Name: Jean Bryant, CEM
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.
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.
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.