What is IPT?

IPT proactively introduces companies with similar trading interests. With an emphasis on quality, we pride ourselves on helping our members create and sustain the best business relationships.

Meet the Team: Jen Barron

Jen Barron, Operations & Events Manager - Team IPT

This month we sit down with our Event Manager Jen, the woman behind the scenes whose role it is to create an unmissable networking opportunity at ITC each and every year. We chat about what makes ITC stand out from other networking events, the importance of surrounding yourself with a passionate, self-motivated team and the valuable lessons she’s learnt in her career so far.

For those who don’t know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at IPT and our event ITC?

I am a bit of a juggler when it comes to work! Perhaps that's why I found it so challenging to answer ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ For me it is important to keep evolving and experimenting, otherwise, it’s like hitting a drum, the same note over and over again. My motto is to grow, evolve, and ultimately try different things.

With over 17 years of experience, I am someone who thinks "outside the box" to create solutions for complex problems. I balance my time between managing our in-house development team to deliver online business solutions and running IPT events. I am lucky to have a loyal, long-serving and close-knit team where together we make the project a success.

For IPT I play a key role in strategic development. I am continually looking to improve the technology used by the sales team to support customer relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

My role at ITC is to create an unmissable networking opportunity. With many delegates returning year-on-year I know we are doing something right! I have a reputation for getting stuff done, with an affinity for implementation, process improvement, and collaboration. ITC allows me to thrive under pressure and with the support of my team execute an industry-defining event.

How did you come to be involved in ITC? Did you always know you’d be roped in to help out with the family business?

I never thought about joining the Company, to be honest, it was a stop-gap post-university before continuing my dream to become a barrister. Somehow I never left - but have no regrets, some things are meant to be and the roles give me variety, flexibility and experience and more importantly have allowed me to have a family that I get to see.

In 2011, I was in Malta visiting my husband who was deployed with HMS Liverpool. Whilst enjoying the sunshine I received a message from the office asking that I meet the Events Coordinator at the Corinthia Hotel. I am not sure how serious they thought I was about hosting an international networking event as I stood there in my shorts and flip flops without even a business card! That said their hospitality was second-to-none and ITC was born in the summer of 2012.

I did not attend the first year of ITC. In 2013 we had a number of staff who at very late notice were not able to make the event, a ticket appeared on my desk and I was asked to come and help out. Right from the start, I saw how unique the event was. I was inspired at watching the sales team create an atmosphere for decision-makers to explore new opportunities, deepen relationships and personalise contacts.

During the event, I noticed some small elements that could be polished to improve the delegate experience. Ed considered the ideas and asked for me to join the ITC team and implement them. I have never looked back and feel very grateful to be part of the team. Having postponed ITC during the pandemic I can say I miss the event and all the stress that comes with it wholeheartedly and cannot wait to host the ITC family next year.

Over the years you’ve built a long-serving, tight-knit team that spans Malta and the UK and a loyal gathering of delegates that return to ITC year after year. Why do you think ITC enjoys this kind of success?

We are a passionate team and self-motivated, those are the key ingredients to making something a success. The truth is, I feel ITC is more like an organic trust-driven machine. Delegates have faith in us to deliver not just an event but an experience. For me the last 12 months without face to face contact and freedom to travel have been extremely hard, it shows why events like ITC are so important and should not become virtual.

The success of ITC stems from the atmosphere we create. A conversation requires a balance between talking and listening - technology is slowly taking away the art of conversation. ITC allows delegates to hone their interpersonal communication skills and sustain confident conversation - which in my opinion is one of the most important skills in the 21st century.

What do you think are the special elements that sets ITC apart from other events?

ITC allows you to talk to people, listen to people and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed at how face to face communication takes a relationship to another level and you can walk away from a conversation feeling engaged and inspired.

ITC forges together the right elements for an engaging and laid-back networking environment allowing delegates time and space to meet and grow lasting relationships. The delegates that attend ITC make it what it is. My husband would say ‘it is not the run ashore it is the runners’. ITC is far more than a traditional trade event, it’s a genuine experience.

Running a major annual international event is an achievement in itself but what are some of your proudest ITC moments?

So many to choose from, here are a few:

  • 2013, saying yes to attending ITC, I had no idea what to expect from the event.
  • 2014, moving the event to the Hilton Hotel from The Corinthia allowed us to develop the event experience further for delegates and brand the venue to promote our sponsors.
  • 2015, the networking cruise. Seeing delegates relax and memories being made whilst networking reinforced ITC is about so much more than collecting business cards and handshakes.
  • 2016, relocating the event to Mallorca. A significant challenge both personally and professionally. Proud to have successfully delivered ITC in an alternative location but for me, the home of ITC is in Malta.
  • 2017, pulling together a smaller ITC with 6 weeks notice (thanks Ed!). One of my favourite years as I was able to spend more time with delegates and get to know them which in turn has developed into friendships. The photo of us all at Bedouin for the industry dinner is one that will always make me smile. I can’t not mention getting slide out to the boat as a proud achievement - should have been at ITC 2015 though!
  • 2018, the Casino Royale industry dinner, loved that delegates made such an effort to get into black tie and took the casino tables so seriously.
  • 2019, proud to have hosted 400 delegates from 43 countries over 4 venues and getting as many companies in the delegates directory before we went to print!

What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt in your career so far?

  • Noticing the everyday contributions of others. With some intentionality and a little bit of creativity, you can transform your team’s culture by celebrating achievements together.
  • To stay alert for praiseworthy moments. Find time to say thank you.
  • How empowering it can be to let go and surrender to the flow of things, rather than trying to control everything - I am still working on this!
  • In theory, you could keep tweaking things endlessly…I guess there has to be a point where you need to keep going forward.
  • If it is important, you will make time for it.
  • Happiness is the inspiration to be more productive. If you are not happy, change something.

Tell us a bit about Jen outside of the office!

Outside of work you will find me somewhere in the countryside. I enjoy running, cycling and capturing the moment through photography. I love quality coffee, travelling and everything with an Apple logo! My evenings and weekends involve taxing my two active boys to sporting events whilst studying for an EMBA and learning how to paddleboard.
Photo Communifit

This year ITC celebrates it’s 10th Anniversary and while our celebrations are on hold until 2022, can you give us a sneak peek of what to expect?!

In truth, you need to attend ITC to experience the magic. Having not been able to host the event I know that 2022 will be even more special. The best is yet to come, book your place and come and celebrate with us.

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