Stephanie D. Jones, CAE, CMP, works in Alexandria, Virginia, as senior director of conference and events management at Water Environment Federation. As a 2019 15 Over 50 honoree, Jones discusses her passion for the events industry.
How I got here: Just like many of my generation, I fell into the events industry. I’ve held several positions from sign girl, manager of housing/registration, director, and senior director. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to have opportunities to grow in the industry and advance in my career.
Greatest career accomplishments: I would have to say that being named as a PCMA Visionary Award Professional Excellence finalist for Meeting Professional of the Year in 2018 was an epic in terms of career accomplishments. I am also extremely proud to have earned my CAE in 2017.
Impressive stats: In 2016, we increased the price differential between member/nonmember and on-site registration fees for our annual conference. Registration revenue increased by 11 percent in 2017 and by 7 percent in 2018. Over the last three years, we’ve increased our year-over-year registration by 8 percent in 2016, 13 percent in 2017 and 12 percent in 2018.
Specific improvement I’ve made: In 2016, we were the first Experient client that fully deployed their eventBit beacon technology in the exhibit hall, education sessions and show management areas. Now that we have three years of data, we are starting to see trends and can use the data to make data-driven decisions. For example, our exhibitors have been asking to close the exhibit hall earlier on the last day due to low traffic. The eventBit data confirmed that there was a significant decline in attendance then. As a result, the decision was made to close the conference at 3:30p.m. on the last day versus 5:30p.m.
What I am working on now: We are in the last phase of an assessment of our annual conference, WEFTEC, that will provide an event strategy that will align stakeholders around a future vision for the event.
What I do outside of work: I serve as the treasurer of my homeowner’s association, enjoy reading and target shooting at the gun range.