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Member Spotlight Holly Benda

MS_ Holly Benda

By: MPINJ | Mar 31, 2021

Name: Holly Benda 
Occupation: Trade Show Tech Marketer
Planner or Supplier: Planner
Member Since: 2017
Current Employer: Thorlabs

How did you get your start in the industry?
Creating and executing trade shows, company sales trips and customer appreciation parties for a company in the cosmetic personal care industry. Prior to that I worked for the Great Gorge resort in my home town, growing up in a resort town since I got my working papers - I have been a front desk manger, reservationist, travel agent, life guard, ski lift operator, food and beverage staff. All of these different job skills had one thing in common, pleasing the public. I found my passion early and grew from there in different areas of the industry.

How many years have you been in the industry?
30 years +

What is your favorite thing about our industry?
I love the challenge of creating new events and experiences for the audience. The build up to a great event, problem solving, executing the event and then the satisfaction of a job well done is a constant excitement. Always learning and looking forward to the next way you can achieve a great experience is awesome.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?
The best way to predict your future in your career is to create it.

What is the most memorable event you have planned or client experience you have had?
One of my most memorable events I planned was a rooftop party in NYC, themed with the elements: earth, wind, fire and water.  The perfect setting to showcase the customer products in various dioramas throughout the venue. The open air rooftop, the city skyline, fire-pit adding drama, large cascading water fountain and indoor wall of trees behind the bar created an atmosphere ready to engage. The specialty themed cocktails and unique treats at each display added to the excitement of the evening.  Highlighting one of the most memorable events of my career thus far.

If you were not in this industry, what would you be doing right now?
I would always be throwing parties and planning trips with my friends and family. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite city to travel to and why?
My home town Chicago, I love to go back there whenever I can to visit my family. The windy city has everything one needs all within walking distance. The green parks, architecture, shopping, spas, Theater, museums, marinas, the lake and its beaches, Midwestern kindness, and THE best food.

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose and why?
An English bulldog, mine is spoiled rotten and lives the life of a Prince.

Describe your perfect day off? 
A perfect day for me includes gardening, walking my dog, grilling on our deck with my husband, topped off with a movie (preferably Star Wars)

What do you love about MPI New Jersey? 
From the first welcoming MPI get together, I felt as though “I found my people". The MPI community is filled with supportive and professional people that I admire have the pleasure of working with everyday.



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