Peek Behind the Scenes at A2Z Events with Rich Vallaster

Team GTRTeam GTR November 30, 2022

Our Director of Marketing, Industry Relations, and Event Experiences is one of those larger-than-life personalities. Rich Vallaster has been with the Personify family for over eight years and came to us with experience on both sides of the booth.

For an inside look at A2Z Events, we knew we could turn to Rich Vallaster for the scoop.

Tell us a little about yourself:

Rich: My day-to-day includes marketing our event registration and management solutions as well as directing our event and trade show experiences. I stay connected with the audiences we serve as an appointed member of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Research Council and active in the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is critical to me.

I also serve on several exhibitor advisory committees and was recently accepted to teach in IAEE’s Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) program.

In my spare time, I love everything Disney, spending time with my middle-school-age daughter, and supporting my wife of 16 years, Jodi Vallaster, Ed.D., as she works to better our educational public policy.

How did you get involved in event management?

Rich: I started my career volunteering and moved up through the years to directing large-scale, city-wide events with upwards of 80,000 people. I learned most from my experience to “expect the unexpected.”

What do you enjoy most in your work with A2Z Events?

Rich: There is an event happening practically every day of the year, bringing people together to make connections, build community, learn content, and conduct commerce. Our clients create these memorable experiences daily! They provide so much to the people and industries they serve. I adore my job: I get to help small businesses that may have started in tiny 10X10 booths grow their company via events.

What are you looking forward to most in collaborating with GTR’s event technology?

Rich: At A2Z, we joke that when it comes to events management, we have everything from A to Z – except “R” for registration. And it’s something our clients have requested.

The work the GTR team has done to build a platform ready for the post-pandemic world is exciting. The attendee and exhibitor journey has changed – having the solutions and a team who understands the new reality is critical. I am also excited to have GTR as part of the bigger “PersoniFam.” Their event expertise with clients like Amazon and Google will bring new ideas and perspectives to our table.

What challenges are event teams facing? How can we address these at GTR and A2Z?

Rich: The pandemic, great resignation, and great retirement have created, in many cases, an entirely new set of event professionals. This challenge creates a unique opportunity to leverage our team’s industry knowledge and expertise.

Many of our team members have come from the events industry, are Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), or have worked with events for years. We have seen it all and enjoy helping build solutions to our client’s challenges.

Our goal is to help our clients successfully achieve their event objectives and understand how to navigate this complicated and ever-changing post-pandemic world.

Get out your crystal ball. What does 2023 look like for the event industry?

Rich: The good news is the worst is behind us. In 2022, we saw clients who returned at lower levels while others outperformed pre-pandemic levels. Looking forward to 2023, I believe that event attendees are naturally drawn to connect in-person, and we’ll see more of that. Hybrid, though, is here to stay, and those who aren’t returning to in-person events are connecting with organizations, associations, and companies in new digital ways through online communities. So, I do not doubt that 2023 will set new benchmarks for events moving forward – growing and learning what is valuable to audiences and delivering on those versus the success metrics of the past.

We’re Here to Help

You can learn more about the GTR acquisition by Personify here. For additional questions not addressed above, please review our Client FAQ, available here.

If you’d like to learn more about event registration, attendance tracking, or how we can help with your next event, get in touch with us here.

Happy event planning,
Team GTR™ 👋

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