October 31, 2013 by Speakers' Spotlight
Spotlight On: Industry Professional, Scott Kavanagh
In 2007, at the age of just 28, Scott Kavanagh co-founded “The Art Of,” a company based in Toronto that is focused on producing high profile business conferences throughout North America. These conferences attract over 15,000 professionals annually and Kavanagh has had the opportunity to work with over 75 New York Times bestselling authors and leaders. In addition to his role as conference curator, Scott is the editor of the The Art Of , a magazine that features content from a collection of notable business authors, and a member of the Board of Governors for Excellence Canada. Scott was kind enough to let us put our “spotlight” on him. Here’s what he had to say:
Why did you chose your career and how did you break into the industry or land your current job?
I have always had a passion for business, entertainment, knowledge, and events. When I met my business partner, Chris Novais, seven years ago, we had an opportunity to wrap everything together in a business and–most importantly–we shared the same vision.
What is your best advice for others in similar careers, based on your professional experience so far?
My advice isn’t specific to entrepreneurs or individuals in the event industry. In general, I would encourage people to expose themselves to as many different industries and philosophies as possible. In my experience, having an open mind and exploration has never led me astray.
What advice do you have for speakers?
– Don’t use your slides as a crutch;
– Know your presentation well enough that if your slides fail you can move forward seamlessly;
– Not all audiences are created equally. Know your audience and make sure your talk is relevant for every single person in the room.
What themes do you see arising in your industry when you book speakers today? Innovation? The importance of social media?
Technology and social media are still very popular. One of the largest trends we have noticed with our events is the desire to hear from individuals that are actively involved in business. Over the past few years we have had a lot of success working with speakers like Biz Stone (the Co-Founder of Twitter) and Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager).
Do you have a favourite event that you can tell us about?
I am an avid golfer, so The Masters has to be my favourite event to watch. 😉
My favourite event that we produce is The Art of Marketing. We have had the opportunity to work with a number of my personal role models and I find this space really interesting as marketing and the role of marketing executives has changed significantly since we have been producing events.
That said, I appreciate all sorts of events and always enjoy experiencing an event when I am not working.
Did you ever have a crazy challenge come up while planning an event? What was it and how did you deal with it?
We have been fortunate considering we haven’t had an abundance of crazy challenges in an industry that is riddled with them. We have had a few speakers that have had travel challenges and we have had to resort to our backup plan.
After one of your big events is done, what do you do? Celebrate in style? Take a break to relax? Go straight to the next project?
Most of the time we jump right back into the next event, although when we are doing events in Alberta and British Columbia my business partner and I enjoy spending a few days skiing.
Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?
There are two charitable organizations that we are passionate about: KIVA and Room to Read. It has been amazing to see the growth and impact they are making on the world, and both are well aligned with our vision.
Desert island album?
Dave Matthews Band–Under The Table And Dreaming.
Best subject in school?
Last book you read?
Contagious by Jonah Berger.
Last film you saw?