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Kongres Magazine talked to Valentini Amarantidou, Director of Development at Artion Conferences & Events, who was recently named among the top representatives of the 10 Most Influential Meeting Agencies 2021. Valentini shared her advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed her opinion on the future of events.

Q1: What does the title of the industry’s most influential individual in the region mean to you?

It is a moment of pride for my country, my city, my company, my team, my family & friends. It is a valuable recognition for all the years’ efforts and, at the same time, motivation to grow better for the future.

Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?

I am actually a veteran in the MICE industry with 27 years of entrepreneurship and project management global wide. At this very moment in my professional life, inspiration comes from the younger generations and the young professionals, whom we need to train and pass on experience and expertise, thus helping them grow better.

Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest achievement as a person and as a team is that we have surpassed the country borders and delivered projects in many countries of Europe, Asia and America. Artion has been contracted by international associations to deliver association management & congress projects in many countries of the world. My team is well-appreciated for good service on a global scale. On top, we have managed to put Greece at the forefront of bidding and winning many international congresses for our country. We are very proud of all these achievements, counting on some particularly tough years for the Greek economy and national reputation.

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Photo Credit: Artion Conferences & Events

“We need to reevaluate the format of our meetings and their cost-effectiveness.”

Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?

Covid, regardless of the huge unrest it has created, has helped us reset and rethink our business and profession. I would like to see better control concerning budgets and overspending. We need to reevaluate the format of our meetings and their cost-effectiveness. I wish to contribute with successful meetings at a lesser cost, greener and more sustainable.

Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?

My positive message is that meetings will never stop happening. Meeting for education, networking and promotion is a human need. The future of meetings will be hybrid, allowing for more options, better connectivity and reduction of unnecessary travel, which has burdened our environment.

Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?

In order to be successful in this industry, new entrants should dispose of this right mix of mental, physical and psychic characteristics that make an event manager a successful professional. Customer service, multicultural education, problem-solving, flexibility & agility, innovative way of thinking, team play, adaptiveness to difficult situations, the right training & education next to the right people, acceptance that there is no routine in this business and travel is heavy, is the first shortlist a young professional should know.

“The future of meetings will be hybrid, allowing for more options, better connectivity and reduction of unnecessary travel.”

Q7: Were you more exposed in public after being placed on our list? Do you see this as an opportunity to reinforce the prominence of our industry in general?

My clients and colleagues have been particularly happy to see me on this list. Any recognition of a good professional’s efforts leads to prominence in our industry; it’s a source of motivation and new ideas; it mobilises more experts; it provides networking opportunities and opens borders.

Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?

Recognition and awards provide a historic record for future generations. It is a great idea to have our own “NBA Hall of Fame”!

Q9: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?

The one that motivates others and moves the industry towards new gateways; the one that moves the business at another level. Thank you from the heart!