Listen Up: A Next-Gen Event Leader’s Voice

Author: David McMillin       

When Michael Doane graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011, he wasn’t thinking about conferences or convention centers. “I don’t have a background in meetings and events,” Doane told PCMA in a recent interview. “Like a number of event professionals, I kind of fell into this industry.”

That fall has turned into a very smooth landing. Now with four years of experience in marketing at CadmiumCD under his belt, Doane is quickly making a name for himself as a leader in the events industry. “PCMA was a starting place for me,” Doane said. “I got involved via Catalyst and other online networking opportunities. When I went to my first Convening Leaders, I met face-to-face with some of those online connections.”

But Doane wasn’t just a member of the Convening Leaders audience. In 2015, he was also on the stage to accept his honor as a member of the organization’s 20 in Their Twenties program. “Now, I have a worldwide network,” Doane — who also serves as director of membership for PCMA’s Chesapeake Chapter — said. “Being part of 20 in Their Twenties laid the foundation for being able to travel all over the world and have friends you can call on. It’s more than work, too. Obviously, a lot of us are connected via our roles and responsibilities in the events industry, but it feels like being able to check in with your old college classmates, too. I’ve forged some true friendships through the program that I’ll still be able to call in 10 years.”

Looking Ahead

Over those next 10 years, Doane is most excited about the potential that events have to change the world. “Our industry touches on every other industry,” Doane said. “Consider the challenges we’re facing with the environment. This is an area where the standards that our venues set for waste and sustainability can have a profound impact on the future.

“Think about the medical industry, too,” Doane added. “As technology changes healthcare, some veteran doctors might be skeptical of using new tools, but meetings and events can help them understand that they can be used in meaningful ways to improve patient care. Event professionals are the ones who can drive that shift. They have a great deal of power to have an impact on what attendees do when they go home. It’s amazing to think that shaping conference content can also shape the way the world works.”

Related Posts

Become a Member

Get premium access to provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence.