Shan-Lyn Ma, the CEO and co-founder of Zola, joins Andy in this episode of The Wedding Biz to discuss her business and her career! Launched in 2013, Zola is the wedding company...
Today's guest co-host, for The Next Level, is Sean Low. Sean’s consulting firm, The Business of Being Creative is focused on providing practical advice to those in the business of...
Andy is bringing us a very important interview pertinent right now in the weddings and events industry. The Live Events Coalition is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s devastating impact on the live events industry to provide advocacy, resources, and a network that connects and supports businesses, contractors, and the general event industry workforce. It established a national Facebook group that wants to connect, share stories, opportunities, or just support the live event’s mission, with its members now reaching 23,000.
Nancy Shaffer is the Founder and CEO of Bravo Events and the Board President and Director of the Live Events Coalition. Listen as Nancy discusses how the Coalition got started, what the Coalition is doing to advocate for and support the live events industry, and what is specifically being discussed and done for the industry as a whole.
Nancy shares ways that people can become a member, start a localized chapter, and/or volunteer. Over 12 million people are being deeply and adversely affected in the live events industry, and Nancy and the Coalition want you to know that you are not alone. They are fighting for you every day.
Every year, millions of couples celebrate their love by getting married and millions of their family and friends celebrate with them. In the U.S. alone, Americans spend $100 billion on weddings annually. Think invitations, wedding dresses, rings, venues, flowers, gift registries, honeymoons and more all on saying “I do.” But at a time when a child is married somewhere in the world every three seconds, who’s invested in making sure that girls can say, “I don’t” or “not yet”? Let’s work together to create a world in which every girl can decide if, when and whom to marry.
Clay Dunn is the Chief Executive Officer of VOW To End Child Marriage, a nonprofit that mobilizes the multi-billion dollar wedding industry in support of ending child marriage and empowering girls around the world to choose their own futures. Prior to VOW, Clay held roles with No Kid Hungry, National Geographic and the City of New York. Amongst other topics, Clay tells Andy about VOW Pro – a network of passionate wedding professionals helping to give girls a voice and a choice.
“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!
Andy’s guests today are three people who have been involved with forming and running coalitions to advocate on behalf of networks of hundreds of small businesses and contractors in the event industry during the pandemic. The one in Chicago is spearheaded by Michelle Durpetti, Ali Phillips, and Colin Pearson, and Jeannette Tavares formed the one in Washington DC.
Michelle Durpetti is a Chicago based wedding planner, venue owner, and restaurateur with Michelle Durpetti Events. Ali Phillips is also a Chicago event producer with Engaging Events by Ali. Jeannette Tavares is the owner of Evoke Design & Creative, an event planning and production company out of Washington, DC.
Listen as these amazing women discuss why they thought it was necessary to start these Coalitions to help small businesses and people in the event industry, what they see happening because of this pandemic, and the response they have received. Michelle, Ali, and Jeannette share what they want to happen and why they believe that the Coalitions will continue long after the pandemic has run its course.
They saw a need and have set out to bring the plight of small business owners, and people who support the event industry, to the elected officials in their cities. Could you do something like this in your area? We all have a voice and it’s time to use it.
This is a second appearance with Simon T. Bailey. His is a very popular Speaker, author and leader of the “brilliance movement” – helping more than 1 million people find their brilliance, shift their thinking and produce sustainable results. According to The Speakers Experts, Simon is one of America’s top ten most booked corporate and association speakers. In 2015 Simon was inducted into the prestigious National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. Speaker magazine cited Simon as one of the top 25 “hot speakers” shaping the profession. And, in 2018, he was awarded one of “25 successful people who’ll help change your life in 2018.” His popular “Building Business Relationships” micro-learning course has been viewed by 10,000+ professionals in 100 countries. He has spoken on six continents to 1,000+ organizations.
In today’s episode, Andy discusses life during the current pandemic, with Simon, and asks how he keeps up his motivation during the slow-down. Simon gives his perspective on pivoting, how to consider whether or not it’s even necessary, and how he recommend we approach the concept.
Simon also has a frank conversation with Andy sharing his thoughts about the issue of racial injustice, given the recent and on-going national protests. Andy asks Simon what he would advise young people of color consider in navigating this difficult and challenge issue in today’s society. He also asks Simon how he recommend others think about and discuss the issue.
Simon is a gifted talent and we are so happy to have him on the show again!
Alan Shukovsky is located in NYC and is the Executive Director of Event Sales & Marketing for Glasshouses, which has new venues in NYC, including The Glasshouse, the highly anticipated new venue with a capacity of 1,850 located on the west side of the city. He is a member of a Manhattan-based task force for events and catering in NYC. The task force is made up of 30 plus of some of the most prominent properties and local event professionals in the City. Their purpose was essentially to collaborate and create a system of protocols, checks and balances, for running events during and after the Covid-19 pandemic and for both event professionals and their clients to feel safe. At a minimum, listening to this conversation will give you a host of important issues and ideas to think about. Below are the documents that resulted.
I recently started a series, coming out from time to time called “A Conversation With,” which will feature general conversations with a variety of previous and new guests. Today’s conversation is with Colin Cowie, who has been on the show two previous times: Part 1 was episode #128 and Part 2 was #135. I urge you to check them out as they were both absolutely engaging interviews.
Colin was my first entre into the luxe wedding market, with Kushner Entertainment when he hired myself and one of my bands, SoundConnection, to perform for two of his major wedding clients. Those two experiences, with Colin, taught me the true meaning of luxury and I will forever be grateful to him for such invaluable lessons.
In today’s release, Colin talks about what a typical day is like now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what he has learned about himself. He also talks about how his brand is diversified, working in hospitality outside of the event business, having launched a new division of his event planning and design business.
Colin is currently working on his 11th book, which he tells us all about, as well as a television program of which he will give details another time. Colin also talks about how he is staying connected with future clients and how he’s dealing with his team during this difficult time. We also discuss what the event industry will look like, in the future, and his suggestion for couples whose weddings have had to be postponed. Colin addresses how he’ll run his event business, moving forward, and defines what true luxury is all about.
This is not a conversation to be missed!
“Reinvention is a personal intervention with yourself.” Listen as Andy, and his guest Kathi Sharpe-Ross discuss her book Re:Invent Your Life! What Are You Waiting For? Kathi gives specific ideas for moving forward and reimagining our lives and careers on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Kathi shares that this book was something she decided to write ten years ago and how she had to reinvent her entire book launch plan since the pandemic. She speaks about how important it is to listen to yourself and acknowledge when we could use a little tweak. Kathi says that sometimes you need to reframe the brain and reframe your point of view.
Are you so caught up in your life that you forget how important self-care is? Kathi shares that you need to permit yourself to take a breath or a moment to clear your head. Self-care and occasionally being selfish is good for you and can be good for everyone around you. Take time and listen, so you will know when ah-ha moments happen.
Listen as Kathi shares how to change up the routines in your life, one of the 26 power tools from her book, and how important it is to schedule a time for yourself, even if you have to put it on your calendar. Kathi also discusses how to reinvent our lives while being cautious and mindful as we reopen after the pandemic.
“Failure can be your biggest success.” Kathi talks about what