Elena Grant, VEIP, Vice President, Marketing of Taffy Event Strategies
Hometown: Weirton, WV but now lives in Cumming, GA
University of Education: Dickinson College
How long have you been an IAEE member? 15 years +
IAEE Chapter: DC Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
In my positions prior to formally being in the events industry, I always ended up on client and corporate
event planning teams because I loved the work. I was working for a software company and looking for a
career move. A friend sent me a job link for a position as the Director of International Marketing for CES
and I applied and got the job. It was everything I was looking for in a career move and I quickly was
hooked on events. I thrive on the cyclical nature of what we do and challenging myself every show cycle
to incorporate new technologies, marketing strategies, and activations for our various clients to make
the next show better than the last.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
I have met so many great people through IAEE. The people and educational opportunities received, have
been essential to my career growth. Continually engaging with a community of like-minded
professionals enables me to develop as a professional by sharing best practices, ideas, and technology
What advice would you give to a new member?
Get involved in some way. Access the resources out there – there is so much information that can help
you do your job better. Finally, leverage IAEE to cultivate a community of people you can tap into for
advice and ideas.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
One fun fact is that as much as I have tried, I can’t whistle. I’m convinced it will just click one day.
Hopefully, one day soon, you will see me whistling on the exhibit floor of Expo! Expo!.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
I’ll answer the why first. I’m passionate about playing a part in making our communities stronger and
better. I take my children frequently on weekends to help with Meals by Grace – an organization that
provides meals to those in need. I’m in involved in our local office of Family Promise – they help families
experiencing homelessness and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. I’m also on the
Board of Directors for The Nava Center – a nonprofit organization providing therapy and training to the
community to decrease the impact of trauma and increase engagement in anti-racism.
How do you use CEIR research, and what reports have you downloaded?
I use CEIR research all the time. I’ve downloaded too many reports to list. If you aren’t using the
information, you really should – CEIR provides some great insight to help me make decisions and better
serve my clients.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live
It has been around for a bit, but it’s a design platform, where you can create almost anything and they
have great templates to get you started. I don’t purport to be a graphic designer, but I enjoy using this to
spruce up some of my documents and I use it for personal stuff all the time.