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In October CMAE England launched a competition to its membership giving one member the opportunity to win a complimentary delegate place at the online European Conference from 30th November to 2nd December.

The winner of the competition was Andrea Carlotta​ Montaguti, the Commercial Manager at the Oriental Club who wrote about her meal delivery service initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The conference was held last week and was a huge success with over 160 delegates joining from 28 countries globally. We caught up with Andrea after the conference to ask her a few questions about her experience.

 

Firstly how did you hear about the European conference and why did you want to attend?
I first heard about the CMAE from Maria Teresa, a colleague of mine who has recently achieved the CMDip and shared with me her positive experience on various occasions. I then came across the programme of the European Conference through a CMAE Instagram post. Learning about all the interesting sessions and workshops, that related strongly to my current work experience, I decided to apply for the bursary and was thrilled to find out that I had won and was able to join the tribe and attend the event.

What did you think to the prospect of attending such a large event virtually. Did the online aspect work well?
The conference was set up brilliantly, it visually replicated an actual conference venue which made navigating the various sessions easy and networking fun and accessible. It really exceeded my expectations. I particularly enjoyed meeting other colleagues from all around the world during the breakout sessions. It was refreshing to find out that despite the different backgrounds and experiences, we all seem to face the same issues and hilarious situations.

What was your favourite session at the conference and why?
Hearing André van Hall and the life-changing experiences he faced in his life helped me reflect on all the professional changes I am currently experiencing, and the different approaches I could adopt going forward.

How did you feel at the end of the three days? What impact did the conference have on you, professionally and/or personally? Can you give us your top 3 learning outcomes/takeaways from the conference?
The Conference has amplified even further my already active interest in joining the MDPs, to take advantage of the learning opportunities they offer. Some of the takeaways I brought home from the Conference are firstly, the importance of turning off from work mode, as highlighted by Criscia and Fraser, which is something I am not really good at. Secondly, ‘of listening to relate and not to critique’, and keeping an open mind in all circumstances and, finally, the opportunity to join a book club of like-minded colleagues! After attending my first CMAE Conference, I now feel very much part of the tribe and look forward to the next experience!