Member Spotlight

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Jen Poyer

Catalina Island Conservancy

You have been an active member of ILEA for many years now.  What do you think is the importance of not just being a member, but being involved? 
I served on the LA chapter board for nine years and then began to work on the international committee level - which was insightful on a whole other level. Having the opportunity to make connections around the globe, even though my "real job" was focused more locally not only made me a go-to for resources from other local event professionals doing work abroad, but it opened my mind to the ways strategic thinking about the design and execution of events varies in different markets. In August 2018, I was invited to join the ILEA Board of Governors - which again, fills me with inspiration through the different people I meet, the different projects we work on, and the long term planning for ILEA. It is a unique opportunity to have a way to give back to the industry while advancing it at the same time. I had a teacher in high school who once told me that everyone you meet knows something you don't, learn it from them. I think I have always taken that to heart and commit myself to life-long learning. Being involved with ILEA on this deeper level has really provided those opportunities - and some amazing connections to people around the globe, many who have become great friends over the years.

You have traveled to a lot of cities over the years, what city did you really enjoy that you had not been to before? 
What were some of the great things about this place? In 2012, I was invited to speak at Events Asia in Manila, Philippines - completely because of ILEA and a connection through the ILEA Hong Kong chapter who wanted to feature as many speakers as possible with the CSEP designation to raise awareness for it in Asia. I had not traveled to Asia before and the experience was eye-opening and really amazing. I was surprised at the true amount of heartfelt hospitality that everyone there shared with all of us - and with each other. Plunk down a bunch of ILEA members from around the globe anywhere and we are sure to have great conversations and learn from each other. A group of us stayed on after the conference to experience more on the island of Boracay - again, amazing hospitality and development of great friendships. I stayed on even longer and traveled solo to where my grandfather served in the Navy during WW2. The whole experience was an opportunity that I would not have had without my connections from ILEA.

What show(s) are you binge watching now (if any)?
Screen time is a bit limited but after resurfacing from the production of our Conservancy Ball earlier this month, I just started watching the beginning of Mad Men - which I joined late in the game when it originally aired. I find the show so beautifully done - from details in scenic design, props and costume to the subtleties in scripting and character development. I also really like that behind the curtain look into the advertising world and find their brainstorming sessions inspirational in their own way. Bosch is another favorite - love the cinematography and the featured LA locations.

What is one of your favorite things about Los Angeles? 
I am a third-generation Southern California native, but growing up I spent most of my time in Long Beach and Orange County. My dad's side of the family had a lot of connections to downtown LA and I have been spending more time lately discovering that history and finding those places that still exist - standing in the same spot that my great-great grandfather once stood is always super cool to me. I am a bit of a nerd with history and old architecture - and I love that LA still has so much of that - and how it is woven into the modern buildings of today.

What is an important tip you would share with someone new to the event industry?  Is there something that constantly surprises you about the industry? 
Get involved and stay humble. Learn from others and what they have experienced. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that you have at your fingertips through ILEA. Do the work and get the hands on experience - even if you've been doing it for a while, there are always opportunities to learn more. Take the more interesting route - there is a lot to be said for understanding the process and not just the quick answer.