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A Day in the Life of the Head of Events

At BI WORLDWIDE, we have an incredibly talented bunch of Event Professionals who are led by our Head of Events, Shaun Casey. We put the spotlight on Shaun, finding out about his role and what it takes to lead an awesome team!

What it takes to run an Events team

To be successful in the role of the Head of Events, it helps if you're well-travelled and passionate about seeing the world…and Shaun Casey certainly is that! Since he was a child he's had a vast amount of travelling experience, as his father insisted on taking him everywhere he went. Shaun commented: “I was fortunate that my Dad always loved to travel and he took me everywhere. I combined my postgraduate studies in International Management studies with a placement with Thomas Cook in Germany. This was the first piece of experience that led me on this path; I wrote my post-graduate thesis on Thomas Cook's marketing efforts through point of sales displays to encourage the general public to book holidays to exotic destinations. The rest is history!”

Shaun has visited nine countries already this year and in his spare time he likes to travel to all kinds of destinations and experience a type of travel you wouldn't normally experience whilst at work. He is multilingual; speaking French, German, Spanish and Italian, which has its advantages when working with international partners. “I try to organise one big adventure trip per year. This year I was in Tibet and I trekked to base camp of Mount Everest. Next year I'm planning to tackle The Silk Road and travel on the trans-Mongolian express.”

To be the Head of Events you have to be able to keep up with the fast pace of the role, and be comfortable with adapting at the drop of a hat as every day you're faced with different challenges.

Travel adds meaning to your work

Working in Events means that every day is different. You're on the move or researching for the next exciting destination or business partner to visit; or you're going above and beyond working on a client event. So it certainly helps if you don't mind living out of a suitcase! Shaun commented on travelling in his spare time: “I guess if I had to choose a favourite location then it would be the Southeast Asian country,Myanmar'. The reason I loved it was because we seemed to be pioneers. It was the first time that the boat had actually sailed up the river. There were no embarkation points, so it felt as though we were the first tourists ever to visit (we weren't obviously). Also the beautiful silence of travelling by river and the temples shrouded in the morning mist. I love South America too for its music and culture, and Africa for a sense of how magnificent nature is.

“I'm also passionate about ‘WASH' (hygiene and sanitation programmes in the developing world) and in my spare time I spent four months building gravity fed drinking water systems for remote villages in northern Nicaragua. In this country, I realised just how beautiful the world is at night, and how looking at the stars in remote areas is so therapeutic. I stargazed up at the sky on a bench in a remote village there. It's incredible how light pollution hides the beauty of the environment we live in. I also stargazed when I stayed in a monastery that overlooked Mount Everest, which was lit up by the moonlight and stars. It was absolutely fascinating and we all need to spend more time looking up at the sky at night!”

One of the most thrilling things Shaun has done on his travels is being on the maiden voyage of the Orient Express boat ‘Road to Mandalay', sailing up the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar watching the temples appear from the mist in Pagan and the monks going to morning prayers. “It was hard to understand how people can have such different life experiences living on the same planet.”

If you love what you do, you'll do a great job and be a great brand, which will have a positive ripple effect on your team.


The importance of training and destination experience

Shaun knows the importance of valuing our business partners, which is why he encourages Associates to have close working relationships with them to gain a greater understanding of brands. Every year, BI WORLDWIDE organises a recognition award called “Partners in Success” where outstanding business partnerships are recognised and celebrated. He has great plans for the team and a big part of that involves training and development. “We have an extensive professional development programme which includes a number of external suppliers training our team continuously in brand positioning, product knowledge and destination experiences. If our event professionals get to see the product we offer for themselves, then when we speak to our clients we'll be solid in our product knowledge, which in turn will help to achieve customer service excellence. Recently our continuous professional development programme has included everything from a Singapore Airlines London Heathrow visit to see their product service offering and the premium class lounge and business lounge development, as well as a comprehensive mentoring programme on understanding brands through neuro-linguistic programming with Oliver Thompson Training.”

Another extremely important part of Shaun's role is motivating the team to inspire them to go from strength to strength in their roles. “I personally am motivated by seeing the next generation getting as much enjoyment out of the industry as we all have done. It's about building partnerships across the globe and delivering great experiences for our clients. This is testimony to how we motivate our staff – working in exciting destinations, learning about fascinating cultures and teaming up with some of the best professionals in the MICE business around the world.”

Shaun is extremely focused on a vision, implementing the strategy and ensuring that the business is exceeding its customers' expectations. A key ingredient is choosing the right destinations to explore and Shaun is currently directing the latest ‘In:sight Project', researching and discovering untapped destinations so BI WORLDWIDE can always stay ahead of the game in the Meetings, Incentive Conferences and Events industry. Social Media has a big part to play in voicing our destination findings and storytelling; so suppliers can see that we're a forward-thinking agency that constantly explores where the next, new and unexploited place to hold an event is. Shaun has numerous meetings with suppliers, sharing new ideas such as this new project: “Last year I introduced the ‘In:sight' initiative which provides our Associates with the opportunity to go off and explore an emerging destination for our industry. I try to encourage my spirit of adventure across the team so that they take advantage of the fantastic industry we work in. Hopefully by demonstrating my own passion for the business and giving them real opportunities, it will motivate them to excel in their own careers.”

The fact that Shaun has such a wealth of Events experience really benefits the team and the business. “There are so many great events that I have attended but certainly the best one I have ever organised was the management of the international press corps for the Barcelona Olympics. I was fortunate enough to have seen a great deal of the games as well as the impressive closing ceremony.”

The personal experiences you gain in the events industry are invaluable and the industry is full of surprises. Shaun commented on the most incredible experience he's had during an event yet: “It was when an earthquake struck whilst we were travelling through Uganda and how the animals had sensed the danger before the ground started to shake violently!”

Shaun also takes part in regular meetings and presents to clients and suppliers. For example, he is on the advisory board for Belmond Hotels; annual events and senior management exhibitions where he is asked to speak five to six times a year to support continuous professional development of the next generation of event managers!

Having the right personality fit for the job

This plays a big part in being good at the role. Shaun has always been passionate about travelling, which has turned him into an enthusiastic storyteller or adventure traveller, so discovering untapped destinations motivates both Shaun and the team, as they hear about his experiences. If you love what you do, you'll do a great job and be a great brand, which will have a positive ripple effect on your team.

Going above and beyond for our clients

Here at BI WORLDWIDE, our clients and partners are at the heart of everything we do. This is why we put the right people in the right roles: passionate individuals who want to achieve excellence and continuously work to improve and develop. We're an event agency that puts delivering quality events for clients at the top of our priority list, which is why we believe we're the very best at what we do! Interested in working with BI WORLDWIDE? Get in touch by filling out the form below.

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