Sales Manager, GES; Alexandria, Virginia

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2019 see a bright future for the business events industry, a future to which they plan to contribute. Femke Morelisse shares her impressions of and expectations for the industry.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that my job at GES exposes me to an incredible range of events varying in size, industries, scope of work, and location. I’m constantly challenged by the diverse work I dive into every single day and by the logistics involved in producing conferences from city-to-city, year-over-year. Each event we produce is unique and each customer we work with requires a trusting team to create successful event experiences. I enjoy being that supportive resource to customers and leaning on a combination of both prior experiences and my network of industry experts to effectively produce events no matter the location. Speaking of industry experts, I’m constantly inspired by the professionals who I interact with who collectively share a wealth of knowledge about event design and production. I couldn’t ask for a better network of customers, colleagues and mentors that help make my job dynamic!

Where would you like your career to go?

International! As our industry continues to become more and more globalized, many domestic associations and corporations host their events outside the United States to reach a global audience. I envision my career evolving into an international role, supporting accounts that require a team of experts to seamlessly produce their event, whether it’s in NYC one year or Amsterdam the next. I want to support globally recognized bands in servicing their exhibition needs and I’m excited to see what opportunities I can gain by focusing my career in this direction.

What’s the best day you’ve had in the meetings industry so far?

The best day that I’ve had in the meetings industry was actually at the PCMA Rewind event in 2017. Not only did the Capital Chapter recognize me as “Committee Star of the Year,” but I also won a major multi-year, new business contract that same day. I celebrated with several clients and my GES co-workers at dinner that night in D.C. I specifically remember that day because it was a serious “Ah-ha, you got this” moment that elevated my confidence in the relatively early stages of my career.

What will be the biggest change in the industry over the next 20 years?

With today’s event technologies, it’s easier to collect and evaluate in depth data that can be used to measure various aspects of our events. In the future, smart business event producers will refine this “Big Data” to the point of virtually having access into any attendee/exhibitor information that will allow them to create a different marketing or production approach to their meetings. Access to this data will be intelligently streamlined and fully integrated into just one cloud management system, allowing event producers to make informed and strategic decisions about changes to their event program without a lot of legwork. I believe that the automation of data collection onsite at events will become so refined that, at any given time, a show organizer can have access into live data as attendees move from one session to the next.

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