Fitting a Fitness/Wellness Zone into the Exhibit Floor

Dr.KimBy Dr. Kim

Integrating a wellness area into conferences and trade shows is a current and novel concept for the meetings and exhibition industry.  Wellness studios or wellness zones offer a place for attendees to learn about personal, conference, workplace and travel wellness, pick up wellness information, and experience fitness breaks.  A wellness studio also offers a mental and physical respite from the noise and crowds of the trade show environment.  The zone is restorative – it offers a place for attendees to re-energize and rejuvenate.

Health and wellness zones have been featured recently as part of open area learning labs with a wide variety of offerings from a tabletop display of wellness resources and TV monitor showing fitness break videos on a continuous loop, to a stage with a seating area featuring wellness talks and live “on-the-go” fitness breaks, to massage and beauty stations, headshot lounges, and fashion shows.

The open space concept and ambient noise pose a challenge to hear the speaker and attendee questions.  Here are things to consider for setting up a comprehensive wellness zone:

  • Location: to draw traffic, integrate into the open exhibit hall or registration area, or create a separate “zone.”  Suggested ways to deal with a noisy environment are provided
  • Seating: regardless if you are using chairs, cube stools or couches, ensure that the seats are not packed too tightly together, enabling participants to exercise at their seats.
  • Tables: roundtables for group learning activities
  • Sound: sound from big speakers on stands travels far, potentially disturbing surrounding groups; alternatively, using several smaller floor speakers keep the sound more confined to the wellness zon This combats the noise and creates an intimate atmosphere. If the presenter moves around lot, position the speakers away from where the presenter walks.
  • Headsets: wireless headphone technology creates intimate events with the speaker being heard through noise-cancelling  Headsets are ideal for serene mind-body breaks such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
  • Microphone: microphone for the speaker and for attendees to ask questions
  • Paneling: dividers provide a noise barrier
  • Flooring: carpet with double padding or other textures (grass, sand, turf) for décor, foot comfort, and noise reduction.
  • Décor: bamboo, drapery, flameless candles, aromatherapy, waterfalls and lighting create ambience and zen-like environment
  • Leader-driven and/or self-conducted activity: include a combination of interactive live mind-body fitness/wellness talks and videos shown on a continuous loop for participants to follow along on their own time
  • Healthy snacks: superfood snack and beverage bar
  • Beauty bar: indulge attendees with a make-up, hair, nail bar
  • Men’s area that includes esthetic and practical services for men (men’s spa that includes manicures, shave stations, sports stretching stations)
  • Quiet zone: mindfulness, meditation, massage (head, body and foot)
  • Wellness tip board where attendees post personal and conference wellness tips to share with others
  • Wellness challenges involving wearable devices (g., pedometers and physical activity trackers such as fitbit) and wellness activities that integrate with the conference app and resultant awards and recognitions.

There are pros and cons to every wellness theatre set-up.  Event producers and decorators who are solution oriented will work within a budget to create the right look and feel for your event’s wellness place and space.

Kim Bercovitz, Ph.D., president and chief exercise officer of Exercise Bytes Inc.

Finding harmony in your office work space

ronnie_schaer5v4 By Ronnie Schaer and Dede Walsh

Harmony in the workspace might appear in the form of the physical environment where you spend the day, at your desk, or your relationship with colleagues you work with.  It also can be a combination of both.  While in an ideal world this might happen, it is usually not the reality.  Can you think of ways to find harmony in your office workspace?  We would like to share our thoughts with you.

walsh_dede_1105130_ppWhat is “harmony” exactly? One meaning of the word is “an orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole”.  Whether you work in an office building or in your basement, it is essential for your office work space to contain a certain harmony.  For some, it’s knowing the paperwork is organized and quickly accessible. However, if you actually saw their office space, “harmony” might not be the first word to come to your mind.

