Jennifer Mason, 31, works in Baltimore, MD, as manager of events at Medifast. As a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree, Mason discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I am responsible for the development, planning, organization, communication, and execution of all event initiatives and incentive travel for OPTAVIA, Medifast’s lifestyle brand. I strive to create a team-oriented environment as well as manage cross-functional efforts with the goal of creating quality events that are attractive and successful in showcasing our brand mission of lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time.
How I got here: In 2010, I made the bold decision to leave the banking industry and pursue a career I knew I would be passionate about: event planning. I initially took an entry-level position as an event coordinator for a privately owned event planning firm. Since then, I’ve made it a priority to mentor women seeking to make an impact within the industry, stay current with industry trends and always give myself the opportunity to learn something new. I held a variety of roles, including senior event planner, operations manager and assistant director of events. Each role provided me with a unique perspective and skills that shaped me into the meeting planning professional I am today.
Greatest career accomplishments: I managed my first international conference in Germany at the age of 27. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was the sole event planner on the team and was challenged to single-handedly plan a 2,900-plus-attendee event in 60 days from start to finish and succeeded!
Impressive stats: In my current role, I have increased attendance at our largest event by 44 percent, as well as increased attendance at our exclusive, by invitation only, leadership event by 10 percent. I also negotiated a multi-year contract for our annual convention resulting in savings to our annual budget. And by implementing an automated self-service attendee check-in platform, my team was able to check-in 300 percent more attendees per hour than at previous events, significantly reducing wait times.
Specific improvement I’ve made: Within the last 12 months, I have implemented the following new event functionalities for OPTAVIA: Mobile App (CrowdCompass), a tool that brings our event to life on attendees’ mobile phones; and automated self-service attendee check-in stations (OnArrival 360) that drastically improved check-in wait times and service.
What I’m working on now: I’m working to create a sustainable event management program to reduce our carbon footprint. I’m also updating our event emergency management plan to ensure attendees and staff are prepared in case of an emergency. I am sourcing new venues for our 2020 and beyond events & incentives.
What I do outside of work: I am an active volunteer in my church community and traveling is my favorite hobby. I love to experience new cultures and try new things.