60 seconds with… John Martinez

60 seconds with… John Martinez

John Martinez is the founder of Shocklogic, an event management software and technology company, and will be one of the speakers joining us online for our IBTM Wired conference programme on Day 3 of the event. He will be delivering a session called: “Developing a business culture of innovation and leadership through care and compassion – the ripple effect of a wellness culture”.

Ahead of this session, we sat down with John to find out a little more about him and why he is so passionate about workplace wellness.

Hi John, first things first let’s start off with a little bit about you. How did you get into the meetings & events industry?

Hi IBTM! As I was finishing my PhD at MIT, a Swedish event organiser was organising a medical conference, and my lab supervisor suggested that I help them with their computers. I was studying quantum physics, but I was very good with code, so I helped them rewrite their software and then with the event itself.

Their company was a PCO (professional conference organiser) called Congrex, which later became one of the largest PCOs in the world. They asked me if I wanted to come to Sweden, and something that was supposed to be 3 months turned into 14 years.

And what would you say is your favourite thing about events now that you’ve experienced them for 14 years?

I love solving complex algorithms, and there’s nothing more exciting and complex than the human algorithm. Event management is about distributing content and creating experiences, but the raw material is communication among people and connecting people.

It’s all very human, and there are so many sides to that diamond that it creates an absolutely gorgeous light.

How important is wellbeing in the events industry?

It should be very important. Event management is rated as the fifth most stressful profession. I think there is a growing awareness. Wellness is gradually being brought more to the forefront of the conversation, and this is a good trend to see.

What do you do to encourage conversation around wellbeing in the workplace?

Don’t talk: act. Embed wellbeing into the fibre and the DNA of all of the company’s processes.

How is this received by employees?

It depends on the experience of the employee. Younger team members tend to assume every company runs this way, but more experienced members of the team appreciate it more.

What is your crowning moment?

Every day that I work with my son is a crowning moment for me.

Biggest frustration?

Life is wonderful, I don’t see the world like that! But if I had to give an answer, I guess I’d say that there are only 24 hours in the day.

Best piece of advice?

Use sunscreen!

How do you make your staff feel valued?

Public recognition, rewarding effort and achievement. Placing a high value on emotional intelligence. It’s very important to connect with the human being, not just the professional.

Do you think there is a link between wellbeing and performance?

Absolutely. I think it makes enormous business sense to take care of our people. When people feel good, they perform better.

What’s on your desk?

Three laptops, two large monitors (each with a high-end camera), a light for video conferencing, two mobile phones, four headsets (one for each computer and each mobile), and the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review.

What are you most excited to do now restrictions are lifting?

It will be amazing to be able to meet face-to-face and connect with people I haven’t seen for a long time.


Hear more from John Martinez when he appears online on Day 3 of IBTM Wired for his session “Developing a business culture of innovation and leadership through care and compassion – the ripple effect of a wellness culture“.

Register to attend here.

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John has over 30 years experience in the events industry as a PCO and technology specialist. He spent the first 14 years of his career as a PCO, before founding Shocklogic in 1997, where he now leads an international team to deliver event management technology and services. As well as being an ICCA member for 26 years, he has also been on the ICCA board of directors and a technology faculty member for the IAPCO seminars for 10 years.

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