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.

Atlantic City

Last year was the highest grossing ever for the United States commercial gaming industry.* Meeting planners who hold gatherings at casinos may just feel like they’ve hit the jackpot, too. Casino-based events provide one-stop convenience—the amenities of convention centers and bountiful hotel rooms, plus activities, dining, and nightlife. 

 

If you want to be sure your meeting in the Northeast will strengthen team bonds, consider holding it at Cliff House Maine. Nestled on 70 acres atop Bald Head Cliff on the southern coast of Maine, the luxury property offers 226 guest rooms, including 40 suites, an adjacent 18-hole golf course, and 25,000 square feet of conference and meeting space that can accommodate up to 300 attendees. Venues include the Atlantic Ballroom, with its double-height panoramic windows offering endless views of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Last November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $450 million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” recovery package to support New York’s hard-hit tourism sector. Part of that package is a $25 million “Meet in New York” grant program that focuses on venues and events that generate and support business-related travel. “This holistic approach to visitation recognizes the spending habits of business and convention travelers for overnight stays, food, and activities,” the governor’s press office noted.