Allison Pulikowski, CMP, 30
Gathering Producer, Ember LLC, Newburyport, Mass.
What I do:
If you had asked me this question a year ago, my response would be very different! I’m still managing budgets, internal and external teams, and timelines. However, now I am also managing video shoots, media assets, editors and virtual event platforms.
How I got here:
I was a freshman at Endicott College and had no idea what hospitality even was, and then I took a few classes and got hooked! I changed my major, and through great internships at catering companies and Rafanelli Events in Boston, I landed my first job as an event coordinator for a pharmaceutical conference company.
My greatest career accomplishment:
I used to manage logistics for a corporate footwear client. It was a 10-day event with different brands rotating through, which required me to be on-site for 14 days total, twice a year. Each day, I was managing roughly 30 meeting spaces simultaneously—all while thinking about the following day. I did this event for four years.
During the pandemic, although all contracts had been signed, sealed and delivered, I was able to negotiate $76,000 worth of savings in cancellations. It’s all about relationships.
A specific improvement I’ve made:
As of late, I have been appointed the COVID protocol president at my company. I am responsible for staying up to date on all COVID-related material and keeping my team informed as we start to plan some hybrid events for 2021. It’s ever-changing but promising to see the things that venues and other meeting planners have been doing to slowly bring the industry back.
What I'm working on right now:
I think the thing I’m most excited for is having one year of virtual events under my belt, and taking those learnings and pairing them with the new ideas and opportunities that exist in the industry to push myself and my clients to have the best events possible this year. Last year took us all by surprise and we made the shift quickly. This year, we know what’s coming—so let’s push to try new, fun ideas; increase production value; and put great thought into storytelling so we can make the most of this!
What I do outside of work:
I am a huge hot yoga fan. I love that it brings energy, relaxation and sweat. I also love spur-of-the-moment weekend getaways with my boyfriend. We always try to explore new things to do and places to stay.
Favorite vacation destination:
Sea Glass, Cliff House, Hutton Nashville
Favorite icebreaker line:
"What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen done at an event lately?" I love to hear fun things that others are doing.
In the winter, I always travel with a blanket scarf—great for keeping warm on a chilly flight and super versatile. For a year-round recommendation, I absolutely recommend getting TSA PreCheck for anyone who doesn’t have it—such a game-changer.