The Events Expert Interview Series #16: Elizabeth Glau

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We've been interviewing expert event professionals in our industry, and sharing their insights, advice, and unique experiences. This week we sat down with Elizabeth Glau, the expert on applying emotional intelligence to her role as a Product Marketing Manager at Sciensio, as well as the myriad of other shoes that she fills.

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1) You've got an interesting combination of roles: product management, event marketing, social media...can you share a bit about how your career path led to your current role at Sciensio? And what does a typical day look like for you now?

As an introvert who enjoys connecting with people and connecting others, the invention of social networking started the fire. Peers I met through online communities talking about making events about participants instead of things were the fuel. Opportunities to consult, speak, and write about these topics allowed me to champion a shift in the way we design events, which is what I'm still fired up about!

While I was a potential client of Sciensio's, the founders saw that passion and decided they needed me on the team. Now my days are spent setting up the foundation for Sciensio's sales & marketing operations and acting as the voice of the customer while educating our industry about a solution to communication with attendees.

2) What's the biggest challenge you face in your work? 

We have so much interest but we have a hard time getting to everyone. We're fixing that problem. Part of the solution will be our self-service platform for creating EventBots (AI chatbots for events).

3) What types of event-related technology do you use or interact with?

Two of my personal favorites are Interactive Meeting Technology and Spigot Labs. Related to your first question, Samuel Smith, the founder of Interactive Meeting Technology was one of those people early on who fueled my passion for participatory events. Scott Vitale, the founder of Spigot Labs was another person who appreciated my enthusiasm and diverse experience in our industry enough to invite me to participate on his board.

4) What do you see as the biggest trend(s) in events this year, particularly in relation to event technology? 

Mindfulness and intention, which planners are starting to use both to design experiences but also to make event technology decisions. I can honestly say, because it was happening to me when I was a planner, that using technology for the sake of "digitizing" an event or being seen as "with it" is starting to fall apart.

The founders of Sciensio love the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory which helps you take a more strategic look at why you are hiring a product. Make the job it is doing the focus, not the technology itself. 

5) If you could give event planners / marketers one piece of advice, what would that be?

Don't neglect your personal brand or your professional development. I know you are busy, but if you invest in those areas, you'll have an easier time getting your next job or tackling the next wave of innovation that hits us. Look outside of your bubble for those opportunities. Our industry crosses every other industry so you can find fruitful connections in lots of places!