What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“Say what you mean, mean what you say.” This advice was given to me by my first manager at work and has been the guiding principle for me in my personal and work life. I always try to keep my word and avoid promising things that I cannot deliver. This principle always helps me to set the right expectations when dealing with different situations.
What is your favourite meal and where would you most like to eat it?
I would choose to eat fish at my favourite restaurant by the Bosporus – Istanbul. The Bosporus forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia. Eating a freshly grilled fish by the beautiful waters of the Bosporus with a glass of your favourite drink is an Istanbul tradition that should never be forgone. It is one of our favourite Sunday afternoon activities with our wider family and friends and we try to do that at least once a month.
What’s your favourite app we might not have heard of?
As I am not a very active app user, I am not sure I could name an app that nobody has ever heard of. However, my favourite app is “Story Tell”. I live quite far from the office and spend at least two hours per day in traffic. Story Tell gives me a chance to listen to my favourite books while driving and helps to pass the time in a rewarding way. I have listened to more than 100 books since I purchased that app.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
I would go back to my university years at Madison-Wisconsin. I had such an amazing time with great friends from all over the world. I was lucky enough to meet with people from many different countries, appreciate different cultures, and party, while learning marketing research from some of the best professors of the time. Going to Badgers football games on the weekends is also something that I would like to do again.
What is the biggest work challenge you face right now?
Motivating myself and my colleagues from a distance is one of the biggest challenges I face right now. Thanks to the developments in technology there are now many tools that allow us to work from a distance. However, it can never replace the joy and effectiveness of face to face contact. Working from home obviously helps to save a lot of travel time but I miss all the social interactions that I used to enjoy while working at the office. In addition, coffee breaks and lunch breaks were a great way to stay up-to-date with the developments in different teams.
How do you see the future of events, post pandemic?
I have observed that many of our exhibitors and visitors miss attending events, which is why I believe that face to face interaction will continue post pandemic. However, Covid-19 is here to stay for a while and we need to learn to live with it. Facilitating Covid-safe interactions will continue to be one of the main challenges we will have to deal with. In addition, technological developments are also allowing new forms of interaction. These cannot totally replace face to face contact but will be very helpful to supplement what we are doing. I believe data-driven, digitally enabled Hybrid events will be the main form of events post pandemic.
What attracted you to work at RX?
First, events appealed to me as a profession where you are continually learning about different industries and meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Second, the company was going through a transformation process when I joined and I am always excited to be part of change. I still like the dynamism of change within the industry and RX. Third, the global footprint of RX and RELX was very appealing since it enabled me to meet many new people from different cultures and backgrounds. Finally, the opportunities that lie ahead for the events industry and RX are limitless, particularly in the field of digital innovation. Events have become true multi-channel experiences, and the use of digital to enhance the face to face experience really excites me.