Members of the 20 in Their Twenties class of 2021, supported by PCMA Foundation and Experience Columbus, will be honored at EduCon this week. Byanca Ellul, CMP, meeting services specialist for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Chicago, answered questions via email about her expectations for EduCon and beyond.
What have you missed most about in-person events?
Connecting with people! Networking is already hard enough, so having to do it virtually and not be able to approach someone and shake their hand and smile and make that personal connection was tough. I’m definitely looking forward to that the most.
What are you most looking forward to at EduCon in Phoenix?
Being able to be an attendee for once! It has been a while since I’ve attended an in-person conference, so to be on the other end of the meeting is very exciting for me.
What are you hoping to take away from your EduCon experience?
Still being fairly new to the industry, I’m looking forward to learning and taking things back to my organization and … making [our meetings] the best they can be. It’s always interesting to step outside the box and see how others are implementing things, maybe in a way you didn’t think of before.
Who are you looking to meet at EduCon?
All of my fellow 20 in Their Twenties recipients (current and alumni)!
Has your experience during the pandemic changed how you are thinking about your career? If yes, how?
Yes and no — I say this because I think people in hospitality have always had to be resilient and this pandemic has only strengthened that skill. Some of us have had to get new jobs, make pivots in our careers, or, if we were lucky enough to keep our jobs, do things in a completely different way (e.g., virtual events, events with social distancing, etc.).
What skills are you looking to add to your toolkit in the near future?
Possibly DES [certification]! I just received my CMP at the end of last year, so I’m thinking DES is next on the list!
RELATED: Read Byanca Ellul’s 20 in Their Twenties questionnaire.