We've been interviewing some of the smartest, most interesting event professionals around--sharing their insights, advice, and unique experiences. This week we sat down with Rachel Wimberly, the powerhouse president of Tarsus Media.
For more info on the Business of Events, download our free whitepaper:
1) Tell us a little bit about your professional journey—how your early days as a news producer and reporter led you to your current position as president of Tarsus Media, overseeing both Trade Show News Network (TSNN) and the recently launched Corporate Event News site?
My big dream was to be Christiane Amanpour—the CNN correspondent who covers conflicts all over the world. With an undergrad degree in military history from The Ohio State University, I moved to New York city and after finding out it wasn't as easy as I thought to get a job at the UN or something comparable, I did the next best thing and started running nightclubs.
A few years later, I went back to school for my master in journalism and after stints at CNN Business News, the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group and Variety magazine, I ended up at Tradeshow Week—the precursor to where I am now.
2) What does a typical day look like for you?
I work from home—so it's always interesting. There is a misconception that working from home means maybe not putting in the hours a 9-5 does. I actually work more than when I was in the office! I am on calls and handling emails all day long, and then at night I often write articles when it is more quiet (there is a child and a dog running in and out all day!) I also travel at least twice a month in the US and overseas.
3) What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
The world of publishing has shifted drastically on every level over the past decade. A switch from print to all online, reader's habits, creating value for advertisers, etc. It's all constantly in flux. Keeping on top of it all, as well as the news, is a massive challenge—but one that (I hope!) we succeed at with both TSNN and Corporate Event News.
4) What types of event-related technology do you use or interact with?
I write about event tech and have an event (TSNN Awards) for the trade show industry, as well as work for a parent company with 160 shows worldwide (Tarsus Group) so I am touching event tech on several levels. Anything from registration systems and lead retrieval to AR, VR, ChatBots, event management software, event apps, etc. etc. etc. There's so much of it!
5) What do you see as the biggest trend(s) in events this year, particularly in relation to event technology?
Artificial intelligence (AI), AR, VR and DATA analytics—also better integration between platforms. Show organizers do NOT want multiple sign ins and they NEED good data to be able to be pulled in a uniform way from all their systems.
6) If you could give event planners / marketers one piece of advice, what would that be?
They always say that event planning in particular is one of the most stressful jobs to have. I always say, live to the fullest and try not to lose any sleep over what we do...!