Chelsea Rusch #EventProf February 2016I first met Chelsea over the phone alongside our CMO, Emily He. We dialed into Chelsea’s New York City line, and I could immediately hear her enthusiasm for both her career and the DoubleDutch platform. To my delight, I was headed out to film a case study with EpiServer in about 24 hours, and Chelsea was kind enough to invite me to her office and let us film on the same trip.

The amount of passion Chelsea exudes for both tech and fashion has led her to her current role at Decoded Fashion, where she is in charge of getting technology in the hands of major fashion luminaries. I couldn’t wait to meet Chelsea at her office, overlooking Bryant Park. We sat down for our video shoot in a couple of plush old leather chairs, surrounded by fashion and travel books, and I got to learn all about this dynamic woman so many event planners and marketers can relate to.

BL: Were you born and raised in NY?

CR: Actually, I’m from a small town. My hometown in Wisconsin is known for catching the world’s record of musky fish. I was the “Musky Queen” in high school!

BL: From small town prom queen to fashion tech…how long have you been in event marketing, and what do you love about it?

CR: Four years now. I love hearing attendees excitement and enthusiasm while at an event, that is the best compliment to my job.

BL: Tell me more about Decoded Fashion

CR: We are the premium event platform for connecting fashion and retail with startups and emerging technologies. We are the only platform for making these connections and introducing brands to new tech solutions they should be leveraging.

BL: And how did DoubleDutch play a role?

CR: Our global summit takes place in London, Tokyo, Milan and New York City. We use DoubleDutch primarily for audience engagement. I love seeing the competition of attendees trying to win first place on the leaderboard.  We can also measure how happy our delegates are with content and sessions, see if they came away with new contacts and ideas, and push out alerts if anything changes last minute. We are a tech first event and DoubleDutch really moved us forward this year. I love being able to see real time if delegates were happy with something. If they weren’t, we could react. I can’t imagine our events without DoubleDutch.

BL: How do you think event marketing is changing or do you have any trends you can predict for 2016?

CR: Events are more personal and actionable than ever. No longer is it just about telling your brand’s story, it’s about engagement and seeing delegates/sponsors come away from events with actionable outcomes – they are the real winners.

BL: What are you most passionate about outside of work – how do you maintain a work-life balance with all the travel you do?

CR: Staying active! It’s easy to get stuck sitting at a desk all day. I’ve quickly become obsessed with ClassPass and most of my nights are spent trying new classes. I also love cooking at home and trying new recipes. That is usually accompanied with a bottle of red wine.

BL: What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone just entering the event marketing world?

CR: Patience, persistence, and a positive outlook will be your lifeline!

BL: I used to be in event marketing, so I can relate to everything from training a booth staff, collecting leads, picking booth graphics, trying to attract people to your event, and the travel! What are some MUST haves when it comes to traveling and staying sane?

CR: Something to always keep me hydrated, traveling between time zones can be rough. I really like Advocare’s Spark. A cute but comfy pair of shoes, I don’t travel without my Frye sneakers. Accessories! I only pack a carry-on suitcase (even if I’m traveling for 2 weeks) so my clothing options become very important, and limited. A variety of necklaces, earrings and rings can switch up the same top, instantly!