Episode 291 A Conversation With: CINDY NOVOTNY

“When life gets tough, it takes guts to keep going.” Andy is excited to have Cindy Novotny back on the show. Cindy is the founder of Master Connections Associates, an internationally renowned leader in sales, leadership, and customer service. The Association of Talent Development has recognized her as one of the nine most powerful and innovative speakers. Cindy is also the author of the book Living with No Balance and Loving it

Listen as Cindy speaks about where she was when the pandemic hit, and how she immediately jumped on webinars with her clients at no charge to help them navigate the crisis. Cindy discusses some common issues she has been helping clients with and why she believes that non-stop communication with your clients and team is important.

“You have to be in charge of your own destiny.” Not everyone is in the same boat; some industries are busier than they have ever been. Cindy shares what she tells people in the event industry about looking at an empty calendar and how you have to be flexible with your business model.

“Never ever reduce your prices.” Listen, as Cindy says, that reducing your prices will take you five years to recover. Instead of lowering your rates, she says to take on more clients. Cindy also touches on the vaccine controversy and shares that she has gotten every available vaccine and will get the COVID-19 one when it is available.

Cindy believes that you need to be humble if you have no clients and are in trouble financially, use what you know, and get a job. She believes that you need to do what’s necessary and remember this will pass. What a powerful and inspiring interview! 

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around, including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for it in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:17] Welcome back to the show, Cindy!
  • [01:40] Cindy always says what got you here today won’t take you into the future.
  • [02:40] Listen as Cindy speaks about where she was when the pandemic hit.
  • [04:10] Cindy shares that she immediately jumped on webinars with her clients at no charge to help them.
  • [06:32] Cindy discusses some of the most common things she has been helping clients with.
  • [09:18] Non-stop communication with clients and your team is something Cindy believes in.
  • [11:10] Cindy says you have to be in charge of your own destiny.
  • [12:33] Not everyone is in the same boat. Some businesses are going over the top crazy during the pandemic.
  • [14:31] What do you tell people in the event industry looking at an empty calendar for the rest of the year?
  • [17:28] Cindy talks about being flexible with your business model.
  • [19:02] Listen as Cindy shares what she would say to someone who is struggling financially.
  • [21:15] Cindy speaks about the controversy surrounding vaccines.
  • [23:53] Cindy says to never, ever reduce your prices.
  • [24:52] Lowering your price will take you five years to recover.
  • [27:59] Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show!

                                                                       

 

Find Cindy

Cindy Novotny

Master Connection

Master Connection Associates

Book: Living with No Balance and Loving It

Cindy Novotny Episode 82 on The Wedding Biz

Cindy Novotny part 2 Episode 126 on The Wedding Biz

@cindy_novotny

Instagram | LinkedIn

@cindynovotny

Twitter

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

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The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Mentioned:

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 5 on The Wedding Biz

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 84 on The Wedding Biz

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 247 on The Wedding Biz

Episode 290 A Conversation with: LAURIE ARONS

Andy has Laurie Arons on the show today to talk about how she is handling the pandemic personally and professionally, some events she has been lucky enough to have, and how she has stayed connected with her clients that rescheduled their events for next year, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Since founding Laurie Arons Special Events in 1994, Laurie has been featured in numerous magazine publications and was listed in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Martha Stewart Weddings as one of the top planners worldwide. Her clients include noteworthy trendsetters like Vanessa Getty and Christy Turlington, and prominent business moguls like Gary Friedman, Frank Schofield, and Eddie DeBartolo.

Laurie shares some safety measures she has in place for her events, how she has been able to keep all of her team, and how she believes this pandemic will affect the event industry going forward. Listen as Laurie speaks about postponing her Masterclass, rescheduling it for December, and some exciting things that the attendees will experience.

Laurie says that she always tries to find the silver lining during a crisis, and because of COVID, she has done some things that she wouldn’t have had time for otherwise. This is a conversation that you won’t want to miss.

We are all experiencing quite a bit of stress and other issues during this pandemic. Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to www.theweddingbiz.com/toptips.

Are you a creative who wants to turn your craft into a business or take it further? Head to the Wedding Biz Network and listen to The Business of Being Creative podcast with Sean Low. Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

 

Show Highlights:

[01:44] Welcome back to the show, Laurie!

[02:19] Laurie shares how she is handling the pandemic personally and professionally.

[04:09] Laurie discusses some events she was able to do.

[07:17] She speaks about doing rapid testing on anyone around the guests during the events.

[08:26] Laurie shares her strategy in connecting with her clients that have been rescheduled.

[10:19] Keeping the connection and the excitement alive for her clients is important to her, so she connects with them twice a month.

