Director of Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Division
As you'll see from any of the other 'profiles' from First Conferences, this is a place where you get thrown in at the deep end. And you're hopefully the sort of person who will enjoy that - because you learn so much more that way.
I've been here nearly six years now. I know that's quite a long time - but it has gone very quickly! After 6 months, I was already running one of the teams - so the learning curve was near-vertical. Fortunately, since then - partly due to the support and freedom I had to drive the business - I've grown the team from two people to 18 people, and we've gone from a small unit organising about 4 or 5 events a year to a £4m turnover target for 2009, and over 30 events each year. When you grow fast like that, it's easy to give new responsibilities (such as training and becoming managers) to other staff, which helps them grow. And I'm pleased to say that despite the current economic climate we're still growing year-on-year.
And then, I'd have to dedicate the next few years to climbing the ladder before getting into a more senior position. I'm not interested in climbing ladders, which often becomes a game of politics or trying to become the boss' favourite. I'm far more interested in thinking of myself already at the top of a pyramid, and my job is simply to grow that pyramid. This is where I decide how to grow the business and, even more importantly, how to satisfy my customers.
I cannot imagine an environment where this notion of responsibility and freedom can be more real than at First Conferences. And the prospects for earning money are pretty good too, because on top of your salary you'll earn a good share of whatever you create.
So if you're looking for a young, vibrant environment, in London's Shoreditch, where business is both fast and real, I'd recommend this for you.