Martha Donato, President & Founder, MAD Event Manager LLC
Hometown: Bainbridge, NY
University of Education: Marist College
How long have you been an IAEE member? 14 years
IAEE Chapter: IAEE New York Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started my career in events working as a Marketing Director in a publishing company. That led to the acquisition of a large-scale event in Chicago and a 25-year career!
How has IAEE shaped your career?
I’ve been a member of IAEE since the early 2000s and am pleased to join the New York Chapter Board for 2022.
What advice would you give to a new member?
The advice I would give to a new member is to take full advantage of the networking opportunities that are offered to you. You’ll make life-long friends, and some will become colleagues along your career journey.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I grew up on a farm in upstate New York!
What do you like most about your chapter?
The people in the New York Chapter are the best.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
I’ve been involved in numerous food drives and campaigns to help those who need temporary financial support.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
The networking and the people you meet along the way.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
Expo! Expo! exposes us to new ideas and vendors, as well as high-level education and my favorite, the networking and parties!
How do you use CEIR research, and what reports have you downloaded?
CEIR research is top quality and gives us a snapshot of where we are as an industry. That’s never been more important than during the pandemic.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without? Why?
Although we’re all somewhat tired of video conferences, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for helping us communicate, network, and build communities during the pandemic. It was also how my teenage daughter attended high school for 1 1/2 years, which has set her up to be extremely well versed in digital communications. While we are all eager to get back to in-person meetings and events, the tech provided a fabulous way to stay connected.
How do you currently use social media for your events?
We have individual social media sites for each event we produce. Depending on the target audience, we lean more heavily on one or another platform. But it’s always a key part of our marketing and community strategy.