Tara Allen, CEM is a Sales Manager with Global Experience Specialists (GES). Tara’s home town is Palm Harbor, FL, and she attended the UCF, Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Tara has been an IAEE member for four years. We sat down with Tara to discuss her start in the exhibitions and events industry and to get her perspective on being an IAEE member.
How did you start your career in the industry?
It all started when Rosen College created the Event Management degree. I knew that was the path I needed to take. From there I was lucky enough to meet Scott Crawford and Alex Land at a career fair that Rosen was hosting. GES and Scott took a chance with me and I was chosen among many applicants to go through their sales manager training program. The training program allowed me the opportunity to work in every facet of GES including the warehouse, graphics department, account management, exhibitor services, etc. I truly believe those experiences molded me into the successful sales manager I am today.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
IAEE has helped shape my career in many ways. First, it has allowed me to continue my education of this amazing industry. Going through the CEM program gave me a wealth of knowledge and lifelong relationships. I have been lucky enough to attend every Expo! Expo! since I started with GES (except one because I got snowed in!). At my very first Expo! Expo! I met some wonderful young professionals who were extremely welcoming and really took me under their wing by introducing me to other YPs as well as IAEE members, again creating lifelong relationships. I served on the IAEE Young Professionals Committee, and now serve on the IAEE DFW Chapter Board. I could not be happier to be involved. Being a part of IAEE has sincerely enriched my professional and personal life.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Get involved! IAEE gives back what you put into it, if not more. Go to a meet-up, an educational event, or reach out to a board member and let them know that you want to be involved. IAEE is such a kind, welcoming association who wants to get to know you and wants you to be involved. Get out there!
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have 6 brothers!
What do you like most about your chapter?
My fellow DFW members are downright incredible. They are just lovely and such a pleasure to be around.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in?
I really enjoy Habitat for Humanity – taking a day to help build a home for someone in need is very rewarding to me. Home is my favorite place and I think it is so important for everyone to have a place to call their own.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
I would say networking, but I feel like that word is overused and not an accurate depiction. It’s actually the feeling that you are part of a group – you are part of something way bigger than yourself or even your company. You are one of the thousands that create and execute a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s an incredible feeling to know you are one of the select, and that you are part of an association that celebrates and values how much you contribute to this industry.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
Spending time with fellow YPs!
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without?
Apps are everything!