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. Jessica Rohe, DES, global sales associate at Associated Luxury Hotels International in Alexandria, Virginia, shares what she sees as important for the industry’s recovery.
What do you like most about your job?
Hands down, the people. The planners, the hoteliers, and, of course, my colleagues. This industry wouldn’t exist without the amazing community that’s continually changing and evolving.
What do you see as key to the industry’s recovery after this time of disruption?
As much as this time was a disruption, I prefer to think of it as an opportunity. We were able to take a moment and pause — some changed career paths, some spent more time with their family, some learned how to appreciate things differently — but we all grew as individuals and ultimately as an industry. To recover from this opportunity, we need to use the knowledge we’ve gained and keep growing. We need to continue to follow our dreams, ensure we’re spending time where it’s needed and appreciate life and all of its ups and downs.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from someone in the industry?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” – more of a quote than advice, but it reminds me to believe in myself, always.
What creative initiative or innovation have you seen this year that you believe should remain in a post-pandemic (or living-with-the-pandemic) world?
Staffed buffets — they might increase your labor costs, but staffed buffets prevent the spread of germs (even the common cold) and can also assist with portion control and the costs that go along with that.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to be someone that the next generation looks to for advice and guidance on their careers in the industry.