[13:19] Listen as Laurie speaks about her employees and how she has kept them on.

[16:49] Laurie believes that people will be more thoughtful after this experience when planning their events, and the safety measures will still be in place.

[20:00] Andy says that when the vaccine is available, he will take it, but many people won’t, so this could still be around for a while.

[21:01] Laurie discusses postponing her Masterclass to December and how they will keep people safe.

[23:05] Laurie shares some things she has learned about herself and done during this pandemic.

[24:08] Thank you for taking the time to be on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Laurie Arons:

Laurie Arons Special Events

Laurie Arons Episode 139 on The Wedding Biz

@lauriearons

Instagram | Twitter

@lauriearonsspecialevents

Facebook

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Episode 289 ABI MATESUN discusses ZAINAB ALSALIH/Carousel Events: One of Dubai’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs

“It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how it feels.” Andy’s guest co-host today is Abi Matesun, Founder and CEO of Malekfoto Films and Malekfoto Weddings. Abi is a two time Emmy winning cinematographer, filmmaker, photographer, public speaker, and two time Telly Award winner. Listen as they discuss how Zainab honed her skill set as a child, the advantages of traveling to many countries and cultures, and much more on this episode of The Next Level.

Zainab Alsalih is the Founder and Creative Director of Carousel Events out of Dubai, one of the region’s best-known companies for event design. Zainab is also considered one of the most respected authorities on weddings in the middle east. She has been covered and quoted in countless regional and international programs and publications.

Abi discusses how traveling as a child opened Zainab to many cultures and languages, which gives her an edge in her designs. And she honed her skill by redecorating her bedroom frequently as a child.

Listen, as Abi and Andy share how Zainab sets up her office so that when she meets with clients for the first time, they get a feel for who she is and what to expect from her. Zainab believes that less is more because people don’t miss what they can’t see and luxury is a personal experience.

Abi speaks about what Zainab created for Engage!20 Dubai and shares some details about what made it breathtaking. Zainab is an amazing designer and any conversation about her is riveting, but when you add Abi Matesun to the conversation, you end up with the need to go further and find out more about both incredible creatives. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around, including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for it in your cell phone’s podcast app or visiting www.themusicmakers.com

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:07] Welcome back to the show, Abi!
  • [02:17] Abi discusses Zainab being a creative and honing that skill even as a child.
  • [03:35] Abi believes that travel opens your eyes to different cultures and experiences, and all the traveling Zainab did as a child gave her an edge.
  • [05:37] They discuss how Zainab gets to know her clients before they ever talk about their wedding.
  • [07:07] Zainab believes that less is more because people don’t miss what they don’t see.
  • [08:11] Abi explains why luxury is an experience.
  • [09:05] Abi discusses Zainab’s style and how she designs weddings around the couple’s personal details.
  • [11:32] Listen as Abi speaks about the experience that Zainab created for Engage20! Dubai.
  • [14:15] Andy talks about Abi using storyboarding, which for events is unusual.
  • [16:36] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

Find Zainab:

Zainab Alsalih

Carousel Casa

Engage!20 Dubai

@carousel_wedding_events

Instagram | Facebook | Vimeo

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Abi Matesun, Emmy-Winning Cinematographer, Filmmaker, Photographer & Speaker

Malekfoto Weddings

Malekfoto Films

Abi Matesun Episode 282 on The Wedding Biz

@malekfotoweddings

Instagram | Facebook

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Episode 288 ZAINAB ALSALIH/Carousel Events: One of Dubai’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs

“I try always to make sure I design a wedding with the couple in mind and personalize it as much as possible.” Listen as Andy and his guest, Zainab Alsalih, discuss how she designs a wedding, why she transitioned from corporate events into weddings, her process when doing events, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Zainab is the Founder and Creative Director of Carousel Events out of Dubai, one of the region’s best-known companies for event design. Zainab is also considered one of the 

most respected authorities on weddings in the middle east. She has been covered and quoted in countless regional and international programs and publications in various languages on radio, televisions, print, and online, including Harpers Bazaar, Martha Stewart, and Vogue.

Listen as Zainab shares how she got started in event planning and the transition to weddings. She speaks about how young couples today are leaning toward less traditional weddings and more towards western influences. Zainab also discusses her process from the first time she meets the client until the actual wedding.

“It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how a wedding feels.” Zainab shares why this is the way she views weddings, why less is more is her main mantra, and what the definition of luxury means to her. She shares many details of major weddings she has designed and tells it with color and passion so you can visualize it as if you were there. You don’t want to miss this conversation.