This meaning can also encompass other people we work with. It is only human nature to desire “an orderly and pleasing combination” among our work peers. Most people spend their entire careers seeking out “orderly and pleasing combination of the elements” for their work environments. And, it is truly exhilarating, but not the norm, when the perfect work space and work companions are located.

If your office space is less than harmonious, here are some tips that might help to achieve this “orderly and pleasing combination of elements of the whole”.

Shift your thinking

In some cases, this might mean finding a new job that involves what you are passionate about or making a move to a new position within your organization. Although, this might seem a bit extreme, it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes just getting a “new” or “refreshed” attitude will help too. Why wait until January 1st to make one big change when making 10 little ones will work in a pinch?

Get your office organized

When was the last time you looked at the items on your desk? The desktops in an office speak volumes about a person–whether they admit it or not. Some are too orderly and others are too messy. In any case, your work space may reveal how you operate. Luckily, Martha Stewart has many desk accessories with coordinated patterns to hide all of your flaws and get you back on track.

Communicating in style

Part of finding balance or “harmony” with our colleagues is respecting the way they communicate.  Often, young professionals in the workspace are criticized for not communicating face to face the way seasoned professionals prefer to.  Disharmony can arise when messages are misinterpreted electronically or via social media.  The best way to find balance with co-workers is to respect the manner of communicating preferred by each person and adapt your style to fit the situation.

Finding the perfect office mates

If this article contained only one tip for harmony in the office work space, it would be to tell you there are NO perfect office mates.  We are not perfect human beings and we are diverse in style.  People are not flawless at their jobs. We make mistakes—so why do we stress out about the things we cannot change or control?

The Golden Rule

The Ethic of Reciprocity — often called the Golden Rule — simply states that we should treat other people as we would wish to be treated ourselves. If we respected our office mate’s unique work styles, there would definitely be harmony in the office.  Can you make this your reality?

It is our wish for you to achieve “an orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole” we call “harmony in your office work space.” And, it’s possible this process could take a while to achieve but if done properly, your entire office will be right on the path to success. Let the harmony begin!

Movers & Shakers

DeWitt Ashby is now Director, Trade Shows & Grants Management National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
Mr. David Beckett is now Senior Vice President Operations Experient, a Maritz Travel Company
Ms. Lisa W. Block is now VP of Meetings & Conferences Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Ms. Dasha Cohen is now Director of Meetings American Medical Informatics Association
Ms. Margaret Core is now with Food Marketing Institute as VP, Industry Events Food Marketing Institute
Mr. Wayne Crawford is now Vice President of Sales CNTV (Convention News Television)
Ms. Linda Davis is now Catering Sales Manager Willard InterContinental Hotel
Krista Donlon is now Senior Director of Business Development American Bankers Association
Mrs. Kim Dresser has joined Maryland State Dental Association
Ms. Trudie Finley is now VP, Meetings & Events National Retail Federation
Mr. John P. Gallagher is now Group Vice President, Events Naylor Event Solutions
Ms. Kristin Gibson, CMP, CHSP is now Sr. Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Industry Relations J Spargo & Associates Inc
Ms. Lavette Henderson, CMP is now Director, Meetings & Conferences National Dental Association
Ms. Marci Hickey, CMP is now Vice President of Operations Pet Industry Distributors Association (King Management Group Inc)
Ms. Jamie Hill is now Affiliate Relations Manager International Sign Association
Ms. Sandy Hung is now Senior Director, Member Relations & Meetings American Telemedicine Association
Ms. Donna Jarvis-Miller, CMP, CEM is now Conference Manager American Public Human Services Association
Ms. Susan Jones is now Executive Director Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Association
Ms. Ashley Krawiec is now Director of Marketing & Sponsorships American Society for Engineering Education
Ms. Stacy Kyle is now Operations Manager National Association of Broadcasters
Mr. Alex Land is now Sales Executive, Eastern Region – Tradeshow Corporate & Association Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Ms. Debbie A. Langelier, CEM is now Director of Exhibitions & Sponsorships National Defense Industrial Association
Ms. Anne Mason has joined Experient, a Maritz Travel Company
Megan McDonald is now Director, Meetings & Events and Assistant to the CEO National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
Mr. Mike Moulton is now Director of Operations Transportation Management Services (TMS)
Mr. Michael Nercesian is now Education Market Association Education Market Association
Ms. Sarah O’Hanley is now Manager, Exhibits, Sponsorships and Advertising National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA)
Mr. Gene Sanders is now Sr. Vice President, Trade Shows & Conferences SPI/NPE
Lawrence Stockhausen, III is now Director of Agency Operations Adstrategies Inc
Chris Strong is now Senior Vice President, Conventions & Membership National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
Mrs. Sharon Sullivan is now Vice President, Conferences and Sales LeadingAge
Janelle Touma is now Marketing Manager Summit Group
Sydney Vranna is now Conference Manager SmithBucklin Corporation
Mr. Petey Winters, CASE is now Global Account Executive Marriott Renaissance Baltimore Hotel
Ms. Joy Womack is now Director Event Management Experient, a Maritz Travel Company

