Next up in our 'Meet the Board' series is....

Samantha Emmott, Conference & Events Manager at Cardiff University.

We spoke to Samantha to find out about her role at Cardiff University and being part of the AVS Board.

Date you joined the board: February 2020 

Why you wanted to join the board: 

Joining the board was an ideal opportunity to gain a greater understanding of how AVS represented all its members and how I could influence and support how AVS moved forward.  

What do you bring to the party:

I recently celebrated working at Cardiff University for 30 years. I’d like to say I was a child prodigy and started working full time at the age of 10 years of age but unfortunately not!  I have spent my whole professional career at Cardiff University; working over the summer vacation periods for 3 years when a student at Swansea University, covering a maternity position in the Finance Department and then joining a Graduate Trainee Scheme. I was drawn to the diversity and excitement of events and for my sins I was hooked. I pride myself on my customer service, passion, hard work, dedication, let alone metaphorical blood, sweat and tears to deliver a successful event.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months individually and collectively:

Help and support AVS continue to grow and become even stronger.

Membership engagement is key and we need to ensure we establish further what all members want and need.  Hoping to also assist in increasing the Welsh contingency within AVS and work with Welsh Members to market themselves as a team through AVS to bring more events to Wales.

 What’s the best thing about being on the AVS board:

Working closely with passionate, professional individuals who all face very similar challenges.  

Not sure I would have got through the last few years both professionally and personally without the support of AVS Management Team and the Board. They constantly put things into perspective and made me smile through a very scary time.  Feel extremely blessed being able to work alongside such a dedicated team with a huge amount of knowledge (if they don’t know the answer, they know someone who will).

 What advice would you give to others thinking of joining the board?  

Great opportunity to influence and shape how AVS represents not just your own institutions but the whole industry.  Will help you grow individually as you'll be able to learn and gain new skills from senior colleagues working in many other institutions. 

Being on the board allowed me a very privileged insight into the entire organisation and has given me a newfound appreciation for all the hard work that goes on in the background to support us as members. GO FOR IT, so glad I did.

What do you love about working in the industry

There can only be on answer here, PEOPLE.  Can’t help but love customers, suppliers, and the teams I work with every day:) Nothing is more satisfying than seeing everything come together.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry over the next 12 months:

Things that are facing Cardiff are increasing costs, recruitment, change in use of facilities, ever changing priorities which ultimately impact on our commercial activities.  I’m sure I’m not alone with these challenges.

What do you love to do when you’re not working:

Where do I start.  I do try to cram a lot of things in, although if you were to ask my husband, he would say I'm always working (mainly as I always have my phone in my hand). 

This isn't true, I love spending time with my family & friends, long walks with my adorable cockapoo, Poppy and always find time for a few weekends away with the girls.  

I love cold water swimming which is amazing and would recommend it to everyone.  It definitively makes you feel refreshed, and the cold water certainly takes your mind off work.

My other hobby is bell ringing. I took this hobby up around 5 years ago and feel extremely privileged to ring every Sunday morning, to celebrate special occasions and in remembrance of others.

Picture of our band after ringing for the Coronation of the King.  My royal blue shoes made a special appearance and don’t you just love the carpet in our tower!