Alena Frey, CMP, 37, works in Chicago as director of education and meetings of American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. As a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Frey discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I oversee the day-to-day operations of our digital and in-person meetings and conferences. I also manage our learning management system and oversee most of the educational technology tools we deploy.
My greatest career accomplishment: In 2015, when I was with the American Planning Association, I conceptualized and implemented a new 5,000-sq.-ft. tech zone during the annual conference. This dynamic, interactive space is located on the exhibit floor and acts as a hub of all cutting-edge software, and new advancements in the technological sphere. Since then, the space has increased in size and hosts 15 to 20 specific exhibitors which offer hands-on experiences for attendees including virtual reality, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and other software tools.
Impressive stats: Ultimately, for the Tech Zone, I secured sponsorship support (both actual dollars and in-kind support) for the first year estimated around a $125,000 value. Since then, this space has grown and brought in close to $100,000 in commercial support yearly, and double that amount for in-kind contributions.
Specific improvement I’ve made: Since arriving AOFAS, I’ve deployed an interactive conference program, revised the mobile app and launched a new learning management system to accompany our face-to-face programs. I’ve also streamlined how we interact with our exhibitors, making it easier for them to supply the information we require and keep the entire team connected.
What I am working on now: We are working on building out the 2019 annual meeting in Chicago. Because the meeting is local for our staff, we are adding some exciting programming to really let our members dig into topics. We are hosting a one-day, hands-on cadaver workshop in our on-premise learning center, which will lead into the first day of conference programing. We are implementing a new Allied Health track to help bring our partners in health care to the meeting and we are focusing on surgeons in-training, or our younger members.
What I do outside of work: I am a huge beer nerd! I volunteer with a few local breweries, and I attend a lot of beer events each month.