By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Kareem Salvant, Event Logistics & Facilities Support Manager for The Javits Center, raised the IAEE New York Area Chapter’s membership 10 percent in just a short time. He brought the chapter’s social media and marketing presence to new heights. His tireless efforts for the chapter, and its members, to continue education by consistently getting content out is something the local chapter had been missing for quite a while. He successfully launched NY Chapter Informs educational sessions with in-person and virtual programming, attracting more than 100 attendees for every session. For the first time, the NYIAEE raised sponsorship dollars for three CEM scholarships for its local members to continue their education in the exhibitions and events industry. All three recipients are poised to finish their certification within one year.
Kareem has been a catalyst in the use of the Javits Center as a communication hub for chapter members and industry peers to meet (prior to COVID-19) and share ideas, industry news and increase members with IAEE name recognition. In just eight short years as a young professional, he worked his way to chapter chairperson. His industry knowledge and how it pertains to the local NYIAEE chapter has been stalwart for the industry.
Kareem’s service and dedication earned him the IAEE Chapter Merit Award last year, for which he was recognized this past December during virtual Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition (watch the awards presentation and Kareem’s acceptance speech here).
Here, Kareem shares with IAEE how he helped his chapter grow its reach, his approach to effective networking, and his perspective on why the industry offers a great career path to young professionals
You were commended by your peers for your achievements with the chapter’s social media outreach. What is your thought process when planning your social media messaging and what do you find yields the best results?
Kareem: With the help of our excellent administrator, Peri Halprin, our chapter went from two social channels without much information to four in 2020. We decided we wanted to reach as many members and non-members in the industry as possible, so we expanded our efforts to Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. While we have a steady increase on all pages, we find that posting not only our upcoming event information but also fun facts about our involved member cities, throwbacks from the chapter, and other industry events that may be useful or educational to our members, has been successful. In addition, during the height of the pandemic, we wanted to ensure our members still felt as welcome and involved as possible, so creating a steady posting schedule was both informative and fun for those following us. We also completely revamped our website so it’s more easily accessible for current NYIAEE members and those who may want to get involved.
Your contributions to the chapter’s educational programming has also been met with great enthusiasm and participation. What is your formula for delivering a powerful educational experience?
Kareem: As the exhibitions and events industry continues to evolve and grow globally, it’s our responsibility to enhance educational opportunities for our members. We are committed to keeping our members engaged and educated on the latest in exhibitions and events by providing several educational sessions and special programs (NYIAEE mentorship program, virtual education sessions and CEM Scholarship program) at no cost to our members.
You are obviously a great “connector,” not just in your own career, but talented at connecting others. What are some of your networking tips for those who would like to develop their ability to build connections within the industry?
Kareem: We are so lucky to have some of the most incredible members, those that are seasoned professionals and experts in all facets of the exhibitions and events industry. These experts are always willing to share their knowledge. So don’t hesitate to reach out: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
As a rising young professional, what do you consider the best ways to attract fresh talent to the industry?
Kareem: I think YPs are eager to learn and grow, and the quickest way to develop is through experience. The exhibitions and events industry provides a lot of opportunities to learn and develop a wide variety of skill sets that can put YPs on a successful path to achieve their career goals.