IAEE Midwestern Chapter Young Professionals Committee

2020 Midwestern Chapter Young Professional Expo! Expo! Experience
Victoria Garcia 

This week, I had the pleasure of experiencing something from a different point of view. I was presented with the opportunity to attend Expo! Expo! – as an attendee. Being the Exhibits and Business Partnerships Coordinator at IFT, this was quite a refreshing change for me. I went into it with hopes of finding ways to serve my specific audience of exhibitors better. I got so much more. You always hear content is King and how no one has yet found a way to truly deliver high-quality results in a virtual platform to exhibitors while providing value. However, the content was always something I took for granted. I never gave content much thought; I was too busy engaging my exhibitors (acting as a servant to my audience, shout out to Sam Potolicchio for that gem!) I now see how this is a mistake. I believe it is more important than ever to remove this segmentation of exhibitor vs. attendee in terms of the event experience and find a way to create one cohesive event with few barriers’ for either perspective. Leveraging what we know about content and the value people derive from it and allowing customers to benefit from that sounds like a win-win to me.

More than ever, I felt a sense of community “walking” through the virtual Expo! Expo! Event. I saw my fellow YP’s presenting, attending, and just showing up. I saw industry veterans speak on how much change they had to conquer to find a way to be successful in this weird limbo we are in. I have got to say it was so nice to be able to relate to some of these people who have 20-30 years of experience behind them. We are a resilient bunch, and I am proud to be part of this industry. 

Regarding the actual content, it was hard to choose which sessions to attend. Luckily for me, I believe most sessions were recorded and will be available on-demand until the end of January, so I still have time to get the most out of the program lineup. Some key learnings I will carry with me throughout my professional career:

  • Create and foster a network of individuals that add value to your goals. Likewise, make sure you add value to theirs.
  • For every answer you receive, make sure to follow up with at least four more questions.
  • Keep in mind there are disabilities you cannot see, and we need to work on accommodating everyone from the get-go. ASL and captioning for virtual events should not be considered extras, and they should be considered essential.
  • Have the intention behind every interaction. Understand we are now in the position of show managers to train everyone for every virtual event, which is most certainly a good thing when done correctly.
  • We now have data!! Let's use it.

Our industry might feel like it's dying, and it might seem like a bleak future for events. But as our grandparents, parents, or mentors have said – Rome was not built in a day, and I do not think McCormick place was either. So, with patience, persistence, and creative problem-solving, we can build our industry back up. If there is something I knew going into this week, it is that we are smart, adaptable, evolving, and capable individuals. We will figure this out, and we will prosper even if it is just from sheer will. 

 


About the IAEE Midwestern Chapter Young Professionals Committee:

The objective of IAEE's Midwestern Chapter Young Professionals Committee is to provide focus on the needs of those who are at the beginning of their career paths. 


The goals of the Young Professionals Committee shall include but are not limited to:

  1. Continue to identify young professionals within IAEE’s Midwestern Chapter membership, determine their special needs and expectations and develop initiatives specifically designed to meet their needs.
  2. Recommend educational, networking and other programs and initiatives to IAEE with the needs of young professionals in mind.
  3. Develop new initiatives designed to attract, engage and retain individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests.
  4. Contribute to and support IAEE’s student outreach efforts aimed at raising awareness of the value of IAEE membership and recruiting student members.
  5. Provide a social and professional support network for this important segment of IAEE Midwestern Chapter members.

Estimated Time Commitment:

Members of the IAEE Midwestern Chapter Young Professionals Committee will be expected to meet 6 times each year via teleconference.  Conference calls will generally last 60 minutes each.  In addition, members are encouraged to attend all IAEE Midwestern Chapter events and other networking activities.

Teams within the committee may be established to address specific tasks.  In this event, members of the task-specific team may be required to participate in additional teleconferences.  


To be a part of the Midwestern Chapter's Young Professionals Committee, visit our
Join a Committee webpage.


If you need assistance justifying your attendance at IAEE Midwestern Chapter programs, use the form found here.  You can populate the items marked in red to relate to each program you're interested in attending.