Woodberry Associates’ Alexa DeVantier is no stranger to event planning.
Since joining the team in 2014, Alexa has planned more than 100 events for Woodberry clients, from small working group meetings to national policy summits to multi-day conferences.
“It’s all in the details,” she says, which can include setting up registration, coordinating travel and accommodations, organizing seating logistics, AV set-up, printing name tags and communicating dietary preferences to caterers. Alexa credits meticulous spreadsheets as the key to keeping events running smoothly.
But event success is a combination of diligent planning and flexibility in the face of last-minute hiccups. Alexa recalls the time a military ceremony geared up in the courtyard outside a national policy event, leaving speakers to compete with trumpets and French horns. In another instance, a Washington, DC snowstorm required Alexa to prepare participants for remote presentations when the event studio risked closure. Unexpected twists, whether it’s navigating canceled flights or accommodating last-minute registrants, is just another part of the job.
Alexa’s latest challenge? Navigating the return to in-person events following nearly two years of all-virtual meetings. That includes a number of hybrid events, which offer participants and attendees options but can pose logistical challenges. But Alexa’s not missing a beat. “If the pandemic taught event planners anything, it was the importance of thinking outside the box,” Alexa reflects. She says she’s taking what she learned from virtual events and applying those best practices to hybrid events.
Whether it be in-person or virtual, events allow Alexa and the Woodberry clients she serves to see “tangible proof” that their objectives are playing out in a meaningful way.
Alexa DeVantier is a Director in Woodberry Associates’ Advocacy Management division.