IAEE is pleased to bring you this member spotlight on Bill McGlade, CEM, Director, Account Management with a2z, Inc. Bill has been an IAEE member for nine years. Bill currently is the Chair of the IAEE Washington DC Chapter Board, the Immediate past Chair of the Young Professionals Committee, and has served on the CEIR Research Committee, Education Committee, Midyear Meeting Education Task Force and Chapter Leaders Council.
How did you start your career in the industry?
A recruiter was able to get me an interview with National Trade Productions (NTP) many moons ago. It was there that I learned a lot about the different facets of the industry and was able to be introduced and network with a ton of individuals from the exhibitions and events industry. I guess you can say, like many others in this industry, I stumbled into it and absolutely love it.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
IAEE has been one of the most important factors in helping me to achieve my professional goals. It has helped me by introducing me to the best mentors any young professional and aspiring leader could ask for. In a way, I owe many thanks to IAEE, and of course my mentors, for helping me to achieve all that I have so far.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Get involved and find mentors! In a business that is all about face-to-face, it is extremely important to make sure you are meeting and networking face-to-face. Being involved in IAEE and its local chapters is the single best way to help advance your career.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Some know this, but many do not. I am actually a published author. It’s a fictional novel about an anti-hero who comes to terms with human emotions and has to eventually save America. I guess you can say he is trying to “Make America Great.” Ha-ha!
What do you like most about your chapter?
Besides being the Chair? I like the camaraderie that is formed in the local IAEE chapters. The DC chapter holds a ton of events throughout the year and gives all of its members some great educational opportunities and fantastic networking opportunities. I really enjoy the fact that these are all set up to help me grow in my career and learn new and exciting happenings in the industry (well, when I am not on the board!).
What community service projects to you like to be involved in?
To be honest, any project. Anything that can make even the slightest difference to someone is what makes me feel good. In the end, it’s not about me. It’s about what helps that individual or community.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
Besides the cool 3-letter CEM designation after my name, I would say the membership to the local chapters. The local chapters are what really help to foster the year-found engagement in the industry and IAEE.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
Everything! It is one of the very few trips of the year that I look forward to and is a must for me. Not only do I get to see friends from the industry that I may not have seen in awhile, but I get to learn new trends, new techniques, and can come back to the office with ideas on how to grow.
How do you use CEIR research?
CEIR is very important to me. We need an entity that is out there collecting the data that is important to our industry, but also one that presents it in a way that everyone can understand. I think they do a fantastic job of this. The key factors and data points for me are not just the events driven data but the industry specific data, because if you work on the supplier side and have multiple clients it’s important to see what trends may be occurring and which industries may soon be suffering or blossoming.
What new technology on the market can you just not live without?
Working for a technology company within the events industry makes me a bit biased. With that aside, I would say I have not yet found a piece of technology that I cannot live without – specifically focused around this industry. Obviously it would be hard for me to live without my phone. I’ll keep waiting and hopefully there will come that one new piece of technology that will make me hold on for dear life and never let go of it.
How do you currently use social media for your events?
On our side we definitely try to promote as many of our client’s events as possible. Taking PPC ads aside, it’s tough to sell anything on social media, but it is a great tool to build social awareness, engagement, and event-help to create an emotional connection to your event. I always like to push that last piece because in this day and age where an attendee/exhibitor has so many options to choose from, it’s important to give them a true reason to attend your event. That means combining ROI and engagement through planned activities and engagement, creating an emotional connection.