Krista Whaley

Americans for the Arts


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. Krista Whaley, meetings and events associate at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., shares her thoughts about the industry.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy the opportunity to work a variety of events and programs, and to learn the different components that come along with each of those. On any given day I might work on a small advisory meeting, components of our annual conferences, our National Arts Awards gala, or my personal favorite — our organization holiday party. I love that through each of these I can coordinate with different venues and cities and work to find the place that will make each event a success. No day is ever the same, and it’s great to work in an environment that continues to challenge me to think outside the box.

What do you like most about the industry?

The people are truly the best part of the events industry. I value the partners and relationships that I have built in my time in this field. I love the opportunity to meet new people and create great experiences together for our events. While this industry is so large, I’ve found it to be a close community with great people who love events (and coffee) as much as I do. Aside from the amazing, hospitable people I have met on the planning side, I also enjoy the opportunity to meet our attendees and guests. It’s always inspiring to hear why they love coming to our events and what connects them to our organization. The customer service aspect of events is part of what drew me to this industry.

Whats one — or more — event trends you have your eye on?

With all our events, large and small, I work on putting together our program menus and making those selections. Working for an association, that process tends to come with budget restrictions. Due to this, I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in banquet menus and innovative ways to incorporate creative, healthy, and dietary friendly foods working within our budget parameters. Attendees care more and more about where their food comes from and we certainly want to show as an industry that we care as well. I have seen some great ideas at recent events and in industry blogs that I would love to incorporate, including farm-fresh foods and innovative displays, to take our meal breaks to the next level.

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2020 will be recognized on stage at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020, Jan. 5-8, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Check out the complete program and register for Convening Leaders today.

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