Welcome New Members and Congrats to New Certifications

Welcome New Members:

Company Name Title
a2z Inc David Adkins Product Support Specialist
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Ms. Tara Gaskins Exhibits Coordinator
Mrs. Amy Hanley, CMP Senior Director of Meetings and Exhibits
Ms. Arthinia Morgan Exhibits Manager
Association of Equipment Manufacturers Ms. Anne Forristall Luke VP, Political & Public Affairs
Auto Care Association Sheila Andrews Manager, Government Affairs
Conference Managers Rachel A. Aterrado
Education Market Association Mr. Jim McGarry CEO
Mr. Michael Nercesian Exhibit Manager
EventRebels Mr. Alexander Plaxen Director of Marketing
Experient, a Maritz Travel Company Ms. Lauren Helms Project Manager
Ms. Anne Mason Sales Director
Ms. Kristen Roget
Ms. Kathleen Walker Account Coordinator
ExpoBee Bill Sheehan VP & Group Publisher
Global Experience Specialists (GES) David Hunter Senior Operations Manager
International Association of Chiefs of Police Ms. Sarah Guy
Mr. Gene Voegtlin Director of Policy, Outreach & Membership
National Association of Independent Schools Ms. Arlene Kidwell Director of Conference Logistics
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Coryn Alvarez
Samantha Lohse Project Manager, Marketing
National Science Teachers Association Mrs. Moira Fathy Baker Associate Executive Director COO & CFO
Mrs. Jodi Peterson Assistant Exeuctive Director Legislative & Public Affairs
North American Meat Institute Ms. Michelle Fevola Manager, Legislative & Member Affairs
Solar Energy Trade Shows LLC (SETS) Aimee Gabel Vice President
Gary Thuro VP of Marketing & Sales
Transportation Management Services (TMS) Mr. Steven Carney General Manager
Kelly S. Hass VP Business Development
Mr. Mike Moulton Director of Operations
Congratulations on your new certifications:
Maureen Goodson, CMP, with the National Postal Forum
Lavette Henderson, CMP, with the National Dental Assocation
Marci Hickey, CMP, with Pet Industry Distributors Assocation (King Management Group Inc)
Iain Mackenzie, CMP with International Sign Association
Patti Montague, CAE with School Nutrition Association
Elizabeth Wells, CEM with Snack Food Assocation
Lisa Yonkers, CMP with International Assocation of Fire Chiefs

#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Joe Felperin

Joe Felperin CadmiumCD Cup of Joe

Name:  Joe Felperin

Title: Director of Business Development

Company: CadmiumCD

Twitter Handle:  @CCD_JoeF

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

Generate new accounts and service current clients.  In addition, serve as the company’s industry relations representative to the meetings industry organizations.

