Innovation in Facilitation with Samme Allen
We have the great pleasure of speaking with Samme Allen today! Samme has been in the meetings and events industry for many years. She is the Founder and CEO of ConferenceEmcees. Samme’s inspiring story is also riveted with innovation and perseverance. In this episode, she shares innovation, her story and talks about what she is doing to help people reduce their carbon footprint. She also gets into believing in yourself and moving forward and illustrates the importance of honesty and the power of building relationships.
We hope you enjoy listening to today’s captivating conversation with Samme Allen!
Samme has been a meeting professional for most of her career. Her background is in sales, and she fell into events while living in Hong Kong and working for a publishing company. She started working as an event planner when the publishing company asked her to work with one of their clients- to run a charity event and a golf day. It went well, and after that, Samme and her team worked with other clients, including the British Chamber of Commerce in China.
Moving back to the UK
After moving back to the UK, Samme continued to dabble in the periphery of the events world. She moved to London in 2008 and wanted to get more into events. Her recruitment company suggested that she stay with them and work in recruitment. That was a valuable journey for her because it got her involved with MPI.
With a little innovation, Samme works with some of the most iconic venues in the UK, including the Barbican Centre in London.
Samme got a call from a company called Audience, asking her to facilitate a meeting for one of their pharmaceutical clients. She refused because it was not in the event industry. They pushed, however, and eventually convinced her to do it. That started her journey into professional moderating.
Samme invented Sammeallen.Com, and she had the privilege of hosting MPI’s European meeting and events conference a few times. She was in a great space because, for the first time, she was booked out for the following year- 2020. She was about to host an event in Florida when the world turned upside down. In three weeks, she lost all her bookings.
Pivoting to virtual
Samme had to figure out how to survive and thrive. So she joined an online event design course on Zoom. At the time, she did not believe in online events, but the course convinced her otherwise. It changed everything and gave her the confidence to pivot to virtual.
The best year
She started doing online events, and they took off! She ended up having her best year ever, financially!
Throughout the pandemic, she reached out to her clients to find out how they were and keep the communication lines open.
One of the good things that came out of the pandemic was ConferenceEmcees.Com. Samme, along with innovation, wanted to grow her business without hurting the planet. She also wanted a community where like-minded individuals could inspire one another, and she wanted to gain experience.
Her barriers to growing ConferenceEmcees.Com were self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and the sudden loss of her father right before the conference was due to happen.
With the help and support of associates from her network, and her own innovation, the ConferenceEmcees experience happened organically, and they self-launched in September 2020.
The ConferenceEmcees experience
ConferenceEmcees is the first-ever global network of professional conference emcees, moderators, and facilitators. Their goal is to put the right person for the right client in the right location. They aim to remove pain points while ensuring that they are part of the carbon footprint solution and not part of the carbon problem.
Innovation in Education
ConferenceEmcees is providing education about reducing the carbon footprint. They have an incredible collection already, including a piece on diversity. They launched officially in January 2022. They currently have 36 associates and continue to grow.
Samme has a background in recruitment. That helps her select the right members for her organization.
Innovation in Support
Samme would like to support her community of independent associates, help them track their carbon footprints, and provide opportunities to avoid having to travel long distances.
You cannot have a successful business without bringing everybody to the table. It’s not just about including more women. It’s about including more people of every creed, color, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Samme urges people to actually do something to help women become more successful instead of just liking them on LinkedIn or patting them on the back. One of her action points for 2022 is championing women going through difficult times.
Samme would like to see leadership become more diverse and action orientated. Her focus is on staying inclusive with male leaders, learning from them, and figuring out what everyone can do better together.
Connect with Eric
Connect with Samme Allen
On email: firstname.lastname@example.org