Young Event Pros: What I Like Best About My Job

Members of the PCMA 20 in Their Twenties Class of 2023 are finding fulfillment in their work in a variety of ways.

Author: Curt Wagner       

young professionals posing for photo

Members of the 20 in Their Twenties class of 2023 share in a toast during Convening Leaders in January in Columbus, Ohio. (Whatever Media Group)

In a questionnaire last winter, Convene asked members of the 20 in Their Twenties Class of 2023 what they liked most about their jobs. 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 nine of the 20 class members who answered that question had to say. Find responses from the others in our previous story.

“There is so much that I love about being in the events industry. I am never bored. Every day, I get to work on events for a variety of clients that are all in different parts of the planning process. I am passionate about learning new skills, and I get that opportunity every day in the work that I do. I am able to stretch myself and my skills on each project. I have been able to fully immerse myself in so many parts of the meeting planning process without having to switch jobs. Although my events schedule keeps me busy, I always have the support of my incredible team at Meeting Expectations.”

Mary Kate McBurney, conference manager, Meeting Expectations

“I love that I work with so many different people. In one day, I can collaborate with our marketing team on branding and signage plans, and then brainstorm with our industry relations team on sponsorship strategy and finish the day discussing with our vendor partners how to move seven tons of sand into McCormick Place. In my role, I can be creative with my colleagues as we produce impactful activations for the AUA Annual Meeting. I think that I am fortunate to work with so many amazing partners and team members who are incredibly supportive, creative, and just fun to be around. This industry can be stressful, and I find that the people make it all worthwhile.”

Siena Manoogian, annual meetings coordinator, American Urological Association

“My favorite aspect of my job is that no two days are the same. I encounter a wide variety of tasks, clients, projects, industries, and stakeholders every day. I’ve gotten exposure to so many different industries and job functions and love learning about different fields. I am constantly challenged and love to come up with creative solutions for my clients. Most importantly, knowing that what I do helps others become successful in their careers makes being in the association management world so rewarding.”

Ashley Montoya, chief staff executive & membership manager, Civica Associations Conferences & Exhibitions

“The general rule of sales is that you have to believe in the product. At Destination Toronto, we do not sell products, rather we invite others to experience our incredible city. Being a resident of Toronto and a member of the Destination Toronto team, I get to genuinely showcase and share what Toronto can offer to the rest of the world.”

Mara Rodas, sales coordinator, global sales & service, Destination Toronto

“There is a lot to love about roles and responsibilities within the business events industry. One thing that I have begun to notice is how similar, yet how different each company or organization approaches events and how they utilize them to bring in business that ultimately impacts their bottom line. I have been fortunate and am thankful to have worked for organizations that see value in the business events industry. There is something to be said about how much of a positive (and profitable) impact events can bring to the table when planned and prepared for in a strategic and systematic manner.”

Cole Sales, marketing manager, eShipping

“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.”

Taylor Savage, DES, CTA, CFMP, regional director, Experience Columbus

“My favorite thing about my job is that each day is different, and I never get bored. There are so many moving parts in event coordination that going from working with our legal team on contracts to ordering a mechanical bull can all be done in the same day.”

Jenna Sopko, DES, manager, business meetings and events, National Association of REALTORS

“The thing I like most about my job is the people. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from so many amazing people in this industry. Each event comes with its own challenges, and each person comes with their own unique personality. Finding new ways to connect with and build a rapport with clients is exciting and refreshing each time. The team of people I work with are also exceptional; they make going to work every day easy. We have such strong team members who truly care about each other and the events taking place in the facility. I feel extremely fortunate to work in this industry and to have been able to create such meaningful connections with so many amazing people.”

Heather VanderVoet, senior coordinator, event services, Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s

“I am passionate about what I do. My job is an important part of my personal development because I highly enjoy getting involved in organizational activities. Being in the events industry has allowed me to learn and develop skills to manage worldwide events and has taught me how to adapt to many environments, situations, and cultures. I also enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds as I manage each project. I am exposed to many points of view, work styles, and ways to manage professional relationships. I particularly like to create close relationships with my clients that create positive work environments that I see reflected in the final outcome.”

Diana Zarate, client relationship manager, Shocklogic

What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

Convene has asked a version of that question before, and we wrote about the answers three other times:

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