Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Trish Patel, Group Marketing Manager at Comexposium

Trish Patel is the Group Marketing Manager at Comexposium, one of the world’s leading event organizers, where she works across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am currently the Group Marketing Manager for Comexposium, a leading global events company. I work in the industry of building B2B connections by running a portfolio of invitation only e-Commerce and Martech events across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

I wear multiple hats in my role but my time is predominantly spent balancing our marketing activity across the event portfolio to meet commercial outcomes and build an audience of senior marketing professionals of leading brands to attend our events.

I get to meet, learn and work alongside some incredible people which all make my job so rewarding.

Like most businesses we have had to rethink our game plan to navigate this period. The last few months have seen the integration of new technology platforms, the overhaul of websites, re-defining processes and launching new products, which includes the launch of an on-demand video hub to deliver relevant, insightful research-backed content in conversation with industry leaders. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you have time on your hands!

Before my career at Comexposium, I spent a few years in Melbourne and prior to that I was in Auckland. I am a Kiwi and have resided in Australia for nearly 10 years.

My marketing track record has been an interesting one – I’ve worked across various industries from end to end print, cosmetics and fragrance, not for profit, digital publishing, ticketing and now the B2B events space.

2) What does a day in life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I’m sure most can attest that not one day ever looks the same in your job!

Pre-COVID I was out the door by 5.30am to get in a gym session before work. Nowadays I start my mornings at 6:45am with a guided meditation before I head out the door for a 30 minute jog around the park followed by a 15 minute yoga session and stretch.

An average Monday would start at around 8.30am with coffee, and going through emails before an hour long meeting with my team across ANZ to discuss each event in our portfolio.

I work in a small team so communication is vital to really ensure we all know what is going on within the company. The rest of the day is spent planning for the week – looking at run rates across each event, creating a plan to hit targets, re-visiting the media schedule and briefing comms with my designer and copywriter.

I eat lunch at my desk most days (terrible I know) with a salad or a wrap, but I get up frequently to break and get through about 10 cups of tea before the day is out. Mondays always end with a marketing meeting with my manager to discuss what worked, plans for the week ahead and any new ideas.

I aim to be out of the office by 6:00pm at the latest with dinner prepared no later than 7.30pm. Working from home generally sees me work a bit later these days – new ideas, a designer on nights and re-platforming requires a bit more time and effort.

I’m in bed by 9.30pm latest after a dose of the project, catching up on any emails, a bit of reading and meditation.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes – absolutely. Most of my team is split between New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne so remote working is completely supported by the business.

I travel to New Zealand often for work and being a Kiwi, I like to tag on a week before or after an event to spend with my parents in Auckland. It’s great to be able to have the flexibility to work from anywhere.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

A healthy work-life balance is imperative. I know that if I personally don’t have a balance here my energy, mood and attention is heavily impacted which is no fun for anyone!

Realising what brings me joy is what I work to keep consistent my top 3 are:

Keeping my morning routine consistent and structured – I do some form of exercise to get into a positive rhythm and state before I get into my work.

I like to wind down during the week in the kitchen making dinner. Food is something I am passionate about. I can’t ( or won’t) follow recipes and often go rogue with herbs, spices, proteins and vegetables – It’s fun creating something to eat and I find it so therapeutic!

Staying social and connected with my friends and family is probably the final cog in my work life balance wheel. I schedule a dinner, coffee or walk with a friend during the week and check in with friends and family on the regular.

Weekends are my time away from the screen where I schedule a long distance run, a hike or a brunch either solo or with friends. I find this gives me the time to really clear my head, relax and reset in preparation for the week ahead.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I don’t think we ever realise how busy we all are until we stop. This pandemic has really given us the opportunity to really take the time to take a step back and reflect on what is truly important.

I have always been a notoriously busy person with all my travel. The last few months have allowed me to slow down, be grateful and seek comfort in solitude.

Yoga has become a daily ritual in the last 6 months. Meditation has also been a useful tool in calming the mind and being more aware.

I remember reading a saying along the lines of: you close off all the tabs on your desktop, but what about the tabs in your mind? Definitely food for thought!

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I enjoy listening to podcasts to learn how people have achieved and/or how they define success in their lives. My go-to podcasts are:

  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty – a former monk has really insightful conversations with successful people
  • The Happiness Lab with Dr Laurie Santos – science backed insight into happiness – this is fascinating.
  • Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu – Interviews with some of the world’s highest achievers to learn their secrets of success
  • How I built This with Guy Raz – stories behind some of the world’s best known companies

I’m in the middle of a few books at the moment but my favourite books to date are:

  • The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek

A friend just got me onto Radical Candor By Kim Scott that I am thoroughly enjoying on audible at the moment – a must read for anyone in leadership!

I’m also a huge fan of Ted Talks, there is so much influential knowledge available at our fingertips.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

So many! Here is my shortlist –

  • Down Dog App – An app for yoga for anyone at any level
  • Spotify – Music and podcasts of course
  • Elevate – A fantastic brain training app that helps improve your memory, attention and processing skill
  • Audible – Audiobooks on the go

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Ooo – Good question! I have a long list of people I admire. If I had to choose a couple, probably Aisling Finch, Lisa Messenger, Brent Smart, Sheryl Thai, Emma Issacs, Turia Pitt, Cassie Roma.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

No one is you and that is your superpower – Unknown.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.