Meet Jodie Parker from Iceberg Events
Iceberg Events has been managing events and conferences across Australia and around the world for over twenty years. During this time, Jodie Parker and her team have designed, developed and delivered bespoke events for all kinds of organisations, from large corporations through to not-for-profit associations.
The very nature of event management means that Iceberg Events’ workload varies throughout the year. Sometimes that variation is predictable, like corporate kick-offs in the new year or association AGMs in September. But other times it’s hit and miss, which can present cash flow problems during low periods and place a lot of pressure on staff to perform when it’s busy
Jodie Parker successfully led Iceberg Events through these challenges for fifteen years. But as the company grew rapidly over the past six years, she knew it was time to optimise their internal processes, and she didn’t want to do that alone. She joined the Acceler8 program to set Iceberg Events up for success, so she could step back feeling confident that things would keep running smoothly.
As she progressed through the Acceler8 program, focusing on a different aspect of her strategy each month, Jodie identified many opportunities to tweak their operations. She already recognised the importance of information flow in Iceberg Events: “Many of these major events are booked a couple of years in advance. I knew there had to be a smarter way to use that information.” At Tanya’s suggestion, she implemented cloud-based systems to gather more detailed data and improve their forecasting ability.
One of these systems was Harvest, which enabled Jodie’s staff to track their time spent on individual tasks within projects at the click of a button on their computers or mobile phones. This gives Jodie a deeper insight into time allocation within projects, so she can quote more accurately and identify tasks suited to outsourcing.
Jodie also switched to Xero, a cloud-based accounting platform that integrates with bank feeds and time-tracking software, and hired an in-house bookkeeper to manage it. Xero makes it simple for Iceberg Events to manage multiple project budgets at once, with a full suite of reporting tools.
“Tanya has created a unique environment for women in business, with practical training that’s structured around the strategic guidance our businesses really need from us. Other networks just don’t cater for what we’re really dealing with.”
Jodie’s changes have been a resounding success, with Iceberg Events continuing to be profitable while employing more staff than ever before. And now that Jodie has access to accurate three-month cash flow forecasts, she and her team can better manage the event procurement timelines to stay in the black throughout the year.
But Jodie believes the benefits go beyond the bottom line. “For me, business success is about bringing in enough money to pay all my employees while providing the sort of environment that keeps them happy and motivated.” With the new systems in place, Jodie can ensure her staff get adequate study or leave time during the low periods, so they come back recharged and ready for the next busy spell. She’s also been able to personally step back to a sustainable workload and achieve a better work–life balance.
With an aim of continuously improving her business, Jodie has returned to the Acceler8 program, this time to focus on marketing communications and organisational structure.