As more and more business activities are conducted virtually; real face-to-face interactions have become increasingly valuable. IPsoft resident Event Coordinator Alexandra Hyman is responsible for making sure our company always puts its best face forward.
As much as digital technologies empower us to conduct business remotely, little can match the impact of a live person-to-person interaction. In fact, since so many tasks are handled virtually these days, the times when people actually do come together within a shared physical space are arguably more important than ever. When it comes to facilitating person-to-person interactions on a grand scale, IPsoft depends on the work of our resident Event Coordinator Alexandra Hyman.
Alexandra is responsible for planning and executing IPsoft’s external events such as the annual Digital Workforce Summit (DWS), monthly AI Pioneers Forum gatherings, analyst and media days and “anything else that gets thrown on the calendar.” She is also in charge of our New York headquarters’ monthly employee events and annual holiday parties, which are essential for building our corporate culture.
Alexandra is the latest subject of our ongoing “Real Women Behind Amelia” series where we profile our extraordinary colleagues who contribute to making IPsoft the leader in Enterprise AI. In a wide-ranging conversation, we learned about Alexandra’s background before coming to IPsoft, how she chooses a theme for the monthly IPsoft events, and her proudest event accomplishments.
How would you describe your responsibilities as Event Coordinator?
I wear many hats. I started four years ago as just the Internal Event Coordinator, doing our monthly Happy Hours and then the two big annual anniversary and holiday parties.
I remember when I first started, we were coming up on our Gartner Symposium in Barcelona and the launch event of Amelia V1 and then the Holiday party — all in quick succession. So, I had to hit the ground running. I was able to prove myself and then from that point on, I guess they realized I could be useful helping to support the marketing events as well.
What kind of marketing events have you been working on?
We have the monthly AI Pioneers series along with analyst days and media days. And then, of course, we have DWS (Digital Workforce Summit) every year — it may only be a week of events, but it takes six months to plan. And then really anything else that gets thrown on the calendar.
What jobs did you do before coming to IPsoft?
In college I spent a summer working for the United Nations’ Coalition for the International Criminal Court and they had me doing event planning for them. That’s how I discovered this field. After graduating, I moved to Norway for a bit and then made my way back to the States where I worked with an experiential marking firm for six months before IPsoft recruited me.
What was your experiential marketing work like?
Brands would come to us and say, “Hey, we've got this product we want to get in front of consumers. Can you help us do that?” So I would design campaigns that consumers could interact with that would draw them into the product. I did a lot of proposal pitches and then would be responsible for making it happen once we got the green light.
How do you go about choosing the themes for the monthly events at our headquarters?
I try to get in the mindset of our employees and figure out what they want to see out of an event. I do that by talking to people. I try to have lots of friends across lots of different departments and I always take people's feedback and helpful criticism. I just like to talk to people. And people do email me what they want to see and we send out Survey Monkeys occasionally to help me. So I always welcome feedback. It’s also very easy when you're at an event to figure out, “Okay, this was a hit we're going to do this again next year.”
What brought you to IPsoft?
[Senior Corporate Recruiter] Dustin Long recruited me off of LinkedIn. I came in for three separate interviews so I got to meet a lot of people and then ultimately my final interview was with President & CEO Chetan Dube and we had a great conversation, which we still talk about to this day. I did my study abroad in Barcelona and he walked into the room and he said to me, "So, la Sagrada Familia, what are your thoughts?" And I said, "It's impressive but I prefer Casa Batlló if you're really going to judge Gaudi's architecture." And he says that that's the moment that he knew, “Alright, she's good.”
IPsoft celebrated its 20th anniversary with a great celebration on The Intrepid, which included fireworks What's the process of setting up fireworks in Manhattan?
We apply for permits with the city and the New York Fire Department. We came down to the wire on fireworks this year. It was one of those the deadline-is-in-five-minutes-so-is-this-a-yes-or-no situation. But this was actually the second time I've done fireworks in the city and luckily my counterpart at The Intrepid was very aware of everything that needed to be done and helped us rush our permits despite the July 4th holiday weekend!
You’ve been in charge of a lot of really grand events. What IPsoft event are you most proud of?
My proudest event was the holiday party at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. That was definitely my favorite. That was one of those parties where even though I knew every detail of the event because I planned it, I still walked into the space and was absolutely blown away. And I knew what it was going to look like. But that venue was just so incredible.
What do you like best about IPsoft?
The crazy people here. I like to think I'm a little bit crazy. And I've got plenty of crazy friends.
Five Fast Fun Facts
What is your favorite depiction of AI from science fiction?
My favorite movie as a kid was Smart House on the Disney Channel. I used to make my younger sister watch it with me all the time even though it scared her. I was also a huge fan of the Zenon movies -- still am a fan actually.
Name a technology you’ve recently come in contact with that made you think, “Wow, I’m really living in the future.”
I recently switched from a MacBook to the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Honestly, that thing fascinates me. Being able to use it as a tablet as well as a laptop has not stopped impressing me. It’s the simple things sometimes!
Name a notable real-life scientist/engineer/innovator whose contributions inspired you.
Jacques Cousteau. I’m a big scuba diver and grew up watching his underwater adventures with my dad. Now I go diving any chance I get. Sometimes I think life underwater is more beautiful than life on earth; the colors you see are just incredible.
A thing your co-workers would be surprised to learn about you.
I'm horrific at basketball. Even though I'm very tall. That's usually the number one thing people ask me. In high school, the varsity coach stalked me the first few weeks of my freshman year begging me to join the team. Eventually I had to show up to a practice to prove to him how bad I was. He never bothered me again.
Your last meal would be?
Chicken korma from my neighborhood Indian restaurant. My parents started taking me there when I was nine months old. Chicken korma was the first “big girl” food I ever ate so I think it should also be the last.