One-on-One with Mauro Spader
Today, Eventelis is one of the main event platforms for both planning and executing events in Brazil. In our One-on-One series, we are honored to invite distinguished professionals to bring you some insights into their routines, and sharing a little bit more knowledge and feelings that successful event organizers feel and learn.
Our first interview is with Mauro Spader, the current Vice president of Professional Development at the Project Management Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (PMI-RS). He is responsible for organizing all of the institute’s events — this year he is already planning on hosting more than 20.
Mauro is an award-winning event organizer who has been working in the field since 2015. In 2016, at the beginning of his career, Mauro got his big break with an invitation to be the director of strategic events at PMI-RS. That same year he won a prize for best management and also expanded on a framework for planning and executing events which won him the “Project of the Year” award. In 2017, Mauro was elected vice president of PMI-RS and organized the 14th Project Creation Congress, an event for 700 people in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.
His events are focused on networking, project management, communication, leadership, negotiation, and other topics related to company management. Some of the events he organized included Project Management Day (PMDay) which brings together close to 150 participants as well as a lunch series called “Project Lunch” which brings together 50 people every 2 months.
Without further ado, it’s time to get to know Mauro a bit better.
How did you start your career? What was your biggest motivator?
I have a personal goal which is to help society understand and apply project management principles. This was always my biggest motivator. When I began at PMI-RS I met some people with the same goal which incentivised me and took me under their wing. At the beginning, it was very hard to organize events within the guidelines expected by the chapter, but little by little I began to understand the organization. I ended up concluding that organizing events is an excellent form of engaging with and teaching management to people.
We know that not everything is easy and mistakes sometimes happen. Tell us a little bit about the lessons you learned through your mistakes.
Volunteer work is not always easy. But, if people are volunteering they’re hoping for engagement and involvement from the chapter and the board. You need to dedicate personal time, give attention, respect, and recognition. There were cases in which I couldn’t give the attention that the volunteers deserved because of professional engagements, and this was reflected
And today, what motivates you in your career?
Recognition and support for people who accompany me through volunteer work renew my desire to do more and to do it better. The messages of support arrive personally, through social networks, and through email. People expect more and more from myself and from the chapter, and this is reflected through the spread of good habits in society.
Can you tell us about a moment you experienced at an event that stood out to you?
At the end of the 14th congress of GP, Colonel Romaguera was the keynote speaker to close the event. He had just come back from Haiti one week before, and his first public engagement was at our congress. Reflecting on his mission, he got emotional and his voice cracked on stage. At that moment, the 700 people in the audience stood up and gave him a standing ovation; it was several minutes before everyone sat down and the colonel composed himself. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Working with people is not always easy. What are some challenges you’ve faced working with different people in various projects?
Organizing an event always involves different jobs, each one with a different expectation. The biggest challenge is making sure they all communicate and notice that they need each other for the event to be successful and for everyone to meet their objectives. A good outline of all interested parties and their needs is fundamental in this regard.
How does good networking influence event organization?
I like to say that our biggest assets are the relationships we build throughout our lives. If we build positive relationships with people, they will always respond positively. When we organize events, these relationships blossom into speaker invitations, invitations to participate, or simply in being present and accessible. The controlled chaos of relationships people have with me and between other people generates surprising results; we just need to incentivize these relationships.
What results can brands reach when they receive investments, whether from sponsors or event creators?
Associated the brand to PMI or to PMI-RS immediately reflects the company’s commitment to good practices and good management. The immediate effect is reaching a decision making audience, present in different areas where projects are used.
Can you tell us how you sell so many tickets / signups?
Being close to your public and knowing what they are looking for from an event is essential. From the content offered to the actual structures at the event, everything that can be imagined is in accordance with the target audience, and that audience is specific to that event. Ultimately, the biggest challenge is adjusting ticket prices to the value offered by the event. If people understand that the value that is delivered justifies the investment, tickets will sell.
Can you tell us the steps to organizing an unforgettable event?
1 – Work hard to plan a good date, avoiding holidays and other events
2 – Offer relevant content at a fair price
3 – Build excitement around the event with information drops
4 – Overdeliver on the event itself and the organizational details
5 – Spend time on post-event activities to keep it on everyone’s mind
Finally: What’s one part a successful event that you cannot forget?
The secret is in paying attention to people and their needs. At the end of the day, despite the world being more technological than ever, it’s people hosting people, and people will remember if they were treated well and if they had their needs met, especially if their hosts went beyond their expectations. This perception
Thank you so much Mauro Spader for your time!
Did you like the interview? Stay on the look-out for more illustrious industry professionals in our One-on-One series. We’ll see you next time.