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Mentoring Insights – dmg events’ Millie Evans and Broadway Events MD Emma Barrett

March 16, 2023

International Women’s Day 2023 (8 March) marked the start of Exhibitions News teaming up with Women in Exhibitions‘ UK Chapter to publish Mentoring Insights: a series of Q&As between women mentees and senior mentors as the pairs share aspirations for their mentorship.

Mentoring is a powerful way to inspire and guide people as they move through their careers. Women in Exhibitions recognises mentoring as an important tool to enable more women to aim for, and reach, senior leadership roles in the industry. The Women in Exhibition’s mentoring programme connects top industry players with aspiring talent to support the mentee’s growth and career development.

In the second Q&A of the series, Millie Evans (pictured left) from dmg events and Emma Barrett (right) from Broadway Events give an insight into their mentoring relationship, and what they are both gaining from working together.

 

Millie Evans is a marketing executive at dmg events:

 

Why did you seek a mentor?

Emma and I first met when I had just finished university and started my first job in the industry. Emma then officially became my mentor through the Women in Exhibitions programme around four months ago. Emma has a wealth of experience in the industry and so is the ideal person to learn from. I find it really useful to have someone who is independent from my company, but from within the industry, who can offer me advice when I have specific challenges.

What has surprised you about your mentoring journey so far? Please can you tell us about your career goals

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how helpful mentoring is already, both on a personal and professional level. Since joining the mentoring programme I have created goals that I would like to achieve within three months, six months, and a year. Emma is helping me develop the skills to take a step up in my career, she gets me to ask questions about myself, helping me develop the tools to find the best possible solution for any challenges I might have, without providing direct answers.

I have found that having a mentor makes me consider my career and what I really want to get out of my job role. Emma and I examine the best way to develop my strengths and overcome my weaknesses, whether it be through asking for support from my manager, or participating in a relevant course to upskill myself.

Why did you choose this industry?

While I was at university studying for my marketing degree, I worked part-time for an events company. When I graduated it felt like the perfect fit to combine the two. With events being so fast paced there are never two weeks the same, campaigns change throughout the year, and I am never bored. The exhibition industry also allows me to see the direct results from the campaigns that the team and I have worked on.

What opportunities lie ahead and what challenges do you face?  What do you think the biggest challenge is for someone at your stage of career to overcome? 

I always want to learn and push myself to be the best I can be. In marketing specifically, you can always be doing more to improve and enhance your campaign, so finding the balance to cover all bases can sometimes be hard. The months before an event can be stressful and with only a few years’ experience it is easy to become overwhelmed. Working with Emma has already made me more confident and better equipped to plan for the challenges ahead.

 

Emma Barrett is the managing director of Broadway Events, an AEO Council Member, and Women in Exhibitions Board Member:

 

Why did you want to become a mentor?

I wanted to become a mentor as I have benefited from mentoring so much over my career and I wanted to pay it forward. There are so many talented women in the exhibition industry who simply need mentorship to realise their potential. It’s about shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

What do you hope your mentee will gain from mentoring?

I hope Millie benefits from my experience and industry knowledge. Each session we go through questions and set up tasks such as goal setting so we can identify skills gaps and growth potential.  I like mentees to be able to come to me with any questions, ask for advice, guidance, and support.

What are you yourself learning or gaining from being a mentor?

Being a mentor is helping me become a better leader. I learn about the challenges, purpose, and workload of other teams which helps broaden my views and gain insight into what goes on in other areas. Working with mentees helps me strengthen the lessons I’ve already learned and embed that knowledge.

Tell us about your own mentors; have you been mentored and how did it help you?

Since joining the exhibition industry over 20 years ago, I’ve had many mentors and role models. They have helped me become a more confident businesswoman, unlocking potential I never knew I had. It was a huge catalyst in building my professional network and giving me access to leadership opportunities equal to some of the most established organisers in the country.

 

Applications for the mentoring programme, from both potential mentees and mentors, are open to all Women in Exhibitions’ UK Chapter members. Find out more and apply now at www.womeninexhibitions.co.uk/mentoring

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