Meet the editor: Katrin Schmitt, CIM
Not only is Conference & Incentive Management (CIM) one of Europe’s leading MICE titles, it’s also the only one to be published in both English and German – we spoke to editor Katrin Schmitt to find out more about her highlights of working at the magazine and why she loves the meetings and events industry.
Please could you give a brief overview of your current role and career?
I am the editor-in-chief of CIM – Conference & Incentive Management. I returned to CIM after a seven-year break, in which I gained experience in digital as a social media strategist. My Masters’ degree “Leadership in Digital Communication” currently enhances my knowledge in digital transformation, design thinking and agile management methods, among other topics. I am deeply in love with the meetings industry and have been for 17 years, fascinated by congress centres and the close to 360-degrees know-how of #EventProfs.
Tell us a bit about CIM magazine. Who is the magazine aimed at and what's your USP?
CIM has for 33 years been one of the leading Europe-based specialised magazines for the meetings industry. We are advocates of the meeting culture and its development. Thus, our readers are: A: B2B event managers in event or congress agencies (PCOs), in the corporate field, or in associations. B: Suppliers within our industry, who want to understand their clients’ needs better, be inspired and keep themselves up-to-date on industry news. Last not least, we aim at C: Students and young talents, who want to build their career within the industry.
Our USP: CIM is bilingual. Our dedicated, well-connected team dive deep into the industry. CIM has a strong European focus, as you may tell from our logo. CIM acts as an influencer in print and digital, building bridges between young talents and senior (or retired) management.
The magazine is produced in English and German, is it exactly the same content? What are some of the challenges in producing a publication in two different languages?
Except for some of the news pieces (we do look what’s relevant for which market), everything is translated directly by mother-tongue translators. We research and write everything ourselves. The challenges of producing in two languages, which run side-by-side, is mainly in production: the graphics team has to navigate with all texts and photos within the given layout, always making it easy to understand for our readers.
What kind of content and subjects are most popular with CIM readers?
Online, it’s the news pieces, followed by reports on the various industry events. In print, we receive a lot of feedback on our focus story that gives each issue its name. Moreover, we try to provide information and inspiration on destinations as well as big topics of our industry: i.e. digitalisation, recruiting, sustainability, new event formats, security and safety and new management methods.
What story, feature or campaign are you most proud of covering and why?
The CIM team is so proud of every issue printed, a lot of passion flows into each of our magazines. Two of my favourite issues were the “Missions” and “Algorithms” magazines. What we really like doing are our CIMscouts, like the one in January in North Rhine-Westphalia (#CIMscoutNRW), or the CIMtv documentary of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology in Cologne and Bonn. Moreover, we had a great CIMcorporate online project with our partner Stuttgart.
Do you attend many trade shows? If so, what is the most useful part of them for you and for CIM magazine?
We do attend the most important industry trade shows continuously, but also try to explore unknown events outside or our industry. Trade shows are a great opportunity to source new stories, meet new contacts from each side, suppliers and buyers, and to learn from experts about new and popular topics. These experts are often also great points of contact for our research.
What do you think is the best thing about the meetings and events industry?
Its diversity and importance: people in various industries try to make an impact, by continuously looking outside of their box, and adapting to evolving (international) topics like digitalisation, recruiting, sustainability, new event formats, security and safety and new management methods.
If you hadn’t pursued a career as a journalist, what would you have liked to do instead?I am a true generalist with many interests… in medicine (become a doctor or a logopedist), in people/psychology (become an advertising/marketing specialist), in animals (do something around horses), in travel etc. I guess, I am at a cross-section today, which is just perfect!