We are all experiencing quite a bit of stress and other issues during this pandemic. Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to www.theweddingbiz.com/toptips.

Are you a creative who wants to turn your craft into a business or take it further? Head to the Wedding Biz Network and listen to The Business of Being Creative podcast with Sean Low. Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

[01:44] Welcome to the show, Zainab!

[02:15] Zainab shares about the many places she lived as a child.

[05:29] Zainab speaks about her passions and interests as she grew up.

[06:41] She discusses going to business school because her father wanted her to be a banker.

[09:03] Zainab shares that her husband’s idea was that she transition into events because she didn’t enjoy her job at the bank.

[10:42] She speaks about starting out with corporate events and describes the launch party she did for her husband’s company.

[12:39] Listen as Zainab discusses how she transitioned from corporate events into weddings.

[15:05] Zainab speaks about being exposed to many cultures and languages as she grew up, which played well with planning her weddings.

[16:22] Young couples today are leaning toward less traditional weddings and more toward western weddings.

[17:33] What is your process from the first sit down with the client through the wedding itself?

[20:04] Zainab shares where she meets with couples and their families.

[22:07] Zainab describes her signature design, quality over quantity, less is more.

[24:46] “It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how a wedding feels.”

[25:45] Zainab describes a wedding that she planned and designed for a major Nigerian celebrity’s sister.

[28:15] She speaks about the wedding she planned at the Dubai Opera.

[30:15] Zainab gives her definition of luxury when clients ask for a luxurious experience.

[32:20] Zainab discusses a wedding she planned from a client’s picture of their grandparents’ wedding.

[34:07] She shares her experience of being a woman entrepreneur in Dubai.

[35:43] Zainab speaks about why she also spends time in both Italy and Dallas.

[38:23] How has the pandemic affected your business and personal life?

[41:03] Zainab shares starting a new division of Carousel that focuses on interior styling and decorating.

[42:38] She now has time to work on the book she has been writing.

[43:17] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Zainab

Zainab Alsalih

Carousel Casa

Engage!20 Dubai

@carousel_wedding_events

Instagram | Facebook | Vimeo

Engage!20 Dubai

Carousel Showreel

Five-O

Opus of Love

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Episode 287 ROBERT SHERMAN discusses JOANN GREGOLI, The Godmother of Destination Weddings

Does giving back make you feel better? Listen as Andy and Robert Sherman, the President of Washington Talent, and Andy’s partner at Kushner Entertainment discuss JoAnn being the godmother of destination weddings, wanting to be an advocate for her clients and the Sewing Angles plus much more on this episode of The Next Level.

 

JoAnn is the owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli. She has been included in Modern Bride Magazine as one of their Top Trendsetters of the year, and she was recently recognized as one of the top twenty-five most influential wedding planners in the World. 

 

Listen as Robert and Andy share how JoAnn was a wedding crasher in her twenties because she loved love, how JoAnn took classes in every aspect of an event so she could talk to her creative partners in their language and her insights into getting to know every generation so she could market to them all in a way they would respond to.

 

They also discuss how JoAnn is giving back during the pandemic by sewing masks because her daughter was on the frontline with limited PPE. She got some women’s groups involved and paid for the materials out of her pocket because she says giving back makes you feel better. 

 

If you want to be inspired to help JoAnn with shipping the masks, please go to her go fund me page at www.sewingangels.org and click on the Frontline Sewing Angles link.

 

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for it in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:11] Welcome back to the show, Robert!
  • [03:10] They speak about JoAnn taking classes in everything her creative partners do so she can advocate for her clients.
  • [04:43] Robert and Andy discuss JoAnn’s insight on knowing every generation so you can market to them.
  • [05:47] Robert talks about how now the millennials are paying for their weddings.
  • [08:22] Andy speaks about JoAnn and the Sewing Angels sewing masks and shipping them to people in need.
  • [09:50] To help JoAnn and all her helpers to keep making masks, please go www.sewingangels.org and click the go fund me link for frontline sewing angels.
  • [11:34] Robert, thank you for being on the show!

 

Find JoAnn 

Elegant Occasions with JoAnn Gregoli

@joanngregoli

Instagram

@joann_gregoli

Twitter

@elegantoccasionsinc

Facebook

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Robert Sherman, owner of Washington Talent 

Robert Sherman Episode 206 on The Wedding Biz

Washington Talent

Onyx|Washington Talent Agency

Kushner Entertainment

@washingtontalent

YouTube | Facebook 

@wta_talent

Twitter

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Mentioned

Colin Cowie Episode 128 on The Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie Episode 135 on The Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie Episode 267 on The Wedding Biz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com