This year, PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties program honors its 10th class of exceptional young leaders in the business events industry. Class member Taylor Savage, DES, CTA, CFMP, regional director at Experience Columbus, shares what about the industry motivates and inspires her.
What have you learned about yourself — and the industry — during the past few years of uncertainty?
I have learned that everything is so much more interconnected than I ever realized. Being from Columbus, collaboration is in my DNA, but over the last few years I have gained an entirely new understanding of what collaboration is and why it’s so important. Our industry has recovered as well as it has because industry professionals genuinely care enough about one another to invest time and collaboration to make each other and our industry better. We bring along other industries, and “connect dots” to advance purpose.
What do you like most about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is the people I get to work with every day. My coworkers are my family and my clients and community inspire me. A close second to the people is the fulfillment I get out of understanding the purpose of an event and connecting that purpose with resources that add value. In my own life, I know that I’ve been provided with so many opportunities as a result of networking and collaboration. I’m inspired by the impact meetings have in shaping the world and I appreciate that, in my position, I play a vital role.
As in-person meetings have resumed, what — if anything — do you think has changed about gathering face to face compared to pre-pandemic events?
I think one of the greatest changes is the priority of ensuring events are inclusive for all. It’s not about accommodating individuals at events anymore, but it’s about ensuring events are fundamentally inclusive for everyone. Equality always has been important, but I believe the pandemic shed light on the ways that the meetings and events industry can lead and make more conscious decisions for inclusion for all, always.
What book or podcast do you recommend as essential for event professionals?
There are two podcasts that I am loyal to: “Armchair Expert” with Dax Shephard and Monica Padman, and “Pivot” with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. “Armchair Expert” is where I learn more about the human condition, which I think is so important in the events industry — I can’t get enough. I have been a huge fan of Scott Galloway since seeing him at PCMA Convening Leaders 2022, and I appreciate his opinions and predictions on current events. He and Kara Swisher have differing opinions and explore those differences on the podcast.
What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing careers in the events industry?
Our industry is all about connections. My No. 1 piece of advice is to always seek to learn from your peers. The meetings and events industry is unique in that colleagues and peers genuinely want you to succeed, and if you lean on your connections to collaborate, brainstorm, and seek solutions, you’ll thrive.