This year, PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties program honors its 10th class of exceptional young leaders in the business events industry. Class member Anna Lommatzsch, CMP, DES, event manager at Informa Markets, shares her thoughts on keeping mental health and physical wellbeing front of mind at work and at events.
What creative initiative, innovation, or meeting format that came out of the pandemic do you believe should remain? And why?
I feel very passionately about mental health and physical wellbeing and believe that they are critical factors in maintaining a sustainable workforce. Wellness initiatives existed pre-pandemic but the focus on integrating health and wellness into events is so much more present as we shift back to fully in-person events. I hope the focus on these topics remains prominent and we continue to tie these initiatives into our programming on site to increase awareness around the simple things we can do daily that can have a positive impact on our audience experience and in return, our business KPIs.
What do you like most about your job?
I absolutely love the innovative energy and collaboration within my Global Licensing Group team at Informa Markets. Even though I’m remote and the majority of the team is in London or California, there is a strong sense of community. The team environment is cultivated through respect, communication, flexibility, and support which foster productivity because we are all dedicated to succeeding as a unit.
What skills have been key to your success during these uncertain times?
Communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. The pandemic experience made me realize how unstable events can be, and that we as event planners have a duty to be the consistent, guiding force in a crisis to strategically reimagine successful event execution.
“When one door closes another door opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” This quote from Alexander Graham Bell spoke to me because like the rest of the industry, I had to adapt quickly when events started to cancel. Instead of focusing on the negatives, I fine-tuned my skills to mitigate the circumstances. I viewed this time as an opportunity and obtained my Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Digital Event Strategist (DES) and Pandemic On-Site Protocol certifications, and was continuously educating myself on trends, crisis management, virtual and hybrid event design, technology, and more.
All skill sets above are important, but they formulate the biggest skill an individual can have, which is confidence. I found success because I was able to confidently trust in my own judgment, capacities, and abilities with the support of this industry and its amazing resources.
Where do you look for new ideas and inspiration?
Event design is a large focus in my current role and I absolutely love that I get to be creative by putting together mood boards and idea briefs to bring to life onsite. Most people consider Pinterest an outlet to help curate an outfit or dinner recipe, but it’s also an event designer’s dream. Looking up different design ideas and then getting recommendations based on my search has been really effective. I am a big advocate for event-specific Facebook groups with industry peers from around the world and always ask for recommendations through that channel.
What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing careers in the events industry?
The events industry is enormous. From association to corporate planning, and many more event paths in between, there is ample opportunity to find your passion. To get a better understanding of the area you might prefer, I recommend finding an internship or graduate program to gain hands-on experience, insight into the industry, and to start facilitating connections. Networking and relationship building is crucial in this industry, so I recommend finding a mentor to be your point-person as you continue your journey to help navigate events, volunteer opportunities, etc.