Candid COVID Conversations with Natasha Miller

On this episode we sat down with Natasha Miller, entrepreneur, speaker, author, and more. She shared all that has changed for her as well as where the industry may be headed.

Tell us about you.

The core of our business is bringing in entertainment of every genre and discipline into high end corporate events. We did a lot of social events a few years back, but we’re going to more of a corporate world now. We have another division which is full event production. Two separate very related divisions and we’re in the San Fran Bay Area. Last year we did a little less than 600 events the year before 777, this year we were going to scale and grow at least 25%. That’s not going to happen unless a miracle happens in a couple of months and we have this onslaught.

How long have you been in business?

We started in 2001. I’ve been doing this business since I was 19. I’m a classically trained violinist and jazz vocalist and that’s how the business started. From 2001-2009 it was more of a lifestyle business. I was a sole profiteer and didn’t have employees. 2009 I rebranded and we launched, hired employees, and did massively bigger everything.

What is your team like, what are you compromised of?

We have 12 employees and there was a division that was specifically pointed toward full event production. It’s a beast compared to putting in 1-20 performers at an event. We were getting RFP’s like drinking from a firehose and have been for that last few years. We have close to 200 in our system that were alive, they’re still alive though they haven’t gone to contact yet. And those days will be pushed if not canceled. (COVID-19)

How do we get out of this, what’s giving you hope?

I know that I’m counting on the human nature that’s baked into us right now. It would take a long long time for it to fade away that we gather, we get together. We’re going to have events, they may look a little different. I’m hearing life as you know it is no longer, this is the new normal, you can throw out your business plans and start from scratch. Some of that’s true, maybe we won’t shake hands hello, or won’t be taking from buffet stations for a long time. Maybe it’s a lot more sanitary. My hope is that once people start being able to do events, we’re going to be slammed.

This is horrific, it’s a crisis, it hurts. I had a little bit of a panic attack one night. I’m over the shock now and into the reality, problem solving. I do see a bunch of holes in my business and places to improve I may not have seen. I get to start from scratch and build back up, avoiding some of the pit falls I wasn’t paying attention to.

It’s easy to have your head in sand and not look up. The moment this happened I went into fight or flight, it was uncomfortable. Its what you do after with that. How do you deliver difficult news How do you explain your laying people off?

What advice do you have?

Educate yourself. Don’t wait. Learn as you go and learn on the job, but do more than that. There’s so many industry blogs and magazines that you can read. Build real authentic strong relationships. Look for mentors and advisors along the way. Give up your own intelligence and information to others.

Insta: Charlesevaneide

Twitter: The Meeting Minds

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