What These Next-Gen Event Organizers Like Most About Their Jobs

Author: Curt Wagner       

group of people listen to man in suit whose back is back to camera

PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat toasts the 20 in Their Twenties class of 2023 during Convening Leaders in January in Columbus, Ohio. (Whatever Media Group)

What do you like best or most about your job? Convene asked a version of that question in our 2017 reader survey, a 2021 COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard, and our 2022 salary survey. The responses have changed over the years as a result of the pandemic and other challenges.

Last winter, we posed the same question to the 20 in Their Twenties Class of 2023. Their answers varied, but one thing was clear — they all appear to find joy in their work despite the disruptions they’ve faced early in their careers.

Here’s what 10 of the 20 class members had to say. Find responses from other class members here: Young Event Pros: What I Like Best About My Job.

My favorite part of my job is being on site during an event. You spend months or years creating something that at times feels distant and intangible, but from the moment you walk into a pre-con you finally get to experience your vision and hard work come to life. Greeting people face to face for the first time at a registration desk, seeing signage that you labored over displayed at the venue, or simply witnessing the joy that your event is bringing to others brings me happiness and makes me want to continue doing what I do.

Nikki Bibbero, owner and event manager, Bibbero Meetings and Events

“The best part of my job is the positive impact I can leave on the event industry in the U.K. I enjoy working on new, exciting, and transformative projects — this is a fast-paced industry where research, innovation, and collaboration are fundamental in order to drive change. In 2022, I worked on a Legacy and Impact Toolkit in partnership with #Meet4Impact, and I am very proud of this resource that helps destinations learn how to navigate and embrace change as a core strategy for long-term strength.

Laura Caprioli, growth & stakeholder manager, business events, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

“This one’s easy — the people! At Visit Anaheim, I work with a laser-sharp group of professionals who advocate for my professional growth and show me what it means to lead with a people-first approach. Beyond my internal team, I love being able to work with local hotels, restaurants, and attractions in our business community to share their stories as it relates to the vibrant attendee experiences in Anaheim.

Sarah Chen, convention marketing manager, Visit Anaheim

“I love the opportunity to dive into the world of another profession and learn about what they do. I love the fact that, because of my clients, I now know just a little bit about marine science and neuromuscular disorders and performing arts, for example. I don’t envisage that I will ever be the smartest person in the room. However, what I love about this job is that you get the opportunity to help the smartest person in the room — and sometimes that feels just as good.

Malcolm Farrell-Mitchell, senior business development manager, Business Events Perth

“I love working with my clients to execute their vision for each event. My favorite thing about my job is seeing the vision come to life, and watching the attendees enjoy every minute of the event.

Kate Fries, meetings manager and business development manager, Bostrom

“I am constantly learning and growing with my company and team — and this is hands down my favorite part of my job. At Soundings, our company mission is to make professional freedom accessible to all by revolutionizing the way companies work with talent. I get to build out a platform for community members to gain access to this professional freedom in their own careers.

Nikki Gonzales, chief of staff, Soundings

“We’re a people-centric industry and some of the best parts of my career have centered on the moments created with — and in service of — our people. Relationships with your peers and partners are built on the foundation of serving our participants, members, and attendees. Fostering strong internal and external partnerships allows for unforgettable experiences driven by the goals of the people we serve and the creativity of those we work with.”

Sibley Guilianelli, CSEP, CIS, registration manager, Creative Group

“My favorite part about the job is learning about so many different associations and what they do. For example, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) caters to African American pilots and workers in the aerospace field by developing and helping connect them with new job opportunities. But the most important aspect to them is the sense of family, which I love. Working with different groups, you can really sense their passion for what they do, which is inspiring.”

Tomell Harbison, meeting and event coordinator, Talley Management Group

“It’s immensely rewarding to know that my work has a positive impact here in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The national and international events that I work to secure yield significant economic benefits as well as social and cultural ones. Working on association business means nurturing long-term opportunities, adopting creative thinking to unique challenges, and collaborating with a wide network of stakeholders. There are so many opportunities to learn in this industry and I love that every convention or exhibition we host at ICC Belfast is a chance for our team to refine our approach but also to hear different perspectives from those working in totally different industries.”

I have the privilege of being an ambassador for undergraduate students working toward event-related qualifications throughout the United Kingdom. I love to show that they also can make a difference in people’s lives and their local communities by bringing people together from across the globe in a meaningful way.”

Eimear Hone, senior association account manager, ICC Belfast

“I absolutely love the innovative energy and collaboration within my Global Licensing Group team at Informa Markets. Even though I’m remote and the majority of the team is in London or California, there is a strong sense of community. The team environment is cultivated through respect, communication, flexibility, and support which foster productivity because we are all dedicated to succeeding as a unit.”

Anna Lommatzsch, CMP, DES, event manager, Informa Markets

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