Meet the Business: First Event

 Clare Evans, Digital Marketing Executive at First Event, talks to UMi about her business and why she recommends Digital Enterprise and the Digital Knowledge Exchange.

What is it the company does? 
First Event is a creative event agency specialising in corporate events, conferences and incentives. We help businesses to deliver seamless events around the world, tailored to their needs. 
Describe your role in no more than 100 words 
As a digital marketer, I focus on generating new business online through a range of channels. I also help to ensure that First Event’s offerings are visible and streamlined, through SEO, website practices, analytics, automation and digital content marketing. A key part of my role is integrating our online touchpoints and ensuring that our company values and messaging are consistently upheld. My aim is to provide our audiences with the best possible experience online and give them simple journeys to purchase. 
How did you come to do the work that you do? 
I started out as a content writer after graduating with a degree in English Literature. I quickly became interested in digital content marketing and have worked in different marketing agencies around the world learning about targeting and acquiring customers online, through PPC advertising, SEO, website conversion optimisation, working with data, and online communications. I am now in my first in-house marketing role and work with an internal marketing team on all things digital. 
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position? 
Heading up the digital marketing has meant that I continually need to refresh my knowledge and explore new tools to make sure I’m doing the best for First Event. One challenge has been bringing in platforms such as a chatbot, a new website content management system (CMS) and a customer relationship management (CRM) system into the mix, and helping different teams adopt the new processes involved. There has been a lot of change in the business this year, so finding the time to take advantage of additional learning in our busy marketing department can be challenging at times! 
Where do you see the company in five years’ time? 
First Event has rapidly grown in the last two years, and we are continually expanding the team and the industries we are working in. In the future I see the company growing so that we are working on many more varied events where we can offer even more personalised experiences for client delegates through digital technologies. We are currently working towards a more agile work environment, meaning that we may have team members working all over the world and we will be able to expand our operations to new markets. 
Why did you take part in Digital Enterprise or Digital Knowledge Exchange? 
We have significantly changed our approach to digital and have made leaps in the technologies we’ve been using in the last year to improve what the business can offer. As a result, my team took part in the Digital Knowledge Exchange for guidance on our lead generation approaches and how we could successfully integrate new technologies and digital marketing tools.  
What has the Digital Enterprise or Digital Knowledge Exchange done for your business? 
From Digital Knowledge Exchange sessions we were able to audit and overhaul our marketing strategy to maximise digital efforts. Since June last year, we have allocated significantly more resources to PPC advertising, content marketing and lead generation, which has helped us to increase our revenue from new business. Mentoring sessions by the Digital Knowledge Exchange also helped me with website user experience (UX) processes, and we have been able to update the First Event website this year to reflect our growing business more effectively.  
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader? 
To believe in yourself and the work you are doing. I think it’s so important to work towards goals that will enhance your life and those around you. I have come across many people that do not value the work they are doing and it has negatively affected their work performance and personal life. I would say finding measurable ways to make a more positive impact and to inspire others can provide more long-term purpose and vision for an aspiring business leader. 
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out? 
To drill in that it’s fine to make mistakes and not always strive for perfection. I find it better to work in small stages when working on a project and to value trial and error, instead of sticking rigidly to a plan. It’s put a lot less stress on myself to get something done and gives me time to evaluate new possibilities of making things work better. 
Why would you recommend Digital Enterprise or the Digital Knowledge Exchange 
For those working on digital strategies alone especially, the Digital Knowledge Exchange is a brilliant resource to find out about new developments in the industry and to bounce ideas off of people who are actively using them. I have been able to apply relevant techniques that other businesses have been trialling and getting insight into how to adopt them for my company’s use. It’s been great to meet with other Leeds businesses in the process and share ideas for better digital marketing in the B2B environment. 

If you liked this post, please share with your friends and followers. If you are interested in digital, why not check out the Digital Enterprise Top 100, a major initiative to identify those companies that are setting an example for others to follow within the world of digital transformation. 

Coalface Dev
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