Episode Archives

S.3 Episode 14: Develop your Personal Brand Without the Label, Bossy

Kate Patay from ILEA Live shares about how she helps brands and individuals create and refine their personal brand. 

Tell us about you.

I do brand and image strategy now. I spent almost 20 years in special events, I switched to the dark side, I was a vendor for almost 7 years. Then about three years ago I branched off on my own. I was getting enough requests on that side of things. It made sense, I love it. I love what I do everyday.

What are you doing?

Working with a combination of event professionals, hotels, casinos, different companies in the industry and working with doing a brand audit and how are you authentically you. How do you stand out in a world that is so noisy theres so much out there. How do you stand out amongst them all. We figure out who you are and amplify that for you.

What can I do to have a better brand image?

Biggest takeaways I say, first be authentic. If you’re trying to be something your not it will show and it will be exhausting. Be a sponge learn everything and don’t say no to opportunities, yes you have to have boundaries and say no to things, but be open to learning things that could further your career and show you a different side of it. If you’re more well rounded and understand the moving parts of what you do, that’s going to help you long term. 

How do I show authenticity without saying “I’m being different and I want you to know.” ?

Pinpointing, everyone has something unique, that’s special about them finding that and owning it. If you’re with the wrong clients how do you find the right ones?

There’s a difference between amplifying qualities you have and being lazy, “that’s how I am.”  How do you work on those things?

I look a lot at EQ. It’s who you are inherently, you can always work on your EQ, you can’t fix your IQ. You can work on your emotional well being and how you present. You can see where your weaknesses are and consistently work on those. You can see where you’re great and where you’re not. Hire to your weaknesses every time.

How does branding and imaging come to the forefront in the live events world?

Everyone you work with, that’s a reflection of you and your brand. They need to understand who you are and what that end goal is for the clients. They represent you in a great way. Make sure you’re creating great brand ambassadors and people talking about you on your behalf. I will never sit down and sell myself but 50 people at this conference will do it for me.

How do people be more confident?

It’s two fold. Theres and internal and external confidence. The internal confidence is you need to know your stuff. It’s not fake it till you make it, truly know what you’re talking about and if you don’t figure it out. Get to know your material and know it inside and out. On the external side you need to be comfortable in your skin. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but we do. That’s life. That’s what really happens people judge you within a tenth of a second of meeting you. Be comfortable make sure it fits, it’s pressed, you’re not tugging at everything or thinking this isn’t my favorite look.

What are you’re pet peeves.

Not being on time. I will lock the door and watch you stand. 

I really don’t like noise, if I can hear someone eating, chewing, or doing something.

Any closing advice for those starting their career?

Find some incredible people, come to these conferences and find amazing mentors willing to share this experience. I wish I would have found my people earlier in my career. You don’t have to stumble through it alone. Find people you look up to and try and emulate that,

Super power: I can use a double negative in any situation to make it sound good. 

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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 11: Authenticity and Events: The New Movement

Our first international guest, Dan Bolton brings two words to mind: Genuine and Authentic.  He shares how specific events have impacted him as well as help change culture!  This episode shows how events are more than just gatherings but can be movements!

How did you get in the events world?

Pretty much by fluke, I was a circus performer. I wasn’t that good at it actually. We toured around the UK and Europe, I was a fire breather, stilt walker, a clown. Not the career path my parents had wanted me to do. They thought I’d be a lawyer, doctor, or police man, when I said I was going to run away with the circus they were disappointed. That’s how I got into it then it was the case of you need a real job. I started booking entertainment and managing, creating shows and performances, worked with agencies and started my own business 4 years ago.

You’ve worked on projects around the olympics.

I’ve done two. I was a performer in Athens for the closing ceremony, I was a dancer. Then for the London olympics I was supporting the choreography for the athletes parade.  Every time you see the athletes with the flags, we do things like that as well. 

It’s [the olympics] interesting because it’s dominated by two or three big companies always pitching for them.  It depends on who is the favorite at the time. Can you imagine the politics  and stressed involved? We worked with Jakata last year, the stress levels to put that show together were pretty intense.

It’s something I’m going to talk about in my session tomorrow (At ILEA Live) basically talking about how bigger events really do help drive and position countries. It’s basically a marketing machine so they showcase their country and use it as an opportunity to promote themselves and empower their population.  It’s a pretty big deal. There’s often interventions or recommendations with presidents. Last year in Jakarta, we were working with the military and Vice President.

Events can really put you on the map.

Yes for good or bad reasons. They definitely put places, people, and country on the map for sure. It’s a form of soft power, thats why these countries bid for them, they want to project themselves as a great nation.  

We are working on Expo 2020 at Dubai, a world fair that happens every 5 years in big cities.  They bring together 195 nations taking part in this six month festival.  They have over 60 events every day for 173 days.  It’s huge, countries build pavilions and they are almost like mini embassies and they showcase innovation and technology. They are like a tour center to showcase countries. People travel from around the world.  They are expecting 25 million people to attend.  They are building infrastructure for that. They are building a whole city basically outside of Dubai to accommodate. Then they factor that into the legacy plans.  This will become a destination once the event is finished. It’s an opportunity for people to come experience the Middle East and position itself as a center for live events and knowledge sharing, bringing people together. This is important for the way the world is. Nations use these experiences to really propel them into the future. It’s competitive. It can really help drive the future of the city or destination.

Great, tomorrow you are speaking, what are you speaking about?

I’m going to talk about my experience in Jakarta, some of the things we went through.  It was a really humbling experience.  We go there and kind of tell people what to do. They are bringing in the internationals and we got so absorbed into the culture, it was a beautiful experience.  They are all volunteers, 4000 we had to choreograph. You have these school girls and they don’t see the big picture, it’s a four month journey, they don’t want to be there, they are forced there and it builds to this extremely proud moment of them being proud of their country.  It’s empowering to see this. 

What’s the most memorable event experience you have ever had?

I’m going to say a recent project, the special olympics. 

Anything new for those starting out?

This industry is changing so fast. We need to be consistent, authentic, real it’s hard work.  People think it’s really easy and simple, but it’s pretty stressful.

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S.3 Episode 10: Getting Real with an Events Planner Part 2

What are you up to?

This spring I took a few months off to be with my kiddos. I was doing the whole mom thing and doing all the activities and cooking, and in the interim I did my first show calling gig. It was terrifying. It’s super scary. I loved the control of it.  I had zero experience show calling so I called a friend of mine to prep.  I sent her gift cards and we practiced multiple times. It ended up being ok, but the thing I learned is its not what on the paper its about what you don’t know is going to happen and how you are going to keep that calm voice and directing people. 

I’m apart of this non profit, she climbs mountains that supports motherless daughters.  We are now doing a new program called girls drive up, youth motherless daughters ages 8-18.  We’re doing a launch party Nov 16th. It’s a fundraiser/launch event.  Sheclimbsmountians.org

What are your pet peeves?

I do not like getting gas, I like going down to 0 miles on my dashboard and my husband wants to kill me. 

Another one is people who are not accountable. If you sign yourself up for a project you need to be accountable and communicate if you can’t do something.

Not starting on time. 

What are you working on right now?

Target’s fall national meeting. It happens September 11th, I’ve done it for 5 years now. I’ve been an element producer, for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been the presentation lead, the lead for all the executive speaker presentations. Which includes the power point and the video. I meet with them and work with the communications team who writes scripts and outlines, work with the decor, video team. Schedule all the rehearsals. There are 20 people on the core team, and there are 100’s of staff once we get on site. 12-14,000 attend this event. 

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Shadia@tobkin.com

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