Adriana Spitteler of Congrex Canada
The Friend Friday series offers some insight into the wonderful people who cowork at The Network Hub. This week, we turn to Adriana Spitteler from Congrex Canada.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Congrex Canada belongs to an international group called Congrex and provides professional Conference Organization services to mainly national and international associations, but also to governmental organisations and corporations for the management of their conferences, meetings and events. Our worldwide professional support services include registration, meeting planning and our main focus is our professional accommodation service. Our core values are Caring, Imaginable, Reliable, and be Efficient. “Let’s meet!” is our slogan.
What makes your company different or special?
Congrex Canada is very specialist in accommodation service and our core client is the international AIDS society, where we are core housing bureau for the next couple of years. We handled the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington DC in July 2012 and offered accommodation & tours service to nearly 25,000 delegates. We have profound knowledge with nearly 20 years international experience in handling accommodation and we are looking forward to offer our service also to Canada and US based associations.
How did you get started?
I have been managing director for Congrex Travel in Switzerland for over 16 years before we decided privately to move to Canada. Then, Congrex Group made up their mind and did choose to open up a branch in Vancouver accordingly and that’s when Congrex Canada was founded.
What are you currently working on?
Congrex Canada is working again on the this year’s AIDS conference which will be held in July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition we are preparing the procurement for AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, IAS 2015 in Vancouver and are supporting the decision for the finalist destination for AIDS 2016. Besides the operational work, we are mainly focusing on sales & marketing activities in the Canadian and US association market to enhance the Congrex brand awareness and win new clients in North America.
What made you decide to cowork at The Network Hub?
The Network Hub is centrally located in Vancouver downtown and not far from the Conference Centre, which was our key decision maker. In addition they did offer for our start-up the perfect solution, as we first started with the mailbox rental service and then upgraded to the Vancouver shared space in the open office space.
Any advice you have for other entrepreneurs and small business owners?
Start with a light version and not put yourself into debts. For international business, you have to be prepared for a 2-3 years start-up phase and you have to invest into research and brand awareness first, before winning clients.