08 October 2018

2 Minutes with Heledd Williams

How did you get into the event industry?

I have a degree in Leisure and Event Management and have been working in the industry for a number of years in the UK as well as overseas having lived and worked in Rome, Sydney and New York City  . I’ve worked on the commercial operator side as well as on the public delivery side, therefore have a balanced view and a pragmatic approach!

Favourite thing about events?

People and the interactions with buyers, planners and colleagues across destinations. It’s a little corny, but the industry itself is really familiar, friendly and although competitive, it’s a healthy supportive industry in which colleagues and buyers look forward to meeting up on the event circuit!

What do you think you can bring to the new role? 

A passion and determination as well as a real desire to get Wales known as a viable destination to host all manner of meetings, events and incentives.  I am a very proud Welsh person who believes in her culture, her heritage and what Wales can offer and wish others to sample some of it too!

What will you do/have you done in the first month in the job? 

Get out and about meeting various suppliers, product and experience providers, venues and hoteliers across Wales, brushing up on my own product knowledge as well as encouraging our trade to be MICE market ready and savvy! 

What's on your desk?

An event calendar, a  map of Wales plus a planner of air routes into Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Heathrow airports plus some highlighter pens!  We have a clean desk policy at Welsh Government so limited items!

How do you intend to face the challenges in the industry? 

Pragmatically.  Every destination is literally competing globally. We are all sharing similar stories or reasons why to visit our destinations.  So I tend to look at what Wales has to offer, what is achievable and attractive within our means and write our story to entice and encourage planners to use Wales for some of their business events. 

Biggest frustration? 

From a destination perspective, it’s the somewhat lack of knowledge, perception and awareness of Wales as a fantastic country with so much to offer.  I need to help change this. 

Crowning moment? 

Spending time with Mick Jagger talking about Wales and our capital city Cardiff and then teaching him a few welsh words and phrases for when The  Rolling Stones were playing in the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.  One of the best work experiences teaching Welsh to Sir Mick!

Best piece of advice? 

Assume nothing and expect nothing! Be true to what you can offer and deliver, but always try to exceed expectations!

Funniest work moment? 

Coming head first at 86 miles per hour on Zip World Velocity above Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda – trying to be composed and dignified, but forgetting I was being filmed and recorded! The language was bilingually colourful!  It is great to see entrepreneurial spirit in Wales when our disused industries and landscapes and being transformed into quality experiences like Zip World.

Dream job? 

I think I’m already doing it!