Lauren Johnson, CEM, National Sales Manager of Louisville Tourism
University of Education: University of Kentucky
How long have you been an IAEE member? 4 years
IAEE Chapter: Mid-South
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started out in advertising and account management, but in my heart, I knew I wanted to do something to give back to my city and roots. I took a job with Kentucky Derby Festival, then transitioned to Churchill Downs Racetrack where I worked in sales for a few years, and then ultimately landed at the CVB on the Convention Sales team. It was at the CVB (now Louisville Tourism), where I have found my home. Being able to sell the city I love and where I was born and raised makes work not feel like a job, it’s honestly just a part of who I am. Getting to share those sentiments with my customers as they consider Louisville as a destination for their show or convention, is truly the icing on the cake.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Sign up for it ALL! The webinars, the Chapter Events, the meetups, the conferences, etc. Attend everything you can and soak it all in. Speaking from personal experience, you’ll start to see familiar names and faces, and the relationships will naturally fall in to place, simply for being present and engaging with others.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have been married for 11 years and I am a mom of 3 young kiddos ages 5, 5, and 3. We also have 2 Labrador retrievers. My house is complete chaos – which is why I am well versed in every type of bourbon Kentucky has to offer. Cheers!
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
I think the saying “We all rise by lifting others”, is quite fitting for this industry. I have never been a part of an organization that is so supportive of one another. It doesn’t matter if you are a supplier, show organizer, independent contractor – at the end of the day, we are all human, we are all people, and everyone is rooting for the success of others because that’s how we can ensure the industry continues to rise. It’s a unique benefit that I’m grateful to be a part of.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
Oh that’s easy, the bourbon in our booth. (see you in Philly!) Kidding! My favorite part about Expo! Expo! is getting to put faces with names of people I work with all year.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without? Why?
The one where you can order things and they just show up at your front door in 2 days.