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

Our services include conference proceedings, on-site audio recording, audio synchronization with presentation slides, abstract collection systems, speaker data collection, review tools, poster galleries, online itinerary planners, exhibitor management tools, and conference education Apps. To learn more about us and our extensive line of products, visit us at

IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

IAEE DC Special Events Committee & Expo!Expo!

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

Passion for the Exhibits Industry and the great networking opportunities within the chapter.

Best IAEE DC Experience:

A couple experiences.  1. Being named volunteer of the month. 2. Participating in the “Smarter than a 5th Grader” with the DC Chapter and winning the competition at Expo!Expo! 2009.

How long have you been in the DC area?

Born and raised in the Maryland suburbs – a true native Washingtonian.

What made you choose to live here?

I choose to continue to live here because I love the DC area and still have many friends that I grew up with in the area.

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

The Jefferson Memorial… can see all the monuments from there, the White House and the Tidal Basin.

How did you first get involved in the industry?

I started selling custom exhibit booths in 1997 and then moved into show management selling exhibit space and sponsorships.

Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:

Our company CadmiumCD is proud to be partners with IAEE for Expo Expo providing our Call for Speakers, Speaker Management and Attendee Itinerary Planner modules.  I was part of bringing that opportunity to CadmiumCD.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

There are a couple that come to mind.  For clients – CES and NAB.  For Industry – ASAE Annual, IAEE Expo!Expo! and IMEX 2014.


Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?

MPI WEC since we partner with them and I haven’t had the chance to attend yet.

What book are you currently reading?

My books are industry related…..all the industry publications and social media.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

Sports and Leisure.  I still ref basketball, ump softball, play golf and softball plus attend as many music and theatre events as possible.

Joe Felperin Painting at HCEA 2015  11218481_10152891593556693_1256209271081146020_n

Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

Far East, Israel and South America.

Joe Felperin June 2014

If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

Coaching sports


Joe Felperin with Matt & Hannah at Graduation 2015

#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Susan Haning

Haning FIL-9134

Name:     Susan Haning, CEM, CMP

Title:  Director of Business Development

Company:  NAILBA

Twitter Handle: @susanhaning

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

Sales for exhibits/sponsorships and advertising – new business development in all areas

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

NAILBA is the National Assn. of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies- a mouthful for sure.  Our members are Business General Agencies who sell life insurance products to agents and producers who in turn sell to the consumer.   Currently our members write over 18 Million Dollars in annualized premiums.


IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

I have been in the past on a local level involved on the board (Secretary) and on the membership committee and various other committees.  On the National level I was on the education committee, Expo Expo committee, Senior Level Round Table committee and Chair of the Education Committee.   I was also on the CEM Faculty for a number of years as an online instructor but took a sabbatical to make room for the younger up and coming members.

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What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

Comradery and mentorship.     When I started out in this Industry I knew no one and one of my best moves was joining IAEM and volunteering on a committee- especially at the registration table and selling the 50/50 tickets.   I met so many nice people who helped guide me in my career path.   I will always attribute my success to my early beginnings with IAEE.   (or NAEM as it was when I first started).

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Best IAEE DC Experience:

I have to give you two:  I would say one of my MOST memorable experiences was singing Karaoke with Bill McGlade at one of the local Happy Hour events.   I think clothes were thrown at us or we threw them at the crowd and one of us went down on our knees – it was truly an amazing experience and I’m not sure it was the singing that did it!  😉    Professional best experience was being the Chair of the National Education Committee and leading a group of esteemed colleagues for a year in creating one heck of an education program for ExpoExpo!.   It was rewarding working with and leading so many amazing individuals from all different   companies and different skill levels.  Truly a rewarding experience and one I’ll always treasure and never forget.

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How long have you been in the DC area?

Since 1986 – 29 Years

What made you choose to live here?

