The Big Cheese

The Big Cheese with Gold Coast Business Events’ Shannon Thwaites

This week, Shannon Thwaites, Manager – Global Business Events, Gold Coast Business Events, spins our Russian Roulette we call the Big Cheese interview.

The great thing about my job is…            

No two days are ever the same and it’s such a privilege to be able tell the world about a city I’m passionate about and make a small difference to its growth and success.

I love the energy and engagement of both account management and business development and this role is a perfect combination of both.

The challenge for industry is…

My role is built around fostering relationships and trusted partnerships and we all seem to be becoming more time poor, and caught up in increasingly busy lives.

Business events are all about taking time to connect and learn; ensuring the industry continues to thrive despite the time pressures impacting on future growth is a challenge.

My greatest achievement is…

I’ve had the opportunity to work very closely with the Gold Coast meeting industry, our venues and specialist suppliers, and their cooperative community approach to marketing the destination is quite remarkable.

I’ve been able to implement a program of cooperative marketing activities with our member partners that has grown and achieved really positive results, so I’m quite proud of that.

The biggest thing in MICE this year will be…       

I try to relax by…

A glass of bubbles overlooking the beach and Gold Coast skyline at Rick Shores in Burleigh is hard to beat.

My favourite venue is…

Watching the surfers and the waves roll in at Currumbin Alley, with a coffee from the local café – this beachside precinct is stunning and one of my favourite locations.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Ireland – it’s on the bucket list!

I am scared to death of…

I might love working in the MICE industry but I’m actually terrified of the furry variety  – guaranteed to run for the chair every time if a mouse comes my way.

I can’t live without…

My family – simple as that.

I really wish I had…

Honestly, I don’t dwell on regrets; it’s all about getting on with it and looking forward.

If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…

My husband is always my first choice, Richard Branson for inspiration, a lovely aunty that I’d love to continue unfinished conversations and my father-in-law, who I never had the chance to meet.

For anyone starting out in the industry one piece of advice I’d give would be.

Be prepared to work really hard, get stuck in and roll up your sleeves and the rewards will come to you in time. Value the team around you and work hard at making a difference.

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