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ILEA UK urged to make most of international resources

ILEA international board's European representative says she hopes to encourage talk between chapters worldwide

Pictured: Mary Baird-Wilcock (far right) with staff members at her Nottingham-based agency, The Simplifiers

The sole European-based member on the International Live Events Association (ILEA) board says she hopes to increase communication between chapters during her tenure.

Mary Baird-Wilcock, owner of Nottingham-based The Simplifiers, says she hopes to inspire other UK and Ireland-based ILEA members to reach out to international chapters and share resources.

"In the last year ILEA has done such an incredible job rebranding and understanding the value of being a global organisation," she said.

"Once you realise the depth of experience that exists in all ILEA chapters and across the Europe chapter, you realise there are so many really sharp people within this community. What I personally hope is that ILEA members will also see is figure out ways to connect with these heavy hitters.

"There are more and more opportunities, for any member in ILEA UK or Europe, to reach out to other chapters and say 'can you be a speaker at our event?' It really broadens the (pool) and helps educate other ILEA chapter members, and reminds them we're a global association. It's just so easy to pick up the phone and organise it. The barrier to entry is not as hard as you think."

Baird-Wilcock says virtual technology will also play a rising hand in connecting people worldwide, such as helping members avoid paying a £1200 return flight to attend an American conference.

"That is one of the barriers to entry," she added. "It costs a lot of money to fly from the UK to go to a conference. Then there are conference and hotel fees. But I have great faith that technology is on our side. It's easier nowadays to do live streaming and have virtual events. I was recently a speaker for an ILEA Boston Chapter event, in a live stream. There's more and more opportunity for any member in ILEA UK or Europe to reach out to other chapters."

Baird-Wilcock, who moved to the UK in 2014 with her British-born husband, has been an ILEA member since 2007, and was previously chapter president of ILEA Austin in 2011-2012.

While she carries out her three-year term on the international board, Baird-Wilcock is also on the nominating committee, and is on the look-out for rising stars within the European chapters of ILEA.

She added: "If anyone knows of any great people in their chapters in the EMEA, I'd love to meet with them."

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