I was born in DC- my father (ARMY Biochemist) and my mother (Medical Secretary) worked at Walter Reed and until he turned civilian in 1968 we lived in DC/MD area- I have to add a cute little note here- my parents met the first day my Mom started at Walter Reed and they married 3 weeks later- LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT and they were married for 44 years prior to his death!!    We then moved to Morgantown, WV where my Dad pursued a Dental degree at WVU (GO MOUNTAINEERS) and once he was established and set up a practice we stayed and grew up in my Mama’s hometown of Shinnston, WV.   I loved the small town life BUT I hankered for big city living so during my Senior Year of college I visited the DC area and interviewed at Bloomingdales as part of their Management Training Program.   3 days after high school graduation I packed up the car and moved to the DC area and started working for Bloomies.  I actually lived in Boliver, WV (Harpers Ferry suburb) for about 6 months because I couldn’t afford to live in or around the Tysons area.

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

Ummm – so many places.    I love National Harbor- the energy, the shops, the food and most especially the water.   I love sitting down with a glass of wine and just watching the people and/or the boats go by or getting on the Ferris Wheel and seeing the magnificent sights that one can view for miles.  And the dueling piano bar….well let’s just say I’ve had many a fun time there!!


How did you first get involved in the industry?

Funny story- I was at one of our local hangouts Rumors and met a guy who was in the Industry and who worked for Andrews-Bartlett.  He traveled all the time (sometimes canceling dates) but his job sounded so exciting.  I had joined Bloomingdales because I wanted to be a buyer and travel but that wasn’t happening so I thought why not do what this guy is doing it sounded fun, exciting and so different.  I had NEVER even heard of or knew anything about the hospitality Industry but I wanted to try it.  I interviewed as a customer service representative and got the job and that was in August of 1989 and I’ve been in the Industry ever since and loved every minute of it (okay maybe not EVERY minute but almost all of it J).

Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:

See above in committee involvement.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

NACS- National Assn. of Convenience Stores.   I actually used to work on the NACS show for 10 years and it is the most fascinating show I have ever attended.  From Playboy Bunny’s to Twinkie Costumed Characters, to chocolate, to Condom Man and to just about EVERYTHING you can imagine you would find in a convenience store.

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?

International Assn of Amusement Parks.   I love amusement parks (even though I get sick on roller coasters and rides that go round and round) but I love the energy and adrenaline rush you experience at parks.


What book are you currently reading?

James Patterson’s “Cross my Heart”.   I also read a lot of David Baldacci.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

FREE TIME – WHAT’S THAT?   He He just kidding.   Cooking- I love to entertain and make appetizer type foods.   I currently cater a friend’s parties at her store and most recently helped cater a friend’s retirement party.

Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Brazil.



If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

I would love to own a Bed-and-Breakfast Inn on the Cape or some Beach/Fishing Community and only be responsible for the food/cooking part of the running the Inn.    Or if this didn’t pan out then selling pepperoni rolls on the Italian Riviera along the beach would be nice too!!!



Chef Geoff's B-day Dinner

#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Dan Ketelsen

DJK Headshot

Name:  Dan Ketelsen

Title: Director of Convention Sales – Mid Atlantic Region

Company: Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau

Twitter Handle: @DJKdanketelsen

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

I’m the face of Anaheim in DC!

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

Anaheim has the largest convention center on the West Coast

IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

Attend Luncheons

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

With a convention center like Anaheim, we want to talk to everybody at IAEE!

Best IAEE DC Experience:

Attending an IAEE DC Young Professionals Happy Hour, even though I was too old to be “Young”

How long have you been in the DC area?

18 months

What made you choose to live here?

My boss asked me to move here, best decision I ever made!

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

Too many to list, it’s such a great area

How did you first get involved in the industry?

I dropped out of college in 1993 and got a six month work visa in the UK.  I worked in a tiny little hotel in Oxford and fell in love with the hospitality industry.  After that I went back to school and changed my major to HRIM, the rest is history, 17 years with Hyatt Hotels all over the country and 2.5 years with the AOCVCB.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

The NAMM SHOW every January in Anaheim, 99,000+ by invite only attendees

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?  Star Wars Celebration, CES, National Restaurant Assn Show

What book are you currently reading?

