Meet Jessica Small, Senior Program Manager at Elastic.  Jessica is an Elastic lifer having been with the organization for over 13 years. 

Favourite vacation destination?

There are so many places to chose from!  But my favourite place to vacation is the UK where both mine and my husband’s families are rooted.  Last year, we had the opportunity to take our 2 children on an extended vacation to visit with family and also explore the beautiful landscapes and culture in Scotland.  Next on the list is a family trip to where my husband’s family immigrated from, Ireland.

How would you describe your job to a 5 year old?

I don’t think I have ever described what I do to my 5 year old however he has told me what he believes I do.  One time when I was getting ready to leave, my son asked me if I was going to a conference.  I said “Yes”, and he responded “Oh good, could you bring me back some notebooks, I am running low”.  Apparently he thinks I travel the world collecting notebooks for him.  This is partially true …

Favourite part of your job?

The people.  We get to meet so many amazing, fun and inspiring individuals both in our industry as well as our clients’.  I have built so many long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world, some that I speak with on daily basis in WhatsApp groups.  The laughs, the love and the everlasting support is what makes this job so incredible and fulfilling.

How would you spend your perfect Sunday

With my family.  There is always something to do on our family farm!  From planting and harvesting, fixing and washing equipment, to replenishing the bush with oak trees; We do it as a family.  My husband and I believe in teaching and involving our children in the family business at a young age and learning by doing.  When it is raining we enjoy snuggling up together and watching Disney+.  Our current gauntlet is watching all of the Marvel movies in chronological release order.

Can you share an event planning horror story?

Back in 2016, we were set to host a conference for (500) people in Raleigh, NC.  When the contract was signed a few years prior, we were made aware that there were major renovation plans between then and the conference and the completion date was expected to be (8) months prior to the conference dates … Unfortunately, the schedule fell way behind.

I was up for the challenge.  After several discussions with the client and the hotel, it was decided that the show would go on!  This required some restructuring of the conference format, capacity and cadence along with several trips to the hotel to discuss the iterative execution plan to adapt as the renovation stages were completed.

The day the conference registration was set to open [at 3:00pm], the lobby furniture was delivered and setup, the bar was being stocked and the finishing touches were being put on the trim in the meeting space!

We were ready just in the nick of time!

Thanks to an airtight renovation clause and a fabulous CSM team at the hotel, we were able to make the conference a huge success for both the hotel, the client and most importantly, the attendees.