director, marketing communications
Boston Scientific Neurovascular
PAST Jennifer Glynn started her career in the meetings industry in 1994 as an event planner on the supplier side, working on special events and concerts for a private island near Miami, then moving to Atlanta to do concert production for Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
SUCCESS STORY Glynn started at Boston Scientific in 2003, “analyzing what we were doing with our events, maximizing our investments in them, and spending those dollars on event promotion.” Today, she’s responsible for all event purchasing and for marketing communications for her business unit.
Her perspective as a supplier has helped with negotiating, Glynn says. “Every time I talk to a supplier, because I’ve been on that side, they realize I get it.”
A-HA MOMENT After the Olympics and a stint with an event company, she knew she wanted to be a corporate meeting planner, so she took a job with a now-defunct startup.
“That’s when I got my first taste of the strategy side of the business,” she says. “I thought, ‘How do I use my knowledge to further my company’s goals through events?’”
ADVICE Glynn’s advice to meeting planners who are starting out: “Leap at every opportunity and always try to listen to as much of the decision-making that’s going on around you that you can. Develop an awareness that even if you don’t control the decisions, you control how those decisions can influence the things you work on. So if you’re hearing that budgets are being cut, for example, be proactive and think about what you are doing right now about it.”
Conversely, she says, “If you can always see the bigger picture of the details you’re working on and apply it to the bigger business strategy, you always will advance. You need to see how what you do affects or influences your company.”
She’s quick to add that it’s unfair that meeting managers who have purely logistical roles have been devalued by the industry. “It takes all kinds of people to create an event. I’m so grateful to the people on my team, we need all those different skill sets to make it work.”