Anne Ryan CEM, DES, Senior Sales Consultant of Marketplace Events
Hometown: Hartford, CT
How long have you been an IAEE member? 2 years
IAEE Chapter: Southeastern Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
My career in the events industry began back in the 1980’s when I was hired as a tour manager for a company that created, manufactured, and sold licensed apparel and souvenirs for various artists and bands. I traveled from town to town with the various tours I was assigned to, managing the inventory and sale of their official merchandise. The ballet of organized chaos consisting of hundreds of moving parts which combined to create an amazing experience to the attendee fascinated me, and I was hooked.
Ultimately, I didn’t want to travel 320+ days a year and began considering options where my skills could be transferable. I wanted to continue to enjoy working with the energy of live events without what was basically 100% travel. I spent some time volunteering with a couple of non-profits to help with producing their events to bolster my skill set and was eventually hired by a small consulting firm which produced conferences and symposia. I sold expo space and sponsorship and did whatever else was tossed my way. One day I might be taking phone registrations, and the next I might be compiling a list of A/V needs for the presenters. Because there were only eight employees, I was exposed to every aspect of planning and producing events, including housing, travel, speaker management, registration, marketing, guest services, and more.
After a relocation, I was hired to handle operations and marketing for a chain of 45 retail stores. Part of the position was planning Grand Openings and other events, often with very small budgets. I had to use a lot of creative thinking with that role! Four years later, I chose not to relocate when the company was sold, and the new home office was moved to a thousand miles away. I desperately missed being involved in producing live events, and I began looking for a new role in the industry.
I was thrilled when I was hired by Marketplace Events. My official role calls for me to sell sponsorship and space, but I have had my fingers in a lot of other pieces of the planning and executing of our events. I love seeing a room with nothing but concrete and air, and then a beautiful showroom filled with hundreds of businesses emerges only a few days later!
How has IAEE shaped your career?
While Marketplace Events has been a member for several years, I’ve only come onboard back at the beginning of Covid. Like most of us, I was furloughed for three months, and wanted to do something to keep my mind sharp and hopefully fill in some knowledge gaps at the same time. While I was aware of the CMP Certification, it wasn’t quite right for the type of events that we produce, but the CEM was perfect. I decided to begin the path towards earning that.
While some of the modules were good refreshers, others were brand new material to me, and I learned more than I had expected to!
What advice would you give to a new member?
Utilize the webinars and White Papers! They are content rich, and the best part is that you can read and watch them when your schedule permits.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I completed my #1 bucket list item in late 2021 by visiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. As a Cold War child who had learned to hide under her desk during air raid drills, it was very profound to stand on the cap of a decommissioned Soviet Nuclear Reactor. I was also able to enter the control room for Reactor #4, the place that the world’s worst man-made disaster was created, and stand 150′ from Armageddon, with only a concrete wall in between!
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
Until recently I volunteered with the local greyhound adoption group to raise money and create awareness at events. (Is there a theme here?) Now that greyhound racing is banned in Florida, there isn’t much going on and most of the groups are inactive. I have been the proud caretaker of seven greyhounds over the past 12 years, and they are a great breed!
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
The educational aspect has been the best benefit for me. I would imagine that the answer to this would be very different for people in other roles.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without? Why?
I love to read, and usually have 2-4 books going at once. I finally broke down and bought an e-reader and loaded it up with titles so that I always have something to read, even in places where carrying a book might have been awkward or inconvenient. As a result, I’m able to read more than ever!
How do you currently use social media for your events?
Our marketing team has a strong presence for each of the shows that Marketplace Events produces, and we actively engage via topical e-blasts to the opted-in subscribers in our database as well.