Suzanne Bowery joined Datapath at the start of 2022 to manage our in-house events, as well as oversee proceedings at our trade show booths and training sessions. Following a whirlwind start to her role, she talks to us about her first impressions of the AV industry, and her passion for events and organising
Thanks for joining us, Suzanne. Let’s begin with how you were drawn to Datapath?
My passion has always been working in events and organising, so when the opportunity came up for the Event role at Datapath, I jumped at the chance. The role excited me as it offered the opportunity to travel to and manage the International events and also support the national partner events. I was also keen to learn about an industry I wasn’t really in touch with.
As a person new to the AV industry, what were your initial impressions?
I was excited, but also apprehensive, as I was going into an industry I didn’t know much about. I’m all for learning something new, so this was definitely going to be a challenge for me. It felt a little overwhelming at the beginning, working predominantly in a male environment, but the team at Datapath are super helpful and very supportive. I think when you join any new role, there are two things you should own, and that is confidence and courage. I feel I am a confident person and I have the courage to ask something if I don’t know the answer or am unsure, so fingers crossed I will be ok.
It’s been a particularly busy few months, what have been your main challenges?
I think one of the main challenges for me is to learn about the products and also learn about our customer base – who we sell to, and who we don’t sell to. This will all come in time, but I’m slightly impatient when it comes to knowing stuff…I want to know it yesterday! Also due to Covid, it meant that three of the tradeshows all took place within 4 weeks of one another, so that was quite challenging…but in a good way!
And the best part of your job?
I have many ‘best parts’ about my job. I think firstly is the organising and facilitating of an event, I like to get a real feel for an event, then it’s the travel…I do love to travel. I also love the feeling when you have delivered an incredibly successful event – it’s worth all the stress! The more events I do with Datapath, the more I will own them and know what we can do better (if we need to do anything better). From what I have seen so far, we deliver pretty good events…
How do see the future of large live events and industry trade shows?
After exhibiting at ISE and InfoComm, I think it is safe to say the buzz is back. During Covid, I believe people had the time to think about how they can come back bigger and better – and they certainly are doing that! One of our main purposes is to showcase and demo our products, which I think has to be face-to-face with customers, they like to get hands on with the products. It’s the personal way that has a big impact. Webinars and other digital delivery work, but face-to-face is important.
Away from work, how do you like to spend your time?
I am a very out-doorsy type of person, so If I’m not walking or running, I’m wild swimming in open lakes. I’ve set myself a challenge, to wild swim everywhere I go on holiday or mini weekends away. I love family time too, family time is very important. We like to cook, sit in our garden and listen to music.
Tell us something that people won’t know about you
I spent a day with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, back in 2018, in London. In my previous role I was invited as part of a charity that we supported, Sportsaid. Kate is a Patron of Sportsaid and myself and my colleague were invited to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to meet some of the athletes we supported, along with Will and Kate. We spent the whole day with them, and ended our day doing a Sports Quiz, which Kate admitted she wasn’t very good at. Will, on the other hand, was very competitive!