Catching up with Allison Brennan, the 2019 PCMA Capital Chapter Emerging Professionals Intern
The third rotation of PCMA’s Capital Chapter Emerging Professionals Internship was on site in Los Angeles, CA for their annual EduCon meeting. In LA, I had the opportunity to work directly with PCMA’s events team and take part in the conference.
My first day at EduCon, I assisted with registration, where I was able to meet several attendees and see a few familiar faces from within the industry! I enjoyed aiding with registration not only because of the friendly attendee interaction, but because it also gave me the opportunity to compare registration at EduCon to registration at ASCO, where I was during my first internship rotation. Every attendee I interacted with was extremely friendly and made me feel very welcomed to my first official PCMA conference.
Following registration, I attended the opening reception at Novo. I was able to see En Vogue preform and welcome the attendees to Los Angeles and EduCon 2019. In addition to the performance space at Novo, there was also a floor completely decked out in a Friends’ theme for attendees to mingle on the rooftop of the facility. I enjoyed seeing the way that the space was utilized and designed specifically for the attendees!
My second day at EduCon was the first official day of the conference. I started the day out helping the event team with room sets and then moved back to registration. Looking over the room sets for the first round of sessions gave me a greater idea of conference space and the opportunity to see the different types of room sets first hand that I learned about in my classes. I was also given the chance to monitor the food labels at each break. I continuously looked forward to seeing each meal set because of the creative ways the F&B team at the JW Marriott and vendors designed the meal space. I loved that as attendees were getting breakfast, lunch, or a snack that they could also pick up on ideas from each meal and bring those new tactics to their meetings or shows that they work on.
Following the first official day of the conference I had the opportunity to attend several industry specific receptions with the current Capital Chapter president, Vicki Johnson. I enjoyed meeting many of her friends from within the field and connecting with those who we attended the receptions with us. We were able to check out new event destinations and get a glimpse of event ideas and space within the Los Angeles area.
My third day at EduCon I continued to assist with room sets, was interviewed by CNTV regarding the Capital Chapter Internship, helped with Destination D.C.’s mosaic wall, and sat in on a Main Stage session.
The incoming Capital Chapter president, John Rubsamen, and I later attended an interview with CNTV network, who was streaming interviews regarding the conference. I had never been interviewed in that specific setting before, so it was a great experience to have that type of exposure. It was also a wonderful opportunity and platform to share my internship experience thus far with CNTV and to express to them the wonderful benefits that come with being the Capital Chapter Emerging Professionals Intern.
Following the interview, I had the chance to help Destination D.C. with their mosaic wall. During my time helping them, I was able to pin photos that were being printed to a grid that had come in from Twitter or Instagram by attendees using the #PCMAEC hashtag. I loved taking part in the final mosaic reveal and seeing the finished product of the Lincoln Memorial.
Later, I was able to sit in on the a Main Stage session done by Tamika Catchings. I enjoyed her message about continuing to pursue her passion through each adversity that she faced. Tamika also zeroed in on the emphasis of a positive team environment and as a team member doing all you can to ensure success for the group around you. Her message about doing all you can to promote success is one that I try to live by every day and was grateful to for this reminder from her on the Main Stage.
The closing reception was done at Universal Studies in Hollywood where I was able to meet several more attendees and see how Universal is able to cater to larger attendee group parties. It was a memorable evening to cap off another extremely successful EduCon conference and allow the attendees to relax and embrace their inner teenage selves in Harry Potter World.
Throughout my time at EduCon I was able to learn a plethora of tips and knowledge going into the industry, but was also extremely thankful to have the opportunity to meet so many amazing professionals within the events and hospitality field. I had the best time getting to know more people on a personal level and I loved hearing about how they found their way to PCMA 2019. This industry is clearly very unique and special and I am beyond grateful for the support as I continue to embark on my career and this internship journey.