Your Name: Cathy Key

Business Name: Keynote Networks, a review network for event planning and online registration software

Type of Business: High Tech

Business Location: Canada

Twitter @onlineregreview

Reason for starting
It’s 2001 and I’ve been asked to organize a conference. I’m an anthropologist, not a meeting planner, and I have no idea what I’m doing! One thing I do get right away is that it’s really hard work. I’m looking at all the things there are to do, all the paperwork, emailing and administration and I think to myself “there has to be an easier way to do this!”. That was the moment that the idea came for Conference Manager – software to streamline event planning. Over the years have become an expert in conference software and now not just build software but have a blog to help people who are starting out.

How do you define success?
Success is creating win-win outcomes for everyone involved – our staff, clients, the company, our families, friends and the community. Working from a win-win ultimately creates strong and long-lasting relationships. Some of our clients have been with us for over 10 years, and I’m proud of that.

Biggest Success
That’s a tough question! Starting a business is hard work. It takes a lot of time, effort and investment for uncertain pay-offs. Now we are established I am able to run the business and have a life outside of work. That’s a huge success in my books.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Technology changes all the time – what was current and cutting edge 5 years ago is simply out-of-date today. When we started out there were only 2 or 3 other companies doing what we were doing. Now, everyone runs their events online and there are hundreds of other companies in the market. We have addressed this by creating a blog to help inform customers of their options and share our expertise.

Who is your most important role model?
Any of the Landmark Forum leaders. Landmark Education has provided the foundation tools I use in my personal and business life. The leaders are incredible role models for ‘anything is possible’.