IAEE recently sat down with Angela Harar, Senior Director of Trade Shows for The Vision Council to learn more about her exhibition industry experience and what it’s like to belong to the MATSO community. Angela’s show is the International Vision Expo & Conference. She has been a member of IAEE since 2004 and is currently a member of the MATSO Council and was previously engaged in the Education Committee and New and Emerging Trends Task Force.
How did you get your start in the exhibitions industry?
It was a fluke. I previously worked in New York City as a Bloomingdales’ buyer (attending retail trade shows) and then I worked for a corporate gift company (focusing on exhibiting) and later in marketing at a candle company (attending and exhibiting at shows around the world). When I heard I could work on the other side and make an impact on the experience, I jumped at the chance.
What advice would you give a new IAEE member or person joining the exhibitions community?
Go to the local and national events and involve yourself on committees. It’s what we ask our attendees and exhibitors to do to ensure the best experience, so why wouldn’t you?
What is the biggest challenge in running your show?
Managing ROI, mostly related to costs, by ensuring we deliver the most valuable experience.
Tell us a fun fact or story that most people would not know about you.
I met my husband through my job at The Vision Council. He was recommended to our company by a fellow MATSO member (ten years ago now).
Any final thoughts for those involved with IAEE?
The best part of IAEE is my involvement with MATSO. I love sitting around a room (or using LinkedIn) to stay connected with very specific questions that producers of large shows can relate to, and more importantly, provide feedback. Learning from your peers is the best and most fulfilling way to stay ahead of the curve.