By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Shannon Binger, CEM, Senior Manager, Meetings and Services for the American Thoracic Society, has established a local and national presence for IAEE that has brought tremendous good will to the industry and awed her colleagues with her passion, work ethic and positive “can do” attitude. She is very active in IAEE committees and task forces as well as volunteering to support the current NYIAEE Chapter Chair in managing communication to board members and completing monthly chapter tasks including: governance filings, accounting practices, annual meeting planning, board slates, financials, board meetings, member communication, chapter website, and chapter education. She also led the efforts to establish the 2021 Strategic Plan for Chapter Operations and Offerings.
Shannon has volunteered her time as the moderator for two installments of the NYIAEE Chapter education program bringing information in response to pandemic planning to the chapter members. As a leader for the YP Committee, she chairs bimonthly meetings to promote the value of YP participation and recognition within the association’s activities and programming. Shannon leads three sub-committees on bimonthly calls dedicated to addressing specific tasks and strategizing for reaching the goals of committee. The NYIAEE chapter credits Shannon with helping support the organization on both the local and national levels.
Shannon’s dedication and contributions earned her the IAEE Volunteer of the Year Award last year, for which she was recognized this past December during virtual Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition (watch the awards presentation and Shannon’s acceptance speech here).
Here, Shannon shares with IAEE how she benefits from her ongoing involvement at IAEE’s local and national levels, and what fuels her passion for the exhibitions and events industry.
You are a very accomplished young professional with a passion for the exhibitions and events industry. What drew you to the industry and what drives your motivation and creativity as you develop your career in the industry?
Shannon: I didn’t know at the time, but my internship at Disney made a significant impact on the direction of career. The events I worked on during the program gave me an interest into exploring more about the event industry. Today I am still driven by the incredible work and extraordinary people that I see in our industry. There are so many individuals dedicated to providing high-level service, and they inspire me to want to excel at the work I do as well.
Your chapter leaders commended you for the incredible work you’ve done and dedication you’ve demonstrated. What appeals to you the most about being this deep in the trenches on the grassroots level?
Shannon: Having a local support system is invaluable, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. There are so many opportunities to make connections when supporting chapter events, and always an opportunity to get really great education for professional development.
You are also a very active volunteer on the national level. What similarities and differences do you see between serving on the local level versus the national level?
Shannon: I have found a lot of similarities in service between the national and chapter levels. Many times a member begins in one area and then extends that work into the other area. Working at the chapter level is a great opportunity for you to make connections that you can meet with year round. It also is a good introduction to the industry and the local members/businesses in your area. At the national level, you can expand your reach to engaging with members across the globe and work on projects and committees that service the entire organization. I have found both to be extremely rewarding and valuable and would highly, highly recommend involvement.
As a moderator of education programming, what have you found to be the biggest draw to learning experiences offered? And, what feedback do you receive regarding takeaways industry professionals are looking for in these opportunities?
Shannon: Being a moderator for educational programming has been very rewarding! I get the opportunity to have conversations with industry professionals that typically do not cross my everyday path. These virtual educational offers arose from a need to continue educational efforts for our members, but it brought to light the advantages of being able to gather (and reach) participants from around the globe to share their knowledge and experiences. As we return to in-person meetings, I hope that we continue to offer virtual education to maintain our extended reach to members.
As a young professional who is deeply involved in the industry, what aspect of the industry would you like to see more development/growth occur in?
Shannon: I would love to see the virtual offerings continue on after the pandemic. I love the opportunities I have had to network with IAEE members in other chapters. While the in-person, local chapter events are extremely beneficial in their own way, the virtual offerings have been a great opportunity to make connections outside of your area throughout the year. I would also like to see opportunities to support the young professionals as they transition out of the “YP” sector. This is a strong group of individuals that are eager to participate, and I would love to see a roadmap on how these members can continue to be engaged with the organization.