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Shelley Knisley

Shelley Knisley

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Hello Ellevate! I'm Shelley Knisley -- an event technologist supporting organizations as they rethink community and engagement with their audiences in the hybrid working world. I'm also privileged to serve as the Seattle Chapter's Event Ops Lead - bringing engaging and thoughtful, meaningful connections to our chapter.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I joined Ellevate after returning from work abroad in the UK, and I had moved to a new city (Chicago). The monthly coffee chats were my safe-haven, a place to discuss and share work conflict, challenges, successes, with a group of women with shared experiences and triumphs. One of my favorite Ellevate memories is my participation in Squads, 1x as a member and 2x as a Squad Mod. They are a wonderful microcosm of the Ellevate network, and were a great resource as I navigated career changes.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

4 years out of school, I moved to the UK as an expat to work with a new customer base and growing office (less than 20 people when I arrived). After my two years abroad, I had a wonderful, expansive new network with professionals and clients that I would have never had the opportunity to meet in that space. I traveled for work extensively around the UK and Europe and brought some of the lingo back with me (quite, a bit, you alright?, and more!)

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I've played a bit of hopscotch, or perhaps it's more of a boomerang shape. I started my career as a Customer Success Manager for a leading event technology company, and it was a rocket ship! I moved up the ranks of the CS function, while the company went public, grew to more offices, acquired more companies, and got to see the integration engine working firsthand. After nearly 7 years, I moved to the research & advisory space, selling sales research to the Large Enterprise (over $1B annual revenue) leaders, industry titans, and selling to heads of sales (my potential bosses) on ways they can improve their sales function. Just last year, I was contacted by a recruiter that said, I have just the role for you. It is an event tech startup, that is looking to expand US sales and sell to large enterprises. I was hooked! It's been a fun ride since, combining my experiences from previous lives, and adapting to the new world we all face each day.

What is your morning ritual?

Truly nothing happens before coffee, and I know it's become a bit of a meme now, but I'm just not ready for the day without coffee (always hot in the morning, no matter the season) Then, it's time for the dog's walk. My 12 year old hound, Lane, doesn't go quite as far as he used to, but he still loves to sniff everything along the way. I've already checked emails/notifications at this stage in the day, and I need to know what I'm getting into when I sit down at the laptop.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

LinkedIn is a real standout for me these days. I'm at the age where I grew up on nothing but AOL Instant Messenger, and Facebook was only for college students (which I got promptly upon getting to campus), and so I have sort of burned out on Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn as a company is one that I admire, and I'm constantly impressed with the content curation, opportunity, and connections that happen in that space.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Jump on in! The water is fine-- Event organizing and planning is traditionally a female-dominated industry, but not in all the good ways. It's also been ranked on the most stressful jobs, and the worst paid jobs lists for many years. One of the reasons it is so exciting to enter this space now, is there is huge opportunity for shifting perspectives, new opportunities to redefine what it means to come together for an event. Be it online, in person, or some combination, we can meet our audience where they are, and provide the type of experience they crave!

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.