Gotham Artists Chief Operating Officer, Samantha Conine, wears many hats at GA and wears them all extremely well. Starting as an Executive Assistant fresh out of college in 2012, Sam has been an essential part of the fast-paced growth of Gotham Artists within the event industry. From handling event logistics to acting as a liaison between artists, agents, and organizers to contract management and just about anything else you can think of, Sam uses her problem-solving ability, management expertise, and high-level communication skills to excel in each role and responsibility on her plate.
We are deeply grateful to have Sam on team Gotham, and we look forward to you learning a thing or two about her below!
Q: Why do you love working at Gotham?
Sam : The camaraderie. We work in an industry that can be cutthroat at times and especially being in a customer service position, there are days where you try your best and it doesn’t work out–I always know my coworkers have my back and we are always mutually trying to help each other and make each other better. The world is harsh! I’m just glad I can trust and count on my colleagues. Working in events and entertainment is as stressful as it can be fun–but it wouldn’t be fun at all if I didn’t have my GA people with me.
Q: Why did you initially join Gotham?
Sam : Initially, I was thinking it might be a good place to hone my casting skills–before I joined Gotham that was one of the career paths that interested me–so I liked the idea of “matching” speakers and talent with events. And I still do! But I found I really enjoy the event coordination and moreover, the customer service/comms part of the position. On a personal level, I felt immediately welcomed by the team. At the time, there were only four other employees and we were in a tiny office in Midtown–the atmosphere was very entrepreneurial, which was exciting to me as someone a year out of college. And I’m not going to say that the office having an N64 was a plus, but it was a plus.
Q: What has the experience been like for you over the past 10 years?
Sam : Personally, I have witnessed major evolutions both at Gotham and within the speaking industry. While some of this comes with evolving my role from administrative-based tasks to solely coordinating events to now coordinating events and overseeing company decisions–Gotham itself has grown from a start-up culture to a more structured operation with different divisions and clearer goals. I am most excited about our decision to put time, resources, and energy into building our exclusive speaker roster–I truly stand by each one of our speakers and moderators and I can’t wait to expand this part of our company. Through the strengthening of operations, GA has also managed to keep its entrepreneurial spirit and maintain a fun work atmosphere (though with admittedly less N64 playing).
As an industry, the pandemic obviously turned everything on its head. I commend Alec, our CEO, with adopting and pitching virtual events early on and not waiting in vain for events to go back to in-person right away. The switch back to in-person was breakneck and while I am grateful for that, I would like leaders across all of the industries we work with to keep in mind how fast the change was for so many of us; virtual and in-person events have a very different cadence and I have noticed as a result that more people are overworked and under immense pressure. I feel the pressure is top-down and I implore industry leaders to take a pause and remember what many of us learned during the pandemic: to lead with kindness and humility and also that employees are whole beings with lives and families outside of work. We made it through the hardest parts of the pandemic and I think that couldn’t have been done if we at GA didn’t stick together and if our fellow bureau and agency partners didn’t stick together. And a special shout out to my fellow event coordinators at GA and our partner bureaus and agencies: YOU ALL RULE! You all are the real masterminds 🙂