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. Shanae McFadden, CMP, meetings manager at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in Washington, D.C., shares her thoughts about the industry.
What do you like most about your job?
I love being on site for meetings and events — I get joy out of being in the moment and seeing attendees engaged and enjoying themselves. Starting an event with just an idea or a need, then going through the entire event cycle, and eventually being on site to see everything come together gives me a personal boost.
What do you like most about the industry?
I love the creativity that is involved. We have limitless options when it comes to how we can present an experience to guests or attendees. There is always an opportunity to bring unique touches to any meeting or event. It is exciting to be part of an industry that continues to generate new trends and levels of engagement.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from someone in the industry?
The best advice I have received is to trust my instincts. I have been so fortunate to have great mentors over the years who have shared their wisdom. Oftentimes you face situations where even with loads of data it still comes down to your instincts and what you feel is right. Intuition isn’t something you can learn; it has to be fully embraced by trusting yourself completely. There was a time where I doubted my inner voice and didn’t feel the confidence I feel today. The advice to trust my instincts has stuck with me and guided me through every decision I have made professionally and personally.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Within five years I see myself as an events director for an association or corporate type of organization. I see myself continuing to develop new skills and sharpening current skills to assess the needs of my members and providing solutions through education and engagement. I want to combine my hard and soft skills to make a real impact in the industry by serving as a mentor and global leader to ensure that executives in the business events industry feel valued and are having their skills nurtured.
My role as an events director would give me new opportunities that will continue a path toward my ultimate goal of becoming an executive director/CEO of an organization. I want to contribute to the company’s growth strategy, inspire and coach strong team members, and establish goals that will ensure the future relevancy and success of my organization.