Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2020 already have proven to be leaders, putting their own mark on the business events industry. Jaclyn Rosenberg, manager of conferences & events at The Humane Society of the U.S. in Washington, D.C., shares her thoughts about the industry.
What do you like most about your job?
I love that when I work an event, I can see in a very tangible way the results of all my hard work. When I put weeks, months, or even a year or more into planning an event, it’s very easy to get caught up in details and deadlines. But when you’re finally on site and attendees are coming through the doors, you can see how every hour you spent on every little detail contributes to the event as a whole. It’s a very rewarding feeling to see your hard work in action and to see all the attendees enjoying what you’ve built.
What do you like most about the industry?
The events industry is full of people who love their careers. It’s not an easy career path to pursue, with long hours, tight deadlines, and tons of moving parts. It’s rare to get through an event without any major fires to put out, so there’s plenty to keep you on your toes at all times. As such, the people who stick with this industry are the people who are most passionate about this work. And to be surrounded by people who want to be doing this work and who care as much about this work as much as you do is a special feeling.
What’s one — or more — event trends you have your eye on?
I think that new technologies will change the standards in the events industry in the coming years. Since I started with my current organization almost four years ago, I’ve seen our largest event move from producing an 85-page show guide each year to going nearly paperless with a conference app and small pocket guide. The app not only allows us to be greener, but also allows a new level of interactivity among our attendees. New lead retrieval functionality is helping us make it easier than ever for attendees to claim their continuing education credits. Social media has created an expectation among attendees of a higher level of engagement with speakers, attendees, and even conference organizers. Everything from the check-in process to networking to surveying has been impacted by technology already, and the technology is only getting more sophisticated and exciting with each passing year. Attendees are more technology-savvy than ever, and they want to see the events they attend evolve with the times as well.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to have received the CMP certification and advanced in my career so I can take the lead on the development of new events for my organization. I want the chance to use my creativity to take new ideas and run with them to build new events from the ground up.
I also would love the chance to help mentor the next generation of event planners. Knowing how high-pressure event planning can be, I have relied heavily on the support of my colleagues to find my footing in this field. Seeing how much value I got from talking with my colleagues, and how inspired I am watching them in action, I recognize how important networking and mentorship can be in helping to stick with this career path and finding success. In five years’ time, when I’m more established in my career and have more experience under my belt, it would be extremely rewarding to teach and train those just entering the industry.