Dean Forrester

Head of Technology and Innovation, Asia Pacific, Informa Australia

Trained as a marketer, Dean’s true passion for technology was unlocked with the arrival of the digital age. He’s now at the forefront of innovation within his company, using the latest technology to create change and improvement every day.

I started out in marketing. I did a Bachelor of Business Management many years ago and was working in marketing for about 6.5 years when the digital age came into play. I started getting more of a fascination and interest in the digital and tech space. From there, I dedicated a lot of my free time to self-educating in code and other web development and web hosting courses, which got me to where I am now.

Innovation is a fun area to be in; it’s quite broad and can encompass a variety of things. I sit with different teams in the company and try to understand their pain points, and then use existing processes to help streamline the more manual work. I also look at new systems, products or platforms to bring in to the business to improve efficiencies and increase revenue.

My other hat, technology, is more focussed on our website and online assets. There’s also a lot of backend work, ensuring customer data is securely collected, that the data is fed to the appropriate systems and that our teams can later access this data. In today’s landscape, I believe that vulnerability prevention is integral to any technology role.

Technology in this industry is interactive, fluid and flexible. So, a customer purchasing a ticket to go to an event or a conference has more touch points in terms of the end-to-end experience. All of those touch points are centred around technology and tools; it’s my role to make sure we have the right tools for those touch points.

New ideas really motivate me. Technology is ever changing, so for me it’s learning about new ideas, new products, new tools and understanding how those new features or assets could be implemented to our own business.

Dean’s advice for anyone interested in a career in exhibitions and events:

To be in technology or innovation in an events company you have to always be thinking about the delegate or the exhibitor or the sponsor and understand their needs and how you can better communicate to them from within the business.

It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s always changing and it’s topical. Events don’t run unless someone is interested in the content that they’re offering or talking about. I think if you enjoy always being on trend and changing with the world, then events are where you want to be.

 

“It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s always changing and it’s topical. I think if you enjoy always being on trend and changing with the world, then events is where you want to be.”