Doreen Guerin grew up an Air Force brat, living in Texas, Louisiana, and later England and France. When she was 13, her parents moved to Queens and, Guerin says, “I’m a New Yorker through and through.” That’s apparent from her accent as well as her dedication to the Javits Center, where, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, she oversees the booking and event-related operations for more than 170 events each year. 

M+E: What fueled your interest in working in the conventions industry?

I worked for a trade show association in the textile industry part-time while I was in college. I began working on a show called the Knitting Yarn Fair, and I got the bug. It bit me, and I stayed with it. I went on to do shows in printing and packaging, ended up at the Toy Fair for a few years, then to shows in jewelry and art. In 2006, I landed at the Javits Center. It’s a hard industry not to love.

M+E: Why do you say it’s a hard industry not to love?

Because you’re always building something, there’s all the exciting energy of a grand opening, and everybody on the team feels like they’re part of something successful. Also, you know you’re having a positive impact—on the event organizer, [on] an industry, [on] your community. At Javits, we’re very proud of what we contribute to the city through the events we host and what that means for hotel rooms, restaurants, and more. 

M+E: You deal with extremely complicated logistics. Can you share a challenging experience?

When Hurricane Irene struck in August 2011, we were hosting a jewelry trade show along with the World Police & Fire Games. We received the order from the governor’s office that we had to evacuate. It was our first time doing that, and it meant a lot of hard conversations with event managers, telling them, ‘You need to close your doors now before the subway system and the roads shut down.’ We got it done, and 24 hours later, thousands of police and firefighters were back, continuing their games. That turned out to be very good practice for Superstorm Sandy the next year.

On Nov. 23, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) held its annual luncheon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event brought together the city’s hospitality community to celebrate travel, tourism, and the return of in-person events. It was a high-spirited gathering in a magnificent space. Guests were invited to browse the museum’s galleries, including the acclaimed “Matisse in the 1930’s” exhibit. 

 

(Almost) season’s greetings! It’s the time of year when we’re all thinking of ways to celebrate the holidays—whether that means arranging a gathering for groups or planning an activity to show your appreciation to your team and clients. New York, always a magical holiday destination, has a host of ways to get into the holiday spirit, with iconic performances and events. Here are some ideas:

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 30

 

October is the month of fall color viewing, pumpkin picking, and pizza. Yes, October is National Pizza Month, and if you’re looking to commemorate the occasion, head to New Jersey.

Others may disagree—let’s make that, others will certainly disagree—but last year Food & Wine Magazine named New Jersey the best pizza state in America, followed by Connecticut and New York in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Pennsylvania landed in seventh place and Massachusetts nabbed 10th place.