After another year of disruption, members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2022 are proof positive that adaptability is a requisite skill for business events industry professionals. Erica Teddone, CMP, PMP, global travel and meetings strategist at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. in New York, tells us about the new skills she has learned during the pandemic.
What do you see as key to the industry’s recovery after this time of disruption?
Meeting face-to-face is going to be key in 2022. This is what our industry thrives on. I have missed networking in person and believe it is crucial to building and nurturing strong relationships with industry peers.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from someone in the industry?
When one door closes, a few other doors open. It’s up to you to find those other doors. I’ve gotten this advice from both my father and past mentors throughout my college and professional careers, but I think it applies perfectly to individuals who have been affected by the pandemic. This quote reminds me to always have a go-getter attitude and find new opportunities. You never know where they may lead.
What has this time of disruption taught you about the industry — and yourself?
An industry or a company is only as good as its people. I have seen time and time again how hospitality professionals have proved to be resilient and adapt to this new environment. Not to mention our dedication to helping others during this time. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not inspired by the people in this field.
What new skills has the pandemic led you to pursue?
Mentorship has always been a huge part of my life. During the pandemic there were many students and young professionals who were looking for increased guidance and support from industry professionals. Job and internship opportunities became extremely difficult to find and there were students who considered leaving the field completely.
This inspired me to spearhead the first student mentorship program within the New York chapter of PCMA. Through this program I have learned so much about the importance of mentoring. We all have a big role to play in giving back to the future of our industry. Mentoring is an incredibly rewarding and invaluable experience that I believe everyone should be a part of at some point in their career.