Our highlighted Boxer this week is Kathleen Castaillac, our Director of Global Events based in our Redwood City, California HQ. Here's our interview:
I joined Box 6 years ago after a decade plus in Marketing Events for a variety of magazine publishing houses. I'm a mom of three, wife of an Oregon Duck. I like SoulCycle, tennis and reading a lot and I'm a damn good follower of recipes. I'm also completely freaked out by everything about bananas and have never had one. Bleh... bananas.
As Box's lead for Global Events, my team and I spend about 65% of our time working on BoxWorks year round, in addition to BoxWorldTour in North America, Box World Tour Europe, and BWT Tokyo. We also manage our large national event sponsorships with partners like Gartner, Okta, Microsoft, IBM, Google and more.
Fun Fact: I have a Master's Degree in Irish Literature, Language and Culture.
How have industry events changed since you first started?
People are smarter about ROI and impact now. While event marketing is still talked about in terms of influence and awareness, the metrics and hard numbers have dramatically increased and improved. The science is just as important as the art.
What has been the most compelling/innovative event you have worked on? Why did you enjoy working on it?
Dare I say it ... but BoxWorks. The whole of Box rallies around BoxWorks and I just love seeing everyone come together with ideas, volunteering to help refine things, wanting to engage with our customers. Outside of Box, in a previous life, we created a tour where cutting edge video games were demo-able on super computers and took it around the country to rock concerts and movie theaters - that was insanely fun for the unexpected joy it brought grown men who were trying to be cool.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, what’s been the most difficult challenge?
When you are a ride or die start-up conference that can be cheeky and you grow into a big enterprise conference, keeping your spirit, freshness and cheeki-ness alive is hard. There have been years where we nailed it and years where we didn't. This to me is the greatest challenge we face because we, as Box, never want to be like everyone else's events but we still need to provide relevant content, networking opportunities and partner engagement moments. There will always be standard growing pains of resourcing and reach but our ability to be the fun engaging Box while being the serious cloud content management Box is what keeps me on my toes.
Aaron is such a core part of this company - do you have a fun memory to share?
This is more sentimental than fun. I have a five year old son, which, if you are doing the math, means I had a baby a few months before BoxWorks '12. Our SVP of Marketing and I had worked out a plan where I modified my schedule to accommodate having a newborn and pulling off BoxWorks and, four months later, it was done. The night of the afterparty, my husband was walking in and Aaron stopped him to thank him for what our family had to "sacrifice" to get through BoxWrks that year saying "I know what this did to your family and I really appreciate it". It was, and is still, a moment that takes my breath away and very often makes me cry when I retell it. Although the requests for pyrotechnics or fog machines two days before the keynote and comments on the size of signage make my eyes roll back almost instinctively, I am better at my job for getting to work with him - and everyone else at Box of course, but he's something special and I know there will never be another Aaron in my life.
How has Box helped your career development? Is there a career lesson you would like to share?
In the final analysis, Box will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, chapter in the story of my career. My role and time at Box have shaped how I view leadership, balance and forced me to accept challenges I would have never fathomed.
The one career lesson I've really taken to heart here is finding your voice. Sometimes those on other side cannot hear what you are saying but you must be honest to yourself and say what needs to be said. If you don't, the small things become big things and the big things become King Kongs. By natural inclination, I will avoid confrontation at all costs but, over the years at Box, I've learned how to articulate concerns, when and where to articulate those and how to handle reactions (both positive and negative).
What do you wish other people knew about Box?
Someone once said that when they write the movie of Box, she hoped they captured that we were actually, truly friends. That's the first thing. We are friends. Not work friends. Friends. Full stop. That the people that flourish here expect amazing things of each other and relish in living up to those expectations. If you don't buy into that at day one, you will Never get it. That this building will become a unique character in your life and that its like no other building you've ever been in.