By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Bill McGlade, CEM, Director of Account Management for a2z, Inc., has made a name for himself as a very active and engaged young professional. He has been an IAEE member for nearly 10 years and has participated in various committees including: Chapter Leaders Council, Member Engagement, Midyear Meeting Education, Education, CEIR Research and Young Professionals.
Bill has been commended by his colleagues for his mentorship to young professionals, particularly when it comes to encouraging them to pursue certifications and advocate on behalf of the industry. He provides great input and feedback on many of IAEE’s initiatives and contributed greatly to IAEE’s mentor/mentee program. Bill is known for bringing a new, dynamic perspective to the IAEE YP group as well as being extremely active on the local level with the IAEE Washington, D.C. Chapter’s YP initiatives.
Here, Bill discusses with IAEE readers the most valuable lessons he has picked up in the last decade, the dynamic young professionals bring to the industry and what he would like to see unfold in the next decade.
IAEE: How did you get started in the exhibitions and events industry?
Bill: I am one of those lucky individuals that stumbled into the industry back in 2007. The beginning of the economic downturn allowed me the chance to seek new opportunities outside of the housing and financial markets, and thus ultimately landed me in this amazing industry. My first position was at National Trade Productions under the amazing guidance of Brandon Hensley, who currently works at the International Sign Association. He was my first of many great mentors.
IAEE: You have closed in on your first decade in this field. What has been the greatest lesson you have learned so far? What do you hope to accomplish in your next decade?
Bill: The greatest lesson I have learned so far is that you are never done learning in this industry. That is true for most industries but for me the events industry touches on so many aspects of the global economy, it allows everyone the opportunity to continually learn. That and be humble. The more you try and help others succeed and be the best they can be within the events industry, the better you will succeed as well. It is still a small industry and a loyal industry.
I have many, many thoughts for the next decade and all involve helping the events industry continue to propel into the future, and one day be the pioneers for buyers and suppliers to see the future. Ensuring collaboration and connections are being made in a face-to-face (F2F) format is going to be essential in the next decade as technology continues to advance rapidly and hopefully enhance our F2F events.
Asking what I would like to accomplish in the next decade is a rabbit hole and a discussion that could be for hours! It’s also not about what I want to accomplish but what I can help this industry accomplish.
IAEE: You have been extremely involved in many IAEE committees. What advice would you give someone considering taking on leadership positions within the organization and what do you consider the greatest benefit from doing so?
Bill: First, being extremely involved is a great way to put it! If you want to take on leadership positions, I am adamant that you become involved in as many IAEE committees as you can. I say that, but be aware that you also need to know your time limits. It has been exhausting being involved and at the same time the most fun. You will meet and have conversations with individuals you never thought you would and at the same time it will open your mind to viewpoints you never thought of. There isn’t just one benefit of being involved, there are hundreds! My advice: don’t get involved to get ahead. Get involved to help. That is a true quality of a great leader.
IAEE: One of your accomplishments includes earning your CEM certification. How has it enhanced your career and what would you tell someone considering entering the CEM Learning Program?
Bill: I feel like I have my Ph.D.! No, just kidding on that. There is an excitement to adding more letters past your name. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and feels as if you are moving toward your purpose. What I have learned most while obtaining my CEM, is that you do not know everything. Very often you become pigeon-holed into your knowledge of the industry because of the position you are in, i.e., sales or operations.
Obtaining your CEM allows you to truly understand the different depths of the industry, and what your colleagues and industry friends are going through while onsite or during the event cycle. It’s not only about the fancy three letters added to your name, it’s about the connections and friendships you make while taking the journey. Ultimately, that is what this industry is all about, right?
IAEE: As a young professional, what do you pride yourself and your peers in contributing to the industry?
Bill: Energy, new ideas, different viewpoints and different perceptions. Gone are the days of complacency. We are in a future that is fast-moving and ever-changing. We as young professionals are part of the professional group that can help adapt to this ever-changing future. Can I still say this in two years when I’m over the YP age limit?
IAEE: You have demonstrated that you place great value in mentorship. What have your mentors instilled in you that you enjoy passing on to those you mentor?
Bill: Everything that I have written here today they have helped instill upon me. Be humble but be hungry. Continue to learn. Learn about your weaknesses and embrace them. Build upon your strengths to help others. Remember: not everything is about you, but what you can do to help change the industry or someone’s future for the better.
IAEE is now accepting nominations for the 2018 IAEE Awards! Get complete details, including award criteria and deadline information here!