Annemarie Allain, CEM, Copywriter of MDG
Hometown: Henderson, NV but now living in Cypress, CA
University of Education: Oregon State University
How long have you been an IAEE member? 13 years
IAEE Chapter: Southwest
How did you start your career in this industry?
Like many others, this industry found me! My professional career began in politics, but after seven years and multiple election cycles, I was burnt out. Looking for a change, I left Washington D.C. and relocated back to my hometown of Henderson, NV. I was weighing my options and considering going back to school when I met someone in the industry. I had no previous exposure to trade shows or events, but this new contact convinced me to give trade show sales a shot. And again, like so many others, I was hooked. I spent nine years in sales, then moved into show management, operations and now event marketing.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
Easily one of the best career decisions I’ve made was earning my CEM. Not only has this designation positively impacted my career development, but it allowed me to meet other industry professionals and build an incredibly supportive network — especially while being unemployed for most of 2020. Additionally, participating in and completing KLI had a measurable impact on how I’ve approached my interactions with colleagues.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Get involved with your chapter immediately, especially as in-person networking begins to reopen. Ask to be paired with an established member who can help you navigate the organization and be a point of contact at chapter events. If you’re a young professional, find other young professionals you can grow with as you build your careers. There are some powerful connections and alliances to be made through IAEE; take advantage of them early and often.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Not so much fun, but fact, I was at work on Capitol Hill on 9/11/2001. On a lighter note, I can fold a fitted sheet.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
Hands down, it is networking. This is a relationship-driven industry, and the connections you make through IAEE are invaluable. Whether through education programs, social events or organic networking, connecting with like-minded professionals is important to career growth.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
As we all know, explaining our business to anyone not familiar with it can be challenging — certainly not an issue when you attend Expo! Expo! It is a fantastic place not only to discover what’s trending amongst show organizers, but it’s where you can find colleagues who can truly understand your role in the industry. From trading war stories to sharing innovative techniques, you’ll always walk away invigorated.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without? Why?
Video messaging. Even before the pandemic, it was a critical tool for staying in touch with my family while I was on site.