Professional development never stops!

Blog | ZiaBia Team

Even though we have 120 years’ experience between us, professional development is still high on all of our agendas. While we look back with pride on what we have achieved and how far ZiaBia has come, we are not a team to rest on our laurels!

Debbie and Vicky

They really lead by example by demonstrating their commitment to professional development on a daily basis.

We are now in our second year with HGKC after winning a year of coaching during lockdown. The value they have added to the business, the lessons Vicky and Debbie have learned made it an easy decision to continue the relationship.

They provide a wide variety of business support, get us thinking in different ways and really take us out of our comfort zone. The targets they have set the business have been stretch targets to say the least. They are ones we have achieved, and we look forward to where ZiaBia will go next!


James is currently doing a business administration apprenticeship with us. He has really developed over the 6 months since he has been part of the team. As well as a tonne of on-the-job learning, James goes into college for study sessions, gets mentoring from his tutor and undertakes additional courses to add strings to his bow.

He also regularly attends online webinars run by Delegate Wranglers to learn from others in the industry. These cover a wide variety of aspects to the events industry and are invaluable to event profs old and new!

James is also writing up our processes to ensure they are fit for purpose. This work will ensure that everyone on the team can step in when someone is absent, and also to ensure our client-facing work is consistent. 


After working as a project manager for many years in ZiaBia and in other organisations it was time to get qualified. After passing my Project Management Foundation qualification I am currently working towards the Practitioner level. I thought that it would be a formality however I have learnt so much and it has enabled me to approach our projects in a new way. I would highly recommend becoming qualified to anyone working in a project manager role.

In my spare time I am also a co-opted governor at a local primary school. While I am doing the role to share my knowledge and expertise, I have also gained so much in the 18 months I have been in position – I am chairing committees, reviewing complex financial and data reports, challenging senior staff members and working as an integral member of the volunteer team to name but a few things!

Everything else!

As well as all of these formal professional development pathways, we also undertake less formal opportunities. If you think you aren’t doing much professional development then you could be wrong! Take a look at what else we do on an ongoing basis to keep learning:

  • subscribe to online and print industry publications
  • network with industry peers – both group networking and 121 meetings
  • attend learning seminars
  • work with consultants and specialists in areas we need guidance in, and can learn from
  • have monthly 121s and active PDPs

We don’t know all the answers and don’t profess to, but what we do know is that we all learn and develop in different ways. And for a small team that is a huge strength as we all bring something different to the table!

There are so many ways you can grow and develop professionally, opportunities are literally around every corner. And it was Adult Learners Week last week, so no excuses!

We’d love to hear your best professional development tip – let us know!

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Paola Davis

Senior Project Manager
Author Bio:
I have been working in the events industry for the past 15 years in various guises. In-house corporate and non-profit, freelancer and co-founding an events trade show. Working with ZiaBia gives me a fantastic opportunity to bring all this experience together.

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