Logistics

S.3 Episode 13: Believe it or Not, Everyone is a Sales Person!

Karen Gordon of Goodshuffle shares some information gold this week!  With a super power of empathy, she shares some helpful tips for those starting out in the events world.  

You have to tell us about your career.

I started in tech sales and decided I never wanted to work in sales and technology again, and now I find myself heading up sales for a tech company. I decided to leave because I wanted to get into events, I quit that job and started to do events for Living Social. They had a huge presence out of DC. I worked in their adventures division. They tapped me for a new division, they opened a live event venue. 7 stories, a speakeasy basement bar, test kitchen. We’d be running 7 different events in one night. I moved over into a creative sales role.  I worked in the live event space for a long time, did logistics, sales, creative, budgeting. That sadly closed down, we were ahead of our time. I went on and worked at several different startups in the DC area. 

What is Goodshuffle?

It’s bringing powerful modern technology to the event world. We are in an on demand society, there are a lot of last minute changes and decisions that get made. And you know all the inventory you have to manage, and a last minute change could mean changing a contract last minute, letting a warehouse know… all of that can be a huge disaster. We are on a mission to solve that. Goodshuffle Pro is software for these companies so you can have photo driven proposals, that are interactive, you can make last minute changes, pay online. 

What is your role?

My title is VP of Growth. I’m in charge of everything related to business development. Goodshuffle is pretty small still, half a dozen full time within our office. We work with tons of part time and contractors, but we are still small. It’s crazy, I was the first employee, there were three of us and we didn’t launch the GS Pro software until January of last year and we are in 42 states, Canada, and Mexico already.

You were tasked at ILEA Live to talk about powerful language tell us about that.

We talked about branding and finding your voice. Everyone has different versions of powerful language. I encourage everyone to do branding exercises. We were talking about how powerful language can help your sales style.  Listen for specific examples!

Sounds like this is applicable in many situations.

One of the things I said is some of you may not think you are sales people but everyone is a sales person. 

What advice do you have for people new in the events industry?

In the events industry there are a lot of paths you can take. A lot of people who I talk to that are successful, it’s because they saw other opportunities and pivoted. Even myself, I didn’t stay in core events but used it to be in event technology. 

People get really eager to get to the top in any role. That is especially true in events. I was talking to a guy who thinks he wants to be in events and he was complaining and I said it doesn’t matter if you get to the very top, most people if you’re a good boss you’re also rolling up your sleeves and moving things across the floor. You really need to love it. 

Super power: Empathy, understanding people very quickly

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S.3 Episode 12: Stop. Collaborate and Listen!

This week is all about collaboration to tell the story and create the best event. Lenny joins Charles and Paige at ILEA live and explains how he has used the relationships he has made in the events industry!

You have to tell us about you.

I’m in Las Vegas, an experimental architect, aka event producer. I have lived there for most of my adult life. I started out in the entertainment industry.  I moved for what was supposed to have been a 2 week job singing and dancing. I preformed for shows on the strip for many many years, once you get to a job and you start looking to your left and looking to the right you’re now old enough to be the father of the person you sing and dance next to, move into production. That’s how my career evolved. 

You’re a speaker here at ILEA Live, what are you talking about?

I partnered with a close friend and associate, he works as the current VP for Top Rink Boxing, together we partnered for many many years. We produced everything from hotel openings, to show openings, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, what we were speaking about was those entertainment activations and how you partner with sponsors and suppliers to deliver and get the messaging out there. It’s always in the story, depending what the story is. It’s a marketing effort to get it out there, you want to sell tickets, at the same time its a public relations activity, you want to stay on point with messaging for that particular hotel or producer. That’s what our conversation was about today.

When you put these things together and producing an event, tell me about the essential elements.

Money. A lot of elements are involved. Budgets are always nice to have. Take best practices and ideas and partner with the people you meet. 

Tell me about when you are looking for great partners. 

You have to have the basis of a relationship.  Whether you met them somewhere before, been an admirer of their work, you reach out and begin to have those conversations and see if it’s going to be the correct fit. Not everyone is going to be the correct or right fit for a project, it’s the scaleability for that particular supplier. There are a number of great A/V providers, but they may not be scalable, you have to make a judgement call. 

How would a young professional start a successful career in the events industry?

I work for a school in Las Vegas International school of Hospitality, specializing in certificate programs. Our students are not ready or they are not cut out for a 4 year degree program, yet they still want to be in the hospitality industry. They can come or do it online and learn about those particular disciplines. The certificate then gives them those baseline skills to prepare them to go out for interviews. The challenge for some of the young folks is having some applicable skills that they can enter with. Everybody wants to do it and has the passion, but you have to have something that’s actionable. Looking at those types of opportunities. Or come to a special event conference and taking those educational classes and core curriculum where you can learn from professionals working in the industry. 

Take someone starting out who doesn’t know what part they want to be involved in, what should they do?

Stay off my turf. For someone to figure out what their calling is, they have to get engaged.  There are not any hard and fast rules, it’s a matter of going out there and doing it, and saying it’s a fit I enjoy, or going a different direction. 

Enlighten us on how you do great storytelling at an event?

It’s important to understand the project, what’s the story there. Who is the customer, who is the client? There are certain types of stories, The Who am I story. There’s the why am I here stories. The other types of stories are what I call the teaching stories. You’re always going to fit in a certain type of story and based on that you are going to use whatever tools are at your disposal. 

Lenny Talarico

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S.3 Episode 8: Bringing Back Human Experiences to Events

At ILEA Live we sit down with Kevin White, XPL, and he talks all about the science of human behavior. We were encouraged to think through the human experience at events in order to create an event that your guest will love!

S.3 Episode 1: Engage your Audience Better!

Today we are joined by Kitty H and Justin D at STAR.

Tell us about STAR and your career…

Kitty: We are an experiential marketing agency. Brands we work with come to us because they are looking for new and impactful ways for their brand to be face to face with people. We live in an uber digital world where people are on their devices and we are streaming our content, the whole advertising industry has been turned upside down, so it’s all about events and experiences. People want to have a physical experience with the brand. Our work shows up in all different types of environments, in retail, corporate interior, trade show floor and more. 

I have been at STAR for a little more than a year and half. My career was in business development. Everything I know is from selling and sitting in meetings with clients and asking them how they are going to sell to people and market their product. I worked at a variety of different agencies. The last one I was working at focused on brand design. I became increasingly interested in the discipline of experience design. I walked into STAR one day for a random reason, and I was like this isn’t exhibits,  this is experience design. I knew that’s where I wanted to be.

Justin: I started 22 years ago with STAR as an intern. I have seen a lot of change and growth, it has been super fun and exciting. We are getting into all sorts of cool and unique projects. 

How do you still give the digital what it needs while providing a physical experience for their audience?

Justin: We do one touch point. There are a lot of ways to interact with the brand, digital, socially, we are the more physical space.  What are your objectives and how do we help you get there?  What are the results you are looking to receive?

What are common outcomes?

Justin: Startups may be brand awareness, giving exposure to your product.

Kitty: Right down to impressions, they are incredibly valuable. Sometimes it’s not always easy to put an ROI on things but we know that the more impressions out there the more people are sharing, word of mouth is incredibly powerful.

Let’s say I’m a planner in a company and really want to redo our brand experience, what kind of money are we talking?

Justin: There isn’t a starting point, it depends what are you trying to do, what are your needs and we will help find a solution for your budget.  

How do you start the conversation with brands?

Kitty: We typically love to get people into our space.  It’s important to get outside of your environment and into a creative space. We bring creative people to the table and really experienced project managers. We talk about what are the goals? What needs to happen? The fun part of the project is to sit and brainstorm and go far. You have to be able to dream really big for us to land where the client will be able to go. 

Tell me the difference between being a vendor and a partner.

Kitty: You hear a lot of companies talk about this because everyone wants to be a partner but following through and being that is another thing. Trust is a big part of it. When you have established a level of trust where they know you will always come through, you become a partner. Partnerships will not be the cheapest. 

Causes we love: Minnesota Zoo, Feed My Starving Children, Mentoring: EPA

Engagestar.com

khart@engagestar.com

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S.2 Episode 30: Why Booking Your Vendors too Late May Cost You

When should you start the planning process?

You have to figure out how big your audience is, if it’s small you don’t need as much lead time. We are talking to someone who is 30-40 thousand people and they plan three years in advance. 

Usually it’s date and location that are the biggest frustration and you need to figures those out first. We had a guest who talked about selling yourself to the venue. Do not think because you have a budget and audience that you will be attractive to the city, you may be competing with some really big names. Some events have ten year contracts because they are so big and need to lock in a venue. 

When do you loop in your partners?

It depends on size and scale of your event. When your organization works with a third party to work with vendors it adds a layer of complexity, but loop that person in immediately.  As soon as possible loop in production and decor. You might get a higher rate if you wait too long, or not get the a-squad! The earlier you book the better everything you get.  You should book your production as you choose a venue, they can help you save money through site visits.  The production partner can see things that you may not notice. 

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