July 17, 2014 by Speakers' Spotlight
Staff Spotlight On: Jennifer Bovaconti, Senior Client Services Executive
Jennifer Bovaconti joined the Speakers’ Spotlight team in 2005. She started her career at the agency as an events coordinator working closely with our Vancouver office. In 2006, she took on the position of a client service executive and in 2011, she became a senior client services executive. We’re happy to put Jennifer in our “staff spotlight” today:
Did you always want to work in the speaking industry? If not, what other careers did you consider?
While in university, I considered a career in urban planning or teaching. Then, by happy accident, I found a posting for an event coordinator position with Speakers’ Spotlight. The speaking world was new to me and I immediately became besotted with the company and the speaking and events industry as a whole. Before joining Speakers’ Spotlight, I held a variety of jobs in the service industry–including tending bar on tall ships, working retail, and working as a server. I believe no matter what your career path, it’s incredibly useful to have some experience working in the service industry–you interact with a variety of personalities, are generally working under tight time constraints, and ultimately want to ensure people leave with a great experience–all excellent skills to have, no matter your industry.
Any advice for people getting started in the industry?
If you’re interested in the meetings and conference planning industry, please see above and gain some experience in the service industry! Kidding aside, I would say having a passion for bringing people together, being curious, being a great listener and being a gracious communicator will take you very far–and I’m fairly certain you’ll also have a lot of fun along the way.
Do you have any great stories from events you’ve attended featuring Speakers’ Spotlight speakers?
It’s always incredibly rewarding when clients share the impact a speaker has had. A few years ago, Margaret Trudeau spoke at an event in a very small, rural community. The organizer was thrilled with the entire event and kept in touch to tell us that she had many people run up to her in unexpected places such as the local gas station or the grocery store to tell her how much Margaret’s presentation meant to them, even months after the event!
What is your favourite thing about working with our speakers? With clients?
There’s many! Hands down, one of my favourite things is that I get to have interesting conversations every day. It’s my “job” to talk to people to find out what’s going on in their organization, what challenges they’re facing, and how they’re planning to face them. As well, I get to talk to speakers about their incredible experiences and how they can help organizations in virtually any capacity. It’s also fun to help our clients celebrate major milestones–whether it’s booking a very special entertainer for their 25th anniversary, or developing fun activities for an off-site retreat in an exotic locale. I can honestly say that I gain new insight from our clients and speakers all the time, and to be learning new things constantly is incredibly exciting to me.
Best subject in school?
A tie between English and biology.
Which Canadian city is your favourite?
Montreal–although I still have a few Canadian cities to get to yet!
Desert island album?
This is the most intriguing and yet impossible question for me. My husband and I literally have thousands of records in our home and love each in their own way. If I had to leave RIGHT NOW with only one, I’d have to say it would be the Look of Love–The Burt Bacharach Collection. Burt Bacharach and Hal David created such beautiful music and worked with the most stunning singers–Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle, to name a few. I think I’d have a lot of fun singing along to these classics. Hopefully, the island truly would be deserted, for everyone else’s sake! But, it could also easily be London Calling by the Clash, The Who Sell Out, by the Who, or Cold Fact by Rodriguez (among thousands more….).
Last book you read?
Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff.
Last film you saw?
I don’t get out to the movies as often as I would like. The last movie I saw in the theatre was Under The Skin. It was creepily good.
You host a dinner party and can invite two guests, dead or alive, who are they?
I’d host an Oscar themed dinner party and invite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host it.