The Spell of the Yukon
-by Robert Service
I always tell people that I love the ‘thrill of the chase’ and I can’t help but wonder if that leaves people scratching their heads. A conference organizer who loves the thrill of the chase (closing deals, negotiating the best rates for my clients, finding the diamond in the rough that you would never expect, etc…) Truth be told, I’m not just a conference organizer, it’s just that this is the only job that I could imagine where I would have the opportunities to do everything I love.
In addition to conference management, I love to travel. I love marketing, sales, business development, graphic design, web development and the list goes on. I also love the details, the tiny little things that make people think ‘hmmm…she really heard me’. I like asking questions, lots of questions.
I’ve been lucky to have some great, long-term clients throughout my career, clients who sometimes ask me to help with things that aren’t anywhere on my list of service offerings. I am always happy to help, and if I can do it well, I will. If I can’t do it well, I’m the first one to recommend someone in the industry who can.
In 2007, I opened Say Something Communications as a communications company specializing in conference management. We also offered business development, educational consulting, social media services, web development, graphic design, online content development, etc…
After a year of this craziness, we realized that were doing too much and watering down what we do really well, so we changed course (which is hard) and scaled back to only conference management. We’ve since figured out how to do what we love (which is a lot) but we only provide these services to our clients who are producing conferences and conventions. So that means that our clients are really getting a one-stop shop of a well-rounded communications company (we can design conference logos, programs, signage, etc…) we can promote the conference on social media platforms, we can spearhead the sponsorship committee, we can develop the conference website and registration database, we can handle all the financial transactions, and we can do it all really well – because we’re focusing on a few clients at a time, as opposed to dozens.
In my ‘spare’ time – I travel with my partner, play guitar, and dream up cool business ideas that I don’t have time to develop. 🙂
I am the managing partner at Say Something Communications, a full service conference management company based in Ottawa, Canada. I am a long time logistics person, and have spent most of my working life organizing various things—events, people, ideas…you name it, I have organized it!
I have several professional certifications that have helped me along the way. I am certified project manager, teacher, and six-sigma practitioner. All of these things have led me to look for opportunities to develop and mentor others as well as to impose order on chaos. I think I have found my calling in the events world! I pride myself on placing relationships above money, on infusing my decisions with compassion, and in always looking for the humanity in people and in situations.
Outside of work, I am a dedicated yogi and practice yoga several times each week. I am also a wanderer, a long time nomad. I particularly love to combine these two passions by attending yoga retreats around the world.