2021 Connect Association 40 Under 40: Devin Cleary

Devin Cleary is the vice president of global events at Bizzabo.

2021 Connect Association 40 Under 40: Devin Cleary

Devin Cleary, 37
VP of Global Events, Bizzabo

What I Do: 
I own the entirety of Bizzabo’s two largest experiential business units: global events and Event Center of Excellence. In addition to planning, creating and delivering executional excellence of 20-plus events across the Americas and Europe, I lead all experience planning, content, sales, marketing, operations, staffing and budget management. 

How I Got Here: 
Over the past 17 years, I have believed in staying open to all opportunities and taking chances. My previous roles include leading event experience and operations for HubSpot’s Inbound event, overhauling the national events program at the American Red Cross, leading experiential planning for Workhuman, and revolutionizing the global meetings and experiential events program at PTC. I joined Bizzabo in 2021 after recording a podcast episode for the company where I was instantly drawn to their incredible mission to redefine professional events. 

My Greatest Career Accomplishments:
No 1: Voted one of Event Marketer’s Top B-to-B Dream Team members. No. 2: Produced the largest event in PTC’s history, resulting in over 30,000 attendees. No. 3: Successfully recruited and booked Elon Musk as a speaker for an event. 

Impressive Stats: 
I’m responsible for 22 crucial KPIs to track event success (NPS, engagement analytics) and measure ROI (number of qualified sales leads, pipeline generated, accounts influenced). 

I grew event attendance by 20% for all flagship programs, managed a $14 million program budget and maintained expenses within a 10% ratio, and built a $2 million sponsorship program from scratch, including custom client experiences for Samsung, Deloitte, Apple, LEGO, Financial Times and EY.

A Specific Improvement I’ve Made:
I successfully executed Bizzabo’s first hybrid event and implemented a comprehensive training curriculum to educate the company about emerging trends. My team and I also assembled a live test bed of state-of-the-art robots (e.g., mini drones, helium balloons, etc.) designed to study the effectiveness of creating unified experiences between in-person and virtual attendees. 

What Are You Working on Right Now: Currently, I’m excited about the ABM series (hybrid and virtual formats) and geotargeted field marketing activities. We’re championing a bold new team manifesto and also working on a breakdown of Bizzabo’s events org values and mission, operating models, a culture code and outlining a fresh plan forward for all future events. In addition to the manifesto, the team is developing an Event Center of Excellence to drive world-class performance and fuel future growth.

What I Do Outside of Work:
I am on the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA). I also volunteer with American Red Cross, The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) and MassChallenge. I always prioritize socializing with friends and family during any downtime. I grew up in Florida, so I really enjoy nature and outdoor activities of all kinds (e.g., hiking, kayaking, swimming). Also, a true passion of mine is good health. I make it a point to invest in daily exercise, such as weightlifting or cardio. Separately, I try to engage in at least one creative activity outside of work per week: listening to a playlist, watching a fashion show, painting, cooking or even writing. 

Favorite Vacation Destination:
San Juan, Puerto Rico. I enjoy a pristine stretch of beach, blue skies and a tropical landscape to create the ultimate relaxing haven. I love Caribe Hilton. 

Favorite Icebreaker Line: 
‘If you could tour with any band, which band would you choose?’ 

Travel Hack: 
Use packing cubes—a wonderful tool that helps save space and helps organize your clothing. They’re reusable fabric cubes that you can stack and place in your suitcase. They’re very affordable and my current set has lasted for years. Scope out your flight seat in advance. Use Seat Guru (it’s free!) to read different reviews. This is an amazing travel hack for anyone who has a long flight, especially international. This resource is a massive lifesaver if you can choose your own seats during check-in. 

Twitter: @devcleary