I know there is no such thing as perfection and we are all human but I do believe that there is always something to learn to better ourselves and that personal growth is never ending.
I’m also motivated by feedback from both colleagues and clients. Feedback and constructive criticism is how you can take that step closer to perfection.
The final question… what excites you about the future of live events?
I think what excites me most is how live events are becoming more and more engaging. Whether that is through tech, brand experiences or activations the live event space is becoming less about the ‘look at me’ mentality and more about sparking meaningful discussions, providing the space to do so and having fun at the same time.
Our opportunities are only growing and there is always something new which I can suggest to my clients to get the best out of their next event. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.