Unless you’re still using the headphones that came with your smartphone, you’ve probably already upgraded to a pair by Monster, whose audio-enhancing essentials are beloved by Grammy winners and Super Bowl champs alike. So I’m excited to introduce you to Jenna Granneman, who manages Monster’s jam-packed calendar of star-studded events and high-profile collaborations (among other things). For this party-planning pro, hopping on a plane for the next big bash is all in a day’s work (as is hanging with Nelly and Drew Brees, naturally). Between trips, the newlywed let me peek inside her suitcase and revealed her top travel tips, celebrity etiquette, and why she always packs ring cleaner.
Tell us about the work you do at Monster.
I do a little bit of everything. I manage a team of two and we oversee events globally. I’m also on the marketing leadership team, and I manage the Monster Game brand. My co-workers call me the “CEO of Life” (jokingly of course, but that would be cool).
What’s the best part of the gig?
I’m empowered to make huge decisions to benefit my company. I’m always thrown into new situations where I have to learn quickly and adapt. I believe the best thing you can find in a job is a platform to learn and challenge yourself. The parties are fun, too.
You’re constantly traveling for events. What’s typically in your suitcase?
One thing I learned early on was to always be prepared when on the road. I’ve mastered the quick pack and can pack a week in a carry-on. Travel tip: If you can avoid checking a suitcase, it saves you an hour on average. Most of the time I’m already 10 minutes late once I land, so every moment counts.
I fly in leggings—no one likes tight pants on a cross-country flight—and a flowy top (is that the technical term?) that I can wear later with jeans. My typical suitcase contains:
1. One pair of designer jeans.
2. One pair of nice black jeans or pants for meetings.
3. Brown or black leather jacket. I bring the color that goes with the majority of what I’m packing.
4. Yoga pants to wear when I’m setting up on-site.
5. Two camisoles, one black and one white or nude.
6. Two cocktail dresses, ’cause you always need options.
7. One business casual dress.
8. One nice blouse to wear with leggings or jeans.
9. Three pairs of shoes: one black, one nude and one sandal (or boots if it’s cold).
10. One comfy t-shirt, typically a Sportique shirt with EA Sports branding.
11. My Lauren Merkin clutch for when I’m at events.
12. A nude multi-way bra from Victoria’s Secret. This is a must-have, so I can avoid bringing multiple bras in different colors.
How do keep those cocktail dresses wrinkle-free?
I fold my clothes in half and then roll everything into little “logs.” I stack the logs, which allows for a lot of space without getting folding lines or wrinkles. The trick with cocktail dresses? Lace! It doesn't wrinkle. Also, I unpack the second I get in the room and become BFFs with the iron.
What beauty products make the carry-on cut?
Don’t be that person holding up the security line because you have full bottles of products! I purchase empty travel-sized containers and fill them with my own face wash, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner; they last longer and don’t cost as much as travel-sized products. The sample sizes that come with gift sets are also ideal.
I always pack lotion with sunscreen. I use CeraVe because it was recommended by my dermatologist and it’s gentle on skin. Travel tip: You are exposed to more UV rays in an airplane for obvious reasons—you’re closer to the sun. Opt for an aisle seat or lower the window shade to help prevent unwanted rays.
For perfume, ask the person at the counter to make you a sample so you can carry on your favorite scent. Other must-haves: Chapstick, hand sanitizer, and ring cleaner to show off the one good thing your husband has done.
I also bring a water bottle, which can be considered a beauty product because without water, your skin will get dehydrated. Travel tip: Flights suck all of the moisture out of your body. Load on extra lotion with sunscreen prior to any flight and keep a small bottle of lotion in your purse to reapply periodically.
Do you have any must-pack gadgets?
I work for a company with over 4,000 products, so options are endless! But, I will always bring my laptop, laptop charger, Monster Outlets To Go, wireless mouse, and Monster Clarity Micro Speaker. You can always find two iPhones (yes, I’m that girl with two phones), an iPad mini, a Mophie wireless charger, and at least two pairs of headphones in my purse. I’m currently carrying EA on-ear headphones and Monster iSport in-ear headphones.
You’re often around celebrities. Do you ever get intimated?
It’s my job to ensure any celebrity linked to one of my events is taken care of. The thing to remember is most of them are pretty laid-back. I always introduce myself and let them know that they can call me if they need anything. It’s always a bonus when you can have a cocktail and take a photo with them. But overall, professionalism comes before anything. No one likes a groupie.
Do you have any advice for women who want to work in this industry?
If you’re up for the challenge, I’d recommend it. I love the consumer electronics industry because it’s always changing. I don’t believe in being comfortable in a job, so the thrill of the next best thing is always motivating me to learn and grow. If you hate leaving your BF or husband and don’t like recycled air, this may not be the best job for you. But there’s something for everyone who wants to roll up their sleeves.
Last question: If you could only keep one pair of shoes from your closet, which ones would you choose and why?
I love my Aldo sparkly shoes. I got these last year—yes, so last summer—but they are really comfortable and I can wear them with jeans or with a cocktail dress. I even wore them for my wedding. And what woman doesn’t love a little sparkle?
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