I wonder if she’s aware of it herself, but Glenda Harding from Harding Conferences is an expert in navigating change in the events industry. Not only does she accept change as a natural process of life.
She totally EMBRACES change.
She sees it as a way to make life more interesting, to be proactive, to develop resilience and grit, and she uses it as an engine to constantly improve and ultimately achieve greatness.
When we have our Oh-Ah-Ha Live chats, people’s journey into the conference industry is often utterly engaging. With Glenda, it’s her ability to bend with the wind that stands out.
I’m telling you, she’s a trooper!
Harding Conferences and Harding Recruitment
Together with her small team, she has a lot of fun as a highly regarded Approved Professional Conference Organiser (admittedly it’s a mouthful, but it comes with a rigid set of criteria to match) who especially frequents the World of Transport. It’s in this capacity I’ve known Glenda for many, many years.
On top of the conference organising side, multi-talented Glenda also takes recruitment consultants through a very successful program. The unique training package is a philosophy rather than just another course in interviewing techniques. Did I mention it pre-dates her conference adventures, and it’s highly regarded?
Her excellence in the recruitment side of her business allowed her to transfer her skills into the world of conferences. The rest is history.
Little Gems of Wisdom
I love how our kōrero with Glenda is riddled with little gems of wisdom.
One of them is her determination to take EVERYBODY on your journey while preparing for your event. When organising conferences, Glenda has a vision of what the conference will be like, everybody-from the head chef to the cleaner- embarks on the adventure with her. She makes sure of that.
Glenda was doing it instinctively… until somebody spelled it out to her explicitly. Oh-Ah-Ha Bingo!
It’s the sign of a great leader in my book.
Learning to Navigate Change in the Events Industry during Covid
Stephen Hawking famously said, ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’.
I think we can all agree that 2020 has given us plenty of opportunity to prove ourselves quick on the uptake, especially when working in the events industry.
The switch from in-person events to virtual events has proven challenging on more than just the technology front.
Faced with lockdowns, Glenda found herself rescheduling event dates not once, but twice. Event centres turned into MIQ facilities, collaterals and even websites needed complete overhauls.
As a conference organiser, she reflected on what makes a virtual event successful. As it turns out, the same concept of what works for an in-person event doesn’t cut the mustard. Panel discussions can be hugely engaging in the virtual world, but pre-recording presenters often fall flat, lacking the spark and the engagement.
As a result, Glenda started coaching skilled on-stage presenters in how to engage with a virtual audience. ‘You can’t do what you normally do on stage and expect it to work. ‘
There’s a little bit of talent in nailing change in the events industry during a pandemic.
But it’s all in a day’s work as far as Glenda is concerned. She loves how people, previously reluctant to make the technology switch, figured out, much to their surprise, that it can be done.
Glenda’s Oh-Ah-Ha Moment: Embracing Change in the Events Industry
When asked about her Oh-Ah-Ha moment, Glenda goes back to her very first successful paid conference. It returned a whopping 9.7/10 satisfaction score, which had her dancing for obvious reasons.
Right then, she was told that the one thing she must do to keep the satisfaction score this high is embracing CHANGE in the events industry. According to Glenda, it was the best advice she ever received.
‘I have a lot of companies that come back to me for their yearly or two-yearly conferences. I always do something they don’t expect me to do. It’s the secret to my success. Well… that and my attention to detail.’
Glenda has been organising conferences, seminars and events for over 20 years for a wide variety of organisations. She is one of only 52 Certified Event Managers throughout Australasia. Along with corporate events, Glenda has been responsible for organising fundraising events, with record results. She is well regarded as someone who ‘can look outside the square’ to help create something that is fresh and memorable for her clients.
Glenda holds overall responsibility for projects within Harding Consultants. From the financial management to ensuring all website updates are implemented on time and correctly, Glenda has a hands-on approach to your conference. With extensive experience working alongside corporate sponsors and industry exhibitors, Glenda is able to ensure all parties get the best results from their resource and financial commitment. Testament to this, are the clients who have been with Glenda since the company’s inception – over 20 years.
Outside of work she enjoys socialising with her husband of 34 years, 3 grown children, and a wide circle of friends.