Julianne Touhy

American Bar Association

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. Julianne Touhy, senior meeting planner at the American Bar Association in Chicago, talks about an innovation that she hopes sticks around after the pandemic.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that my job reaches so many different types of people. I work with multiple stakeholders across the ABA, and with different lawyers and leaders from across the legal industry.

What do you see as key to the industry’s recovery after this time of disruption?

Being able to remain flexible as we recover in a post-pandemic world is important. Control the controllable and roll with the changes. Moving past this and learning from the pandemic can only make us stronger as an industry.

What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from someone in the industry?

Take advantage of all opportunities given to you. Network, network, network! You never know if a person you meet or an opportunity you take will help push you into the next phase of your career.

How do you see the industry changing as a result of the pandemic?

I think the pandemic has allowed organizations to make streamlined procedural changes that would have been harder to make if we remained in person. For example, I see badges becoming a lot more digitized. Gone are the days of paper tickets; people will have to have their badges scanned when attending a ticketed event.

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?

I think the ability to network virtually with people from all over the world was an amazing innovation that I hope remains after the pandemic. Though nothing compares to in-person networking, I was able to make connections with people that I otherwise would have never met during the pandemic.

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2022, supported by PCMA Foundation and Experience Columbus, were recognized at PCMA Convening Leaders 2022, Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas.

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