The Creative Problem-Solver: Five Questions with Maria Ryan
At Castle, we believe the cornerstone of our success is our talented team of event management and public relations professionals. From creating compelling content for our PR clients to strategizing and producing effective event marketing materials specialized for each client’s unique needs, our team does it all.
Each Castle team member brings special skills and insights on public relations, events, marketing, social media and more. Today, we’re spotlighting Senior Event & Creative Services Manager Maria Ryan.
Maria, who has been a member of the Castle events team since 2013, provides graphic design support for Castle at large in addition to overseeing different pieces of the corporate and incentive event planning process. She loves to come up with program themes that highlight the destination or emphasize a client’s mission. Outside of the office, Maria spends her free time enjoying the great outdoors, baking a new recipe, or visiting family who live across the country (and across the pond!).
1. How did you get started in the events industry?
As a high schooler I worked for a local 5K race organizer supporting onsite logistics, and in college volunteered for our Campus Events Council. I never considered the concept of a career in events until coming across The Castle Group during my senior year of college. After a semester-long internship, I fell in love with event design and the power of face-to-face experiences in today’s increasingly digital world.
2. In the next 2-5 years, what do you see changing about the events industry?
My hope is that the industry will become more focused on sustainability. Technology has helped fuel this shift, i.e. event apps taking the place of printed agendas, but I hope to see this change radically, with suppliers and clients seeing the importance of reducing waste.
3. What is something about working in events that would surprise people?
Runner-up to military personnel, firefighter, airline pilot, and police officer, event coordinator is the 5th most stressful job according to Career Cast’s 2018 report. While a lot of our work looks glamorous, it is more than planning parties. We are managing logistics, anticipating issues, and ensuring events appear flawless to those attending.
4. What is your favorite event venue and why?
This past April we had the opportunity to bring an incentive group to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The client hosted a full group activity at a nearby ranch, Estancia La Republica. This beautiful property is a working ranch, with gauchos caring for the land and extensive livestock (over 3,000 hectares of land with thousands of horses, cattle, buffalo, capybaras and more). From the beautiful buildings to the authentic food and entertainment, Estancia La Republica was the perfect escape from the bustling city, giving the group a true taste of Argentine life on the pampas (grasslands).
5. What is your favorite thing about working at Castle?
The events team is made up of strong, hard-working, intelligent women. My favorite thing about working at Castle is getting to spend time and be inspired by everyone on our team. Traveling for client events gives us even more opportunity to get to know one another!
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