Meet Kristie Chicki, Sr. Project Manager with a2z
Q: How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as an introverted thrill-seeking planner. I love to do things that get my adrenaline going like racing cars, skydiving, white water rafting and so much more.
On the flip side, I am very much a planner. Give me an event, adventure, vacation, birthday and I will plan each detail of it and provide you with an itinerary and cost. Of course, I love to participate in those things but the planning that goes into it and watching it get executed is what I really enjoy!
When all the excitement is over it’s time for me to hide away with a good book, movie or maybe some video games with my 9-year-old son!
Q: Tell us a little about your role at a2z? What do you enjoy the most about it?
I have been with a2z’s Client Service team for nearly 13 years and prior to that was in show management for a large automotive tradeshow. Since I have been in the industry for quite some time I can definitely be useful as a knowledge matter expert in many areas. This is probably what I enjoy most.
My personal goal has always been to watch how others manage their events and see what works and what doesn’t. The things that don’t work are just as important as the ones that do work!
Nothing makes me happier than working with an event management team and helping them get past a pain point they are struggling with by providing them with suggestions of things I have seen work for others in the past.
Q: What does your typical workday look like?
I’m lucky enough to work from my home office which is a wonderful perk! I spend most of it at my desk interacting with clients virtually, responding to emails and reviewing their a2z-powered event management system.
My favorite part of my daily work is getting to “play” with what makes up the a2z system. I get to try to make magic happen for clients. It’s great to feel like an extended member of their team and contributing to their success every day!
Q: What are your most memorable moments of your time at a2z so far?
My most memorable moments are the times that I have traveled to a client or prospect’s office and done a Business Requirements Analysis for them. Hearing how they are currently running their event allows me to hear the things that are working for them and what needs improvement. That is truly the listening piece. The creative juices start flowing once we have all the key background information.
The real high point of this process is when we meet with them again and actually SHOW them how we can help them with those pain points and maybe even improve the things that are already working. The light in their eyes when they get excited about our suggestions makes it all worth it – for everyone!
Q: What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
I’m most looking forward to some personal things in 2018. I have several trips planned to a number of places I have never been before. I will be checking out Treasure Island in Florida, Napa Valley in California and going with my family to a number of islands I have not experienced! I’m dubbing 2018 my year of personal travel and growth! I hope to learn about the culture of these regions and share these experiences with my friends and family.
Q: What do you think are some of the most exciting changes/improvements coming to the events industry in the future?
Of course, I believe technology will always bring about the possibility of exciting changes, however, I recently was on a call with discussion around an event that was struggling mostly because of the industry that was the focus. The industry is a good and stable one but had become a bit bland. The group felt that the best way to get this well-established industry exciting again was to incorporate more into the event beyond educational sessions, additions to the tradeshow floor and personalized meetings – something many other shows are experiencing currently.
They decided to extend the official show days so that they could incorporate more ‘life’ into the event. They wanted to start and end the event with memorable experiences that the attendees and exhibitors. Interestingly, they felt they could even encourage their event participants to bring their families and turn the event into a mini-vacation. They wanted to mix business and pleasure to revitalize what the perception of their event was all about!
I feel that this group’s thought process is very much in line with the bigger picture in the events industry today and it’d be interesting to see how this trend evolves in the future.
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