By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Elizabeth George works in Customer & Audience Solutions at Informa Exhibitions. She joined the DFW Chapter’s marketing team in 2013, helping take pictures and working on the chapter’s social media platform. Since then, she has transformed the chapter’s social media presence and marketing footprint by creating relevant and valuable content that has posted on many channels.
In 2016, the DFW Chapter underwent a great deal of transition and Elizabeth stepped up as its Secretary, changing the way the chapter’s documents were organized with Google docs and creating a filing system. She also tackled the chapter’s outdated website and email marketing for meetings. Revamping these two systems was quite the undertaking, however Elizabeth stepped up to the challenge and learned the entire system, all while successfully maintaining the chapter’s social media presence.
In 2017, Elizabeth once again impressed the chapter’s board with her desire to make the chapter the best it can be. Her dedication to the chapter’s needs has been endless, and her leadership skills delivered a fully updated chapter website and new email platform to allow for analytics. Elizabeth also revamped some of the chapter’s processes.
Elizabeth’s hard work and outstanding contributions earned her the Chapter Merit Award in 2017. Here, she talks with IAEE about what she enjoys most about her chapter’s activities, her love of all things social media (and offers great pointers!) and shares her perspective as a young professional.
IAEE: What attracted you to the exhibitions and events industry, and what made you want to get more involved with your local chapter?
Elizabeth: I was recommended for a job in the exhibitions and events industry by a friend I went to college with, so I credit good old fashioned networking. I was invited to my first IAEE DFW local chapter event – a happy hour in April – by one of the Board members at the time to create a video recap of the evening. At that happy hour, I met with the young professional committee member and we got to brainstorming ideas for how to engage with the YPs of our chapter. The rest is history!
IAEE: You have been credited for taking the chapter’s social media presence to new heights. What did you determine to be the most important goals when you took on this challenge and what advice would you give someone who has decided to take on a social media makeover for their organization?
Elizabeth: Social media is my passion. I will talk anyone’s ear off about Snapchat’s dancing hot dog lens, Instagram’s new stories and the possibility of leveraging Facebook chat bots at events. When I came on the board as Secretary, social media was a part of the job description making it a perfect first step into getting involved with the chapter.
If you are planning a social media makeover, here are a few things to think about. Consider your audience – are they a Facebook, twitter or Linkedin crowd? Where are they mostly connecting with your chapter? Focus your efforts there. You don’t have to be a graphic designer or a professional copywriter to have good content. There are plenty of graphic design resources (such as Canva) that can help you design quality graphics and other content. Last of all, you don’t have to be on every last social media platform. Think about quality of quantity and what benefits your chapters and members the most.
IAEE: You have taken on several leadership roles within the chapter in a short amount of time. What inspires you to step forward and take on these greater responsibilities?
Elizabeth: The Board and chapter members make it worth it. Most of these members are not only industry colleagues but really good friends. I love that energized feeling you get after attending an event and talking with other individuals about what is affecting the industry – or maybe just chatting about the technology behind those Snapchat lenses and how they’re relevant in Augmented Reality. Just as our exhibitions and events are about connecting individuals in a conference room or an exhibitions floor, IAEE’s focus is just that. I am grateful that I can serve in a leadership role and have an active part in shaping the way our chapter helps to connect our members on a daily basis.
IAEE: Your service and dedication has led you to the position as this year’s Chapter Chairperson. What goals do you have for the chapter in 2018?
Elizabeth: Our chapter goals are to continue to provide quality educational content and networking opportunities. Our chapter territory includes Oklahoma and Louisiana, in addition to North Texas, so we’re actively trying to host local meet ups to those members who reside in those states.
IAEE: Many of your contributions to the chapter involve entirely new ways of doing things. How do you approach presenting new concepts that may or may not be fully understood? What is your strategy for convincing people who may not be comfortable with trying something new or innovative to take on your ideas?
Elizabeth: I’m grateful that the Board of IAEE DFW is constantly looking for new ways to connect, reach and let members know about our events. When presenting new ideas make sure you can communicate how this will directly benefit the members and the chapter. For instance, we started to spotlight new member organizations to the chapter each Tuesday; this helps us recognize our new members, provides content for our social media accounts and reminds us to welcome new members who attend our events. It’s a win-win.
IAEE: As a young professional who has been recognized for her dedication to IAEE, what do you consider most beneficial about chapter involvement and what advice do you have for other YPs interested in getting more involved in their local chapter and/or IAEE’s other volunteer opportunities?
Elizabeth: The first step is to get out there and participate! Whether it’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition or local chapter events, get to know the people in your area. All chapters are looking for volunteers to help with various tasks. Find something you’re passionate about, whether it’s helping with the chapter social media posts, welcoming new members at the beginning of events or luncheons, or organizing a young professional meet up for your work colleagues, and make that your contribution to the local chapter.
IAEE is now accepting nominations for the 2018 IAEE Awards! Get complete details, including award criteria and deadline information here!