• Meet Emily Eppelheimer, CMP, Senior Meeting Planner, FS-ISAC
• Growing as a professional
• Meaningful mentors
While working toward her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at Indiana State, Emily Eppelheimer, CMP landed a marketing internship with an event planning firm starting her on a path leading to a career.
Emily is an active member in PCMA and MPI, having previously served on the MPI Indiana Chapter Education Committee.
absolute joy to be around.”
When Emily isn’t actively working on a project, she enjoys reading, cooking, and staying close with family. Having recently purchased their first home, Emily and her husband, Brad, look forward to working on home improvement projects together and continuing to enjoy the company of Dexter, the family canine.
Midwest Meetings: What was your first experience in the meetings and events industry?
Emily Eppelheimer, CMP: When I was in college I was offered a marketing internship with an event planning firm. In that position, I was able to shadow event professionals through their daily tasks. I was also able to assist with live events, and being onsite solidified that this was a career path I wanted to pursue. Still today, I get a rush of excitement and butterflies in my stomach at the start of an event.
MM: Tell us about your job.
EE: I am currently the senior event planner with Financial Services - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC). In this role, I am responsible for both live and virtual events. I work alongside Shannon Cooper, Director of Events, to plan four annual summits and a handful of smaller member and committee meetings throughout the year. For the summit events, our event team works collaboratively to execute member events here in the US and internationally. Our US events average over 1,000 attendees and internationally our attendance ranges between 200-400 people per event. We have just recently launched our webinar programming, and the goal is to host roughly 20 virtual events each calendar year.
MM: What do you like most about the industry?
EE: What I love most about the industry is connecting people. As more and more of our world is automated and pushed online, live events create a space where individuals can connect.
MM: To what do you attribute your success?
EE: I attribute my success to my mentors and leaders - I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with some amazing professionals. Shannon Cooper offered me the internship that started my career as an event professional. I am also in my current role at FS-ISAC because of her. During my time with Raybourn Group International (RGI), I was able to work directly under Katie Riggs, who taught me a lot about leadership and encouraged me to grow as a professional.
EE: The best advice I have received is to be an event planner not an event do-er. This helps me delegate tasks to others and lets me focus on the big picture.
As for advice I have given, I cannot say this is the best advice or even good advice, but I always encourage individuals to be their own advocate. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you want.
MM: What is your approach to planning meetings and large expos?
EE: My approach to planning events is to work collaboratively to bring everyone into the process. Large conferences are not something that can be done by one person - it takes a team. When you sit down and actually think about how many people contribute to your event success it’s a huge number. As the planner you may not even meet half of them - front desk staff, bartenders, housekeeping, security, etc. For me, planning a successful event begins with finding event venues, hotels, and vendors who will be great team members. From there I focus on building relationships with my venue, vendors, and staff because I want to work alongside people I can trust. It also makes the process so much more enjoyable when you like the people you are working with each day. Once I have my team I rely on their knowledge and expertise. Instead of bringing my AV provider an idea for how to change the keynote stage - I ask for their opinion. They do this every day - they are going to have a much better idea of changes that can be made. Building strong relationships and working collaboratively is the approach to successfully planning my events.
MM: How do you keep up on industry trends?
EE: I try to keep up to date on industry trends by staying connected within the industry (attending events, reading blogs, and subscribing to industry magazines). As I mentioned previously, I rely on the expertise of my vendors. I ask my venues and service providers what they have done recently that is new or innovative. Whenever I hear that someone has attended an event, I like to pick their brain and find out what other industries are doing for their event attendees.
MM: Describe your all-time favorite entertainment for an event?
EE: All time favorite entertainment for an event is karaoke - I love to watch attendees let their hair down after a long conference day. It may not be the most exciting entertainment, but it is by far my favorite.
Katie K. Riggs offered some final words, “I look forward to watching Emily continue in this field and know she will leave it better than she found it!”
Read about Emily's 'Favorite Things' on the Midwest Meetings Digital Edition.
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