I read cook books

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

Photography, check me out at

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Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

Tough question, Nova Scotia is currently high on the list

If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

Chef or Freelance Photographer

DJK Wine

DJK Yellowtail

Culture Creation Recap



I had the pleasure of attending IAEE’s Culture Creation 2015 which was held in conjunction with Exhibitions Day and I’m so glad that I did! This workshop centered around the strategic mission of your organization’s exhibitions/meetings/events and how to make these better while giving resources that can help achieve successful outcomes.

We were very impressed with the presenter caliber. The speaker, John S. Parke, was engaging, funny and very knowledgeable. He kept the entire audience engaged throughout the workshop.  My entire team enjoyed his comical anecdotes which were very relevant to the material discussed as well as the fact that he offered “after school” assistance very openly and freely to the workshop attendees.

What stood out to me the most from the workshop, was the use of the STEP (Social, Technological, Economical, Political) analysis which is used to help determine the external forces that can affect your organization’s events in the four categories mentioned.  At NTP, we conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis as part of our post-show report, which is presented to each of our clients when their event is complete. With the use of STEP, this is a great way to determine some important factors prior to their event(s) and help lessen the list of Weaknesses/Threats. Since the completion of the workshop, NTP has already incorporated the STEP analysis into a planning meeting with one of our clients.

Overall, the workshop was informative and very applicable to our industry. I also think that the information provided was insightful and easy to implement across the board. I feel it offers great value to office teams and has excellent takeaways, as shown by our own team’s usage! I definitely recommend this event to other groups!

Necoya Tyson, Senior Operations ManagerNational Trade Productions, Inc.

IAEE HQ Young Professional Member Feature

In their June issue, the IAEE Young Professionals YPConnect newsletter featured DC Chapter member Marissa Maybee!

Here is reprint of the article! If you wish to view the original, check out the June issue of the IAEE YPConnect Newsletter.



 Marissa Maybee

Director, Insights and Analytics

Bear Analytics

Q: What are your responsibilities in your current role?

We’re a small startup, so we all wear many hats.  I work with data every day– cleaning, consolidating, and analyzing data that has been generated by events and other association verticals like membership and social media.  I also contribute to client relations, project management, and Bear Analytics’ overall marketing efforts.

Q: What drives your involvement with IAEE?

IAEE is where the events industry comes together, so it’s important to attend local chapter events and be a part of it all.  Since I am on the consulting/supplier side now, the events are even more valuable—I can keep up with former clients, touch base with current clients, and network with potential clients all in one fell swoop.

Q: What events or networking opportunities are most beneficial or appealing to you as a young professional?

There are so many new technologies that are being deployed in the events space and I value the opportunity to hear how they’ve worked for my peers and to take the temperature on “what’s next.”  And I’m already looking forward to attending Expo!Expo! for the first time this year since it’s taking place so close to DC.  I’m helping put together a panel on event data and strategy, so I guess you could say I plan on diving in!


Q: What was your most memorable IAEE experience?

My company hosted/moderated one of our local chapter’s luncheons.  We were talking about millennials and event engagement, and the audience got really involved, sharing what had worked for their events, expressing common frustrations, and asking tons of in-depth questions.  Since I am a millennial, I felt like I knew a lot about the topic already, but the collective event knowledge and experience in the room was pretty humbling.


Q: What are a few of the fun perks at your job/association?

We work in a start-up office space, so there is an arcade, beer on tap, and dozens of other small companies and start-ups to meet.  Also, I’m inquisitive by nature, so I enjoy getting to dive in to different industries since our clients hail from the media to healthcare industries to everything in between.


Q: How did you get involved in the industry?

I didn’t love my first job out of college (it was in PR), so I decided to explore my options and talked with a temp agency.  The first interview they sent me on was for a coordinator position at an association that held events all around the world; even the junior staff were expected to travel.  I was amazed that I’d found such a cool organization and that international travel could be a component of my job at that point in my career.

