Name: Kate Calderon
Title: Director of Marketing
Company: Innovative Collaborations
Location: Sanford, FL
Overtime: Calderon keeps busy with her two high-energy children, Everly (4) and Ashton (3). When she’s not chasing after them, she enjoys running, teaching herself how to play the guitar, and chatting with #AVTweeps on Twitter.
Why You Need to Know Her: Kate Calderon’s passion is fueled by building relationships and promoting the technology that connects people. This passion led her right here to the pro AV industry. “I have found a home in the commercial audiovisual industry,” said Calderon, 32, with a giant smile. “The AV industry—as large as it is—is incredibly tight-knit. The sense of belonging and relationships that I’ve built both online and at our industry events is like none I’ve ever experienced.”
Entrepreneurial Spirit: Calderon got her start in pro AV during college, when she took on a contract position as a project coordinator for Production Resource Group (PRG) in Orlando, FL. While there, she worked with clients like Disney and Universal, coordinating gear for their live events.
After graduating from Rollins College with a B.A. in Organizational Communication, Calderon worked as a marketing manager for two best-selling authors, which transitioned into more opportunities to work with self-published authors and keynote speakers. Because of her connections and strong relationship skills, she decided to take a risk—and one that paid off. Calderon started her own marketing firm.
The firm specialized in strategizing personal marketing goals with small businesses and entrepreneurs and implementing these strategies into profitable social and digital campaigns. During this time, Calderon served as an online community manager for international conferences and events including the IBM Success Summit and the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Back to Where It Began: After starting her family, Calderon was ready to return to office life. “I remembered how much I loved working at PRG and in the AV industry, so I started searching for marketing positions in AV,” she said. “I’ve been back in the AV world for about a year and a half now and I never want to leave!”
In Calderon’s most recent position—she is currently furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic—she served as director of marketing for Innovative Collaboration, an AV integration company in Winter Park, FL. “The pro AV sector is where I got my start, and now I feel like I’m back where I belong,” she said.
She was responsible for the company’s marketing efforts, including web presence, tradeshows, and relationship management with vendors. “Because it is a small company, I also had the opportunity to learn other avenues of the business like purchasing, operations, and internal communications,” Calderon added.
Through various networking opportunities, like the AVIXA Women’s Council, InfoComm, ISE, and the Twitter community, Calderon has learned quite a bit about the pro AV sector and the people in it. “The #AVTweeps community is so incredibly supportive and passionate, and it makes me constantly want to learn more, do better, and be better for our industry. Relationships are everything,” she said.
“I’d love to encourage others who may be new to the industry—or new to participating online in social media forums—to get involved in our online #AVTweeps community. It’s truly a no-judgement zone,” Calderon concluded. “I’m constantly evolving and learning new things, and the relationships I’ve formed and made have been amazing.”
Learn more about Kate on this episode of AVNation.