Young Professionals

The IAEE Young Professionals group was created to fill an important niche in the exhibitions and events community. If you are 35 or under and are looking for a network with core life objectives including career advancement, becoming financially secure and being involved in a special interest group while maintaining a social life, then IAEE Young Professionals is right for you.

IAEE supports the young professionals community by offering tailored programs, education and events designed to give future leaders in the exhibitions and events industry with social and professional networking support.

If you have any questions or want to become more involved, please send an email to


The IAEE Young Professionals Committee has set dates for the 2018 Global Chapter Meet Ups that take place in the summer and just prior to Expo! Expo!. Mark your calendars, get in touch with your local chapter, and plan to be there!

Updates from the Chair

Tara Allen, CEM

Sales Manager, GES
2018 Young Professionals Committee Chairperson

June 2018

YPs: We are nearly half way through 2018, and it just keeps getting better and better. We have so much in store for you in the next six months.

First, our first nationwide meet-up of the year is 20 June – be sure to check your local chapter’s website or the IAEE Chapter Events calendar for details on where these meet-ups will be held. The chapters have some awesome venues picked out, from baseball games (Washington, D.C.) to indoor go-karting (Orlando) to a Container Bar (Las Vegas). If you happen to live in a city that isn’t hosting a meet-up, don’t fret. You can join us virtually by following #iaeeypmeetup on social media. Looking forward to having you all be a part of the national meet-up.

Second, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2018 is coming up soon. There are many ways to attend the “show for shows” if you do not have the financial support from your organization. Many of the IAEE chapters have scholarships available. If you need to get in touch with your local chapter, please reach out to Lisa Buchanan, IAEE’s Director of Membership and Chapter Engagement. If you are a new IAEE show organizer member attending Expo! Expo! for the first time, you can attend the show for free as part of the First Timers Program, brought to you by Shepard. Also, applications for the 20 Under 30 Program are now open. You can nominate yourself or someone can nominate you. Honorees receive complimentary registration and hotel accommodations for three nights for Expo! Expo!. Thank you to our 20 Under 30 partner, Synchronicities.

Third, Kim Zonca and I had the pleasure of representing the YPs at the recent IAEE Education Committee meeting, where we reviewed education proposals for the upcoming Expo! Expo! in New Orleans. If there is anything you want to see, learn about or experience, please let me know. The Education Committee and IAEE staff have done a phenomenal job in years past curating content specifically for YPs, and we want to keep the momentum going. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lastly, I want to thank each and every one of you who reached out to me wanting to get involved. We are so grateful for you. Again, if you all need anything at all, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am here for you and will happily help in any way I can.

You all are the best, and I am so grateful to be part of this outstanding community.

YP Spotlight


What is the YP Spotlight? GOOD QUESTION!

IAEE’s Young Professional Committee recognizes a young professional in the exhibitions and events industry in each quarterly YP Connect Newsletter. Fill out the YP Spotlight form and be included in the next YP Connect Newsletter.

You can find all past newsletters by following this link.

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Shawnna Kerns

Marketing Manager
Taffy Event Strategies

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of your current role, and how did you overcome it?
A: Learning multiple platforms at the same time (digital marketing, website management). I took the time to teach myself. There’s so much information out there readily available that all it takes is the time to look for it. You can teach yourself anything.

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Young Professionals In Action