Jolene Jang is passion personified. The professional conversationalist and face behind the mic of The Conference Reporter is a lifelong innovator and instigator of frivolity. “I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old, making pom-poms and selling candy,” she recalls.
Jang was born and raised in Seattle, and her parents were supportive of her natural inclination to take risks. When she graduated from the University of Puget Sound, she didn’t waste any time setting up shop as a fun specialist, painting faces and making balloon animals. That quickly segued into helping corporations embrace change by incorporating play.
About a year ago, Jang reinvented herself once again: this time as The Conference Reporter. Armed with a camera, a selfie stick and a microphone, Jang serves as the eyes and ears of conference attendees, communicating what’s going on throughout the event, in the halls and on the trade-show floor.
“There is a big need to capture all of the conversations and insights that are happening in the halls—what’s happening in the audience,” explains Jang.
While attendees may be intimidated to speak with a large film crew, Jang says she is more approachable, which helps them relax on camera. “I’m able to capture the people who would normally not be on camera. I’m capturing the introverts, the authentic, unheard voices,” she says.
The results, she notes, are astounding. “When I’m talking with [attendees], it’s very casual and earthy and relatable. It’s not scripted.”
She also interviews sponsors and vendors so that they can get their messages across in a casual format and reach more people—including those who were unable to attend. Posting the videos online further builds interest in the conference and in the vendors and sponsors. The recordings also create content for the host organization, which can use them throughout the year for marketing.
Jang continues to explore new ideas and opportunities, oftentimes in the pages of a favorite tome. A voracious reader, she recommends that individuals “chomp down on those books. Learn, learn, learn.” For aspiring entrepreneurs and young professionals, she advises, “Do the best you can with what you have now. And ask for help. People love to help; let them.”