Denise Nova: Event Planning and Technology

ACAMS Today chatted with Denise Nova, ACAMS’ event logistics supervisor, about planning ACAMS conferences and her favorite event.

Nova was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She initially studied human resources administration, but decided to take a different career route. She worked in different industries until she found her niche in event planning. Nova worked for seven years at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne catering department. She held several positions and eventually became the lead event concierge. Later, she worked as the catering manager at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach for three years. After 10 years in event hospitality, her career led her to corporate planning. Nova has worked at ACAMS for six years as the event logistics supervisor.

ACAMS Today: As event logistics supervisor, what does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?

Denise Nova: As an event logistics supervisor, I am responsible for managing the program logistics for all ACAMS events. I oversee a team of event coordinators to ensure the successful execution of speaker, sponsor, exhibitor and third-party vendor logistics for ACAMS annual conferences.

In addition, my role requires daily collaboration with key stakeholders, which is essential to ensure project deadlines are met and to ensure the success of each event.

AT: How have ACAMS conferences evolved since you first began your position?

DN: ACAMS has established themselves as a leader in providing robust content, which has not changed. However, in the last six years, we have definitely seen a change in the way we deliver this information. ACAMS conferences have become more innovative, with added technology. Through livestreaming, we have been able to accommodate people who are not be able to travel to the conferences. We have also added the mobile app, which means that attendees can have access to the latest information at all times, with real-time updates.

The mobile app project was also an opportunity for me to evolve personally, as it forced me to update my cell phone and learn about not only using, but also building an app.

AT: What is your team’s organizational secret to making sure all the conferences run smoothly?

DN: I owe the success of my team to our communication and organizational skills. We make it a point to be informed and prepared for tasks and responsibilities we must tackle as a team. It is the passion we have for our conferences to be successful that drives the entire operation.

AT: What is your favorite conference and why do you like attending this specific conference?

DN: The Latin-American conference in Cancun is my favorite for obvious and nostalgic reasons. Obviously, who wouldn’t enjoy a conference in Cancun? The setting is magnificent and the culture of the attendees is so warm and friendly that you almost forget that you are working. It is also one of the first conferences that I coordinated from beginning to end and was onsite for, when I started at ACAMS six years ago. Being able to go back there every year reminds me of that sense of pride and accomplishment I had the first time I successfully planned and executed that event.

AT: When you are not planning conferences, what do you like to do in your spare time?

DN: My dream is planning events. So, when I am not planning successful and informative conferences, I am planning life celebrations for my friends and family. I come from a large family, so there is always an event on the horizon.

Also, because I worked in the food and beverage industry for so many years, I developed a love for wine and plan annual vacations to do just that—wine tastings. I love to taste and collect new wines.

Interviewed by: Karla Monterrosa-Yancey, CAMS, editor-in-chief, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA,

Stephanie Trejos, editorial assistant, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA,

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