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Rock Your Trade Show: Inspiring interviews with Industry Insiders, Executive Leaders, Marketers and Influencers who share their insights, challenges and lessons learned so you can rock Your next trade show.

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Sep 16, 2019

Have you been thinking about making a career move but aren’t sure where to start?  Kristen Leikwold not only changed jobs from working at association management company for HCEA, to becoming a meetings and convention planner for a corporation, she also moved to a new city.  In this interview, Kristen shares how networking and making great connections gave her the opportunity to find a position at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.  Whether you are in a corporate role, work at an association or are on the agency side of trade shows, the insights and advice in this episode will definitely help you on your career journey. 

This is the first of three interviews about a team at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and their Director, Dawn Will who has created an incredible culture and positive culture for personal growth.

4 Steps to Making a Successful Career Move

  1. Get involved and make connections. Kristen shares how HCEA helps people network and the power of the connections you make by belonging to an organization like this one can lead to career opportunities.
  2. Find the right fit. If you are planning to make a change, review the role and more importantly the people you will work with to ensure you will be able to succeed.
  3. Ask about the onboarding process. Kristen explains why having a mentor is so important if you are trying something completely new.  In this case, her boss helps her to understand the role and discover everything she needs to do her job.
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone. We talk a lot about this idea on the show, and in this case, Kristen took on a role she hadn’t known before and found she feels rewarded and very happy.

In her past, Kristen worked at Disney and it helped her learn customer service and how to put a smile on-for the entire day and offer a personal touch.   When someone feels you are listening to them and knows that you understand and are listening, it makes a big difference.  Kristen shares how talking with thousands of people in a day at Disney, she always found a way to connect, even if there was a language barrier, by offering a smile, it made it work out.

If you are on the fence about attending an event, Kristen describes how HCEAConnect is an association that has so much to give.  Even if it is getting that one business card or making a connection with the one person who will help you when you need it, there is nothing else like it. 

If you have plans to attend an industry event like ExhibitorLive, there is a special track for healthcare exhibitors called HCEAInnovate.  It is a half day workshop where you will learn something specifically tailored to you.  

Kristen’s Advice: Get involved with an association there is so much to learn, it is the perfect place to make connections, network and you may even find your next career opportunity.

If you have questions and want to reach Kristen directly, you can email her

What is your biggest problem with your career or trade show program?  Reach out to me, at Rock Your Trade Show  I  am here to help provide insights, advice and connections so you can rock your next show. 

Credits: As always, a big thanks to Christy Hausslerat Team Podcast for editing this episode.