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An Interview With... Courtney Muller, Clarion Events

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer of Clarion Events North America, shares her thoughts on how the events industry will evolve, plus her top tips for organizers.

HOW WILL THE EVENTS INDUSTRY EVOLVE IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS?


I see the industry coming back to the highs of 2019 and growing beyond those highs. I believe we are about to enter a time of economic expansion and that the events industry will benefit as a result. I am the ultimate optimist but I think the combination of live events, and all of the opportunity that exists online with virtual events and engagements, will only grow. Our industry is about making connections and people are going to want that with each other until the end of time.


WHAT IS YOUR VISION AND STRATEGY FOR CLARION FOR THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS?


My vision and strategy for Clarion Events NA is to continue to diversify our business so we can survive any kind of downturn or significant economic, cultural, or natural occurrence. It's

always been a goal to attract the best talent in the industry and we must continue to do that at Clarion NA. We work hard on a culture that appreciates its people, is inclusive and open,

provides opportunities for all, and has tremendous flexibility with how, where, and when people work.


WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE, AND WHAT WORRIES YOU?


What excites me is the enthusiasm I'm seeing for live events again. But also the online opportunities for connection that the events industry has done a terrific job fostering for the past 18 months. What excites me are the continued advancements and changes in technology that I hope can propel us forward as an industry and as a society. I'm worried about climate change and protecting democracy and the truth here in the US.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER SENIOR LEADERS IN THE INDUSTRY?


I always try to tell people I'm mentoring (including my daughter now!) that it's so important to focus on your people. You need to be as invested in their success as you are in your

own, maybe even more invested. Because teams are what make successful businesses, not individuals. When teams work together to build something they're excited about its

magic. Capture that magic by investing yourself in your teams and their success – they won't disappoint you.


THE ADVICE I’D GIVE TO MY YOUNGER SELF WOULD BE...


I would tell myself that there are huge opportunities outside the large trade show

companies. And to find a start-up show where you have a chance at equity early in your career. Or start a show or business yourself. If you're an ambitious person, you can do it!


THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS...


1. It's not what you personally do, it's what you GET DONE.


2. Get the best people and put them in the right places and your business will fly.


3. Figure out two or three things that you must do well for your business to succeed – the things that will measure your success and keep your business alive. Do them well and don't get hung up on anything else.


This interview originally appeared in The Fix, VEI's new monthly newsletter. For more exclusive features, case studies, and interviews on virtual and hybrid events, check it out here.

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