The Early Years
As a child, Holly loved, more than anything else, to draw pictures and make maps. She remembers routinely walking from her grandparents’ farmhouse to her cousin’s home about a mile away. And each walk would be preceded by the creation of a colorful map, plotting the locations of the houses, shops and small gas station along the way, and complete with logos, drawings, instructions and directional arrows indicating the appropriate side of the street for their journey to and from their destination. The planning was almost as exciting as the trip itself!
An Event Planner is Born
Holly Beveridge’s first professional event planning job came along years later, when she was hired to coordinate the 10th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a large-scale event bringing more than 2,000 people to the University of North Carolina at Asheville. This early work of organizing communication, transportation, travel, lodging, scheduling, registration, and printing for such a large group provided the basis for a career in program management and event planning.
With more than 20 years of experience in the conferences and events field, Holly has focused the majority of her career in the higher education and non-profit sectors. As director of Cultural Events & Special Academic Programs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville since 2010, and later as director of Events & Conferences, her most recent successes have ranged from complex large-scale research conferences, academic ceremonies and programs to concert production and high-profile lecture series. She credits her expertise in event and conference planning to countless hours of on-the-job training at the university as well as a fond past with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the recruitment, marketing, planning and execution of fundraising events.
“Remind me: What is it–exactly–that you do again?”
Event Planning was not a field that her family was familiar with. Holly’s mother and grandmother would repeatedly ask throughout the years “Remind me: What is it–exactly–that you do again? People ask me, and I don’t really know how to explain it.”
As it turns out, event planners get this question all the time. Holly likes the analogy that any conference, event or production is like the tip of an iceberg–it’s the part that you see. An event planner takes care of the massive details lying beneath the surface–the bulk of the iceberg that you never see. An event planner’s job is to get things done; and when guests or audience members are unaware that anything is happening behind the scenes or beneath the surface, it’s a magical thing!
Holly likes to think she is still creating those colorful maps to make our events and journeys smooth, easy to follow, and filled with beauty and joy!
Holly Beveridge is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she received a B.A. in Mass Communication. A friendly introvert who thrives on merging big-picture thinking with keen attention to detail, Holly also loves diving into writing, research, communication and presentation projects. She has a passion for learning to live and work sustainably, to treat others with kindness and respect, and to appreciate the things that connect us all rather than those things that divide us. Originally hailing from the Northeast, Holly has called Asheville, North Carolina home for most of her life and currently resides in Flat Rock, North Carolina.