Needless to say, I got the job and loved it.  My experience there put me on the path to getting hooked on industry and event data, earning my MBA, and making the leap to join a data analytics startup my association coworkers had founded.

Q: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?

If you go out of your way to help people professionally—passing along opportunities, resumes, making introductions—it can help you ten-fold in the future.

And, don’t be afraid to take risks.  If you’re never scared of failure or are never put in a position where you could fail, then you aren’t being challenged enough.  One quote that I find really inspirational is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Jean Bryant

IAEE Lucheon at Westin Hotel Alexandria

Name: Jean Bryant, CEM

Title: President

Company: Professional Trade Show Partner

What are your responsibilities with your company?

My primary role is to secure freelance projects working with associations and corporate companies to assist them in bringing their projects to completion.  In many instances, I am the extra hand that is needed on their team or have a specific expertise for their short-term project needs. In the past year I have been fortunate to have handled a variety of projects that have encompassed exhibit space, sponsorship and advertising sales, as well as sponsorship development, onsite operations and rebooking booth space responsibilities.

Tell us about your company:

I started Professional Trade Show Partner as a way to continue working in an industry and at a profession that I truly enjoy while embracing more of a life-work balance.  Trading a three-hour a day commute to setting my own schedule was a great motivator to start an independent contracting business.  This is the best of both worlds.

IAEE DC Involvement:

I am a frequent attendee at the DC chapter luncheons and when needed, have assisted committee members with tasks.

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

The networking is number one!  The majority of my business projects are due to referrals from IAEE DC chapter members.   Recently I shared with a new luncheon attendee how I am still friends with several people who reached out to make me feel welcome at my very first luncheon more than 20 years ago.  The wealth of experience alone is reason enough to be involved with IAEE DC.  Having a network of colleagues that share experiences and offer solutions to industry challenges is invaluable.  I would also highly rate the speakers and education programing presented at the luncheons.

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Best IAEE DC Experience:

I really enjoyed the Fun Night at Wolf Trap and would like to see those events revisited and scheduled again.  The dinner was a nice relaxed event and the shows were entertaining.

How long have you been in the DC area?

I was born in Washington, DC and when I was five years old my family moved to the Wheaton, Maryland area in Montgomery County.

What made you choose to live here?

Almost 35 years ago, my husband and I decided to build a house and live in Mount Airy, Maryland.  We fell in love with the area and buying land, property taxes and building a home were more affordable in Frederick County than other surrounding counties.  At that time, we both had family in the Montgomery County area.

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

I don’t visit DC places often, but enjoyed the Bethesda area while working there.  There are lots of restaurants, the fresh vegetable market and unique shops to visit. My favorite side trip was to Accent Beads – the jewelry supply store in north Bethesda.

How did you first get involved in the industry?

I applied for a local job with Sugarloaf Mountain Works thinking that it was a group that wanted to preserve the Sugarloaf Mountain in Frederick Maryland!  After the interview and subsequent job offer – I was in the consumer show business for the arts and crafts industry.  After leaving Sugarloaf, I moved on to the association trade show world of machine tools, then on to another association responsible for a medical meeting show for AABB, the American Association of Blood Banks.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

I love Expo! Expo!  I can hardly wait to see the exhibit hall, attend the education sessions and network with many of the friends and colleagues that I connect with at this annual event.

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?

Probably a jewelry show.

What books are you currently reading?

Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander.  This is on recommendation from Dan Cole during one of our chapter luncheon programs.  Also Nora Roberts, The Boonsboro Inn trilogy.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

I design and make jewelry.  My husband Ben and I belong to an agility dog club and spend time training Molly, our English springer spaniel.

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Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

I would like take a few weeks to cover the entire California coast to visit the “sea glass capital” and each of the lighthouses.

If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

I am so blessed in my current situation that I can’t think of anything else I would rather do at this point in my life.