2019 40 Under 40: Samantha Vogel, CMP, GameStop, Inc.

Samantha Vogel

Samantha Vogel, 34, works in Dallas as senior manager, meetings & travel at GameStop, Inc. As a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Vogel discusses her passion for the events industry.

*Connect with Vogel on Instagram. What I do: I’m responsible for an $8.3 million sponsorship goal for our annual GameStop Conference, including design of sponsorship packages, management of vendor relations and production of all sponsorship elements. I also oversee/manage our 250,000-sq.-ft. tradeshow at our annual conference. Outside of our annual, I am responsible for planning and managing our March Leadership Meeting with a budget of $900,000 and our Canadian Annual Meeting and Tradeshow with a budget of more than $1 million. Lastly, I oversee our housing and registration staff for all GameStop meetings and conferences, as well as manage our transient travel program. How I got here: I started out my career teaching high school English, but I quickly realized that my true calling was designing events. So I went out and got a job at Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center working for the RK Group. I moved from that into running large-scale nonprofit events for several years, where I was able to combine my passion for event design with my passion for giving back. After about a decade, I ended up here with GameStop, and I absolutely love it here. Greatest career accomplishment: For the past several years, we have received push back from many of our vendors on the cost of participation in our annual conference. Over the past two years, I’ve been working hand-in-hand with our GSC staff to come up with creative solutions to help cut those back-end costs. After a lot of work, we moved to a specialized pop-up booth option this year, where we offered six different highly customized options for vendors. Our vendors loved it and we ended up cutting the back-end costs more than 30 percent for them. Impressive stats: I’ve helped sell $8.3 million in sponsorships every year and saved our vendors 30 percent on their back-end conference participation costs. Specific improvement I’ve made: I’ve created and implemented multiple esports tournaments to engage with our audience and help align our events with our industry vision. I’ve worked with major vendors like WB Games, ESL and others to make my vision a reality. From massive AV sets to live streaming we crafted engaging events that can be seen around the world. I’ve also created an arrival festival for our attendees by partnering with many vendors and partners. The festival includes dozens of food trucks and a zombie carnival, What I am working on now: With a highly millennial demographic, we are really into 'festivalization.' This year, we are exploring a vendor 'pub crawl' idea we’d like to implement in Nashville at our annual! What I do outside of work: I serve on the Visit Houston Customer Advisory and Innovation Board, spend summers at a lake house with lots of sweet tea and play with my nieces, nephews and pups.