In our first installment of Spice Hot Seat, we chat to Sandy Botterill, general manager at GO Conference & Incentive, based in New Zealand.
Here, she shares her most memorable moments from her career thus far, plus some sage advice for those entering the industry.
When did you get into the events industry?
I first entered the event industry in 2011 as the head of loyalty for an incentive marketing business.
What is the most memorable event you’ve been part of?
It has to be dancing on a private beach in Singapore with Fat Boy Slim as our entertainment for the night.
If you could change one thing about the events industry, what would it be?
Great event managers are very people focused, but I think if we could have better and more integrated technology, that would be amazing.
Have you had any major event disasters?
Not personally, but GO Conference & Incentive had a large group in Hawaii in 2018 when the volcano was erupting. There was a lot of communication with our many suppliers to ensure that we put the safety of the group first, and that the conference and incentive would not be impacted.
What is one piece of advice you’d give someone entering the field?
The event industry is a wonderful, difficult, energising and tiring place; we are very privileged to be part of it. It is an industry where you have to care and want to see the delight on attendees’ faces. You have to be a person who goes the extra mile.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your career?
The most important thing in any business is people, people, people (roughly translated from the Maori proverb: He tangata, he tangata, he tangata).
What would your dream event look like?
Oh, such a hard question! It depends on the client and what they are trying to achieve. A dream event to me looks like a real collaboration between us and the client, seamless planning, with the opportunity to surprise. All that said, I personally love Spain – it is a really fantastic country for events!