Starting off a brand new job is rarely smooth sailing, and is comparable to the first day of school. You have to meet new people and learn how to work well with them, as well as become knowledgeable in the daily operations and routine if you want to be successful. This is challenging at every company in every industry, and I recently have had the pleasure of overcoming these challenges during the past four months, with my new position at Financial Technologies Forum.
I knew that FTF was a conference planning company, specializing in events for financial services and the securities industry. I also knew I had the organizational skills that would be necessary for running events, as well as the ability to work well with others. Where I was unsure was the amount of knowledge I actually had about the financial services industry, but I hoped my strengths would overcome my weaknesses. So I stepped forward into a new position in a new market (at least to me) with high hopes.
To date it is safe to say that I have learned more financial jargon and know how in 4 months with FTF, than during 4 years of college. Whoever believes that conference planning (no matter the industry) is an easy task is mistaken to say the least. I believe planning conferences in such a niche’ market adds an even greater challenge to the task. When it comes to financial services there is little room to be vague or to generalize. Audience members want a conference with specified topics that they will be able to learn from, so if you don’t do the proper research and take the time out to learn about the industry and the hot topics of the moment, you are basically doomed.
You need to stay timely and relevant, all while being catchy and creative so you can capture an audience’s attention. This is not easy in an industry such as financial services, where the rules and regulations are constantly changing and the technology to keep up with it all is constantly evolving.
Along with staying on top of current financial events, you must be organized and be able to keep track of roughly 1 million things at the same time. There’s lists of attendees, lists of sponsors, lists of speakers, lists of venues – to sum it up there are a lot of lists that one needs to keep track of and up to date at all times. And there is never just one event going on at a time, here at FTF we are roughly planning 4-5 events simultaneously covering a variety of topics such as reconciliations, derivatives and hedge funds for our friends on Wall Street.
For anyone wondering what it takes to plan a conference on Wall Street that is just a small taste. There’s new challenges each day, but it is a learning experience and one that I am enjoying. It is extremely rewarding to have worked hard on an event and have it be a success. Not only that but I learn something new every day, and isn’t that what everyone wants out of a job?