Jenna Cali EVENT OPERATIONS AND SPONSORSHIP NAME: Jenna Cali AGE: 33 ROLE: Operations Manager – Exhibitions and Sponsorship COMPANY: Informa Australia Jenna’s career shows the value of always saying yes to opportunities. Her career path started out through an internship opportunity with Institute for International Research (IIR) when she was studying at College. She was 19. Following her internship Jenna was hired as a receptionist with the promise of an event management role once it became available. Three months later she received the role and Jenna was moving her way up the ranks at IIR, which later merged under Informa Australia. Informa Australia is the nation’s leading event organiser, delivering a number of large scale exhibitions, industry conferences and highly specialised corporate training events for over 40,000 attendees. Jenna’s interest in exhibitions arose during a two-year stint in London where she worked in Group Marketing at Informa. Jenna was running the Global Awards for Informa, managing the Informa Academy Training Courses to improve staff skills. “Working in London was a career highlight for me. It opened so many avenues. I was able to meet so many people, which created a lot of opportunities.” Jenna says. “Working in London was a career highlight for me. It opened so many avenues. I was able to meet so many people, which created a lot of opportunities.” During her time in London, Jenna was also given the opportunity to work with the Chief Marketing Officer where she gained insight into the world of exhibitions. Returning to Australia, Informa recognised the potential in Jenna and hired her as the Exhibitions and Sponsorship Operations Manager. With limited formal training and experience in exhibitions, Jenna says that this was the biggest challenge in her career. After reaching out to her network and trusting her instincts, it wasn’t long before Jenna was flourishing, leading a number of successful events including Décor and Design, AusRAIL and The Safety Roadshows. Jenna says there is no other industry as rewarding as the events and exhibitions industry. “Seeing an event from concept to completion is the most enjoyable part of my job. That’s what keeps you going.” She says. Although it is incredibly rewarding, Jenna says people can sometimes glorify the industry. “Be prepared for hard work. I don’t know if people understand that you’ve got to put the hard yards in. It can be very rewarding but there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears as well.” She says.