• #HeresWhy Q&A: Abby Eastman

    In our next installment of our #HeresWhy industry Q&A sessions, we interviewed Abby Eastman, Meetings Coordinator, International Sign Association and IAEE 20 Under 30 recipient. Abby shared how she got started with exhibitions and events and why she would encourage others to pursue a career within the industry.

    How did you get started in the events and exhibitions industry?

    I started out as a communications major at Virginia Tech. I was always involved with events in college and ended up minoring in event management. I helped with my sorority’s event planning and joined the class of 2013 Leadership team, where I was in charge of the Ring Dance Banquet, an important tradition at Virginia Tech. Right after graduation, I worked as an Event Service Manager at the Washington Hilton. Then I moved from the hotel side of things to meetings coordinator at ISA.

    Why do you attend events?

    Events allow me to connect with vendors and other people in the industry that I may not have seen since the previous year. Education is one of the other main reasons my coworkers and I attend. We enjoy going to educational sessions and learning about new trends in the industry and up-and-coming technology.

    How do you measure your trade show success?

    We measure our tradeshow success by gauging attendee involvement, and success of the show by our exhibitors. We want our attendees and exhibitors to have valuable connections and if that happens then we consider the show a success.

    How can the industry better promote/support itself?

    I’m passionate about new technology and signage, and I think sometimes these industry conversations are a bit delayed. So I’d really like to see the industry start talking about new technology right when it comes out.

    Additionally, promoting shows like Expo! Expo! at other big events around the country such as the Destination Showcase could increase awareness and show participation.

    What new or exciting developments are you currently working on?

    I’m working on my CMP right now. I applied a few weeks ago and will be taking the exam in May. I also just joined the DC IAEE Chapter and their new volunteer committee. We’ll be doing fundraising efforts and planning events for Friends of Guest House, which helps post-incarceration women successfully reenter the DC community. I’m really excited to get more involved, and we’ll hopefully grow the volunteer efforts we’re starting.

    What about the exhibitions and event industry is important to you?

    Events are what bring people together. I think it is so important that these events create memorable experiences and connections for attendees. Discovering new and innovative ways to create those fun experiences is what it is all about. Whether it’s through the food, entertainment, education events, or networking events-it’s all about leaving a lasting impression. A takeaway that that individual can use in their work, or their next event.

    Would you encourage people to pursue a career in this industry? Why?

    100% yes. Anyone would be happy in this industry! The people are so welcoming and helpful. If anyone is ever interested in joining the industry, this is the perfect place to start a career and definitely has longevity. You make so many connections you wouldn’t normally make by going to these events. I see myself staying in this industry for a long time.


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