Erica Bishaf, Founder & CEO, CampfireSocial
University of Education: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
How long have you been an IAEE member? 1 years
IAEE Chapter: Midwestern Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
My background is in corporate strategy and global innovation working for consumer-packaged goods
companies such as Kraft, Nestle, & Kimberly-Clark (for our UK friends I helped to design the Andrex
packaging). In 2015, I met a brilliant association strategist who needed help with analytics and event
strategy so I jumped right in and never looked back. Like many of the wonderful people I’ve had the
pleasure of meeting in our industry, I fell in love with associations and trade shows and have made a
career as an association & events-focused strategist. In 2020, I turned entrepreneur to build software
that can withstand the challenges presented by Covid that threaten the livelihood of our respective
organizations. Giving back and continuing to support this industry is important to me.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m the daughter of a clown and I can make balloon animals.
What do you like most about your chapter?
The Midwest Chapter is FUN! They mix business with social activities while prioritizing getting to know
their members. As someone who is new to the chapter, I felt immediately part of the community.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
I love anything related to bringing education to life for students in need. For the past several years, I’ve
volunteered for an organization called Tutoring Chicago working with their students on social,
emotional, and academic skills. Additionally, I’ve volunteered as a middle & high school math tutor for
Chicago Public School students who need a bit of support.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
The ability to roll my sleeves up and dive right into a committee to give back to our community.
How do you use CEIR research, and what reports have you downloaded?
I use CEIR research to inform business strategies and fodder for my own perspectives. As a strategist I’m
looking to understand both macro and micro trends related to a particular organization. CEIR does a
phenomenal job highlighting the macro trends that impact our community and supports them with case
studies to see theory in practice. I most recently downloaded the virtual event series, which I used to
get a better sense of where white space exists.