Stacy Hodge, Director of Education & Programming, of National Restaurant Association Show (Winsight Media)
How did you start your career in this industry?
I “fell into” association management (tradeshow education and conference planning specifically) 20 years ago landing an association temp to hire position after the dot com era in which I worked came to a crashing end. I haven’t looked back since and have worked with a variety of associations and companies developing education and programming for tradeshows and conferences.
What advice would you give to a new member?
I know other IAEE members have said this, but I must emphasize, GET INVOLVED! As a relatively new member myself (less than 5 years), I recently became actively involved by joining the IAEE EXPO EXPO Education Committee. I’ve gained so much already from my fellow committee members, particularly during the pandemic as we’ve been sharing lessons-learned and new best practices for events. I encourage new members to really look at all IAEE has to offer. I know I will continue to benefit greatly, both professionally and personally, by being involved and taking advantage of the member resources.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I lived in Australia during college…absolutely one of the most formative experiences of my life.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
My passion is the outdoors. I do a lot of work supporting the National Park Foundation, Sierra Club, individual national park conservancies, and more, and have led volunteer initiatives such as parks and lands cleanup days.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
I’m cheating a bit but I have two #1 benefits: The vast network of fellow industry professionals right at my fingertips through MemberLink is invaluable. I also have to plug the KnowledgeHub. As an education and programming professional, the content available in the KnowledgeHub is extremely relevant and offers solutions and best practices for the challenges our industry faces.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
The variety of content, as well as being able to meet so many people. While EXPO! EXPO! was virtual earlier this year, I was still able to connect directly with fellow attendees and presenters, and I learned some great lessons and strategies I could apply to my own work. I hope everyone has the opportunity join us in Philadelphia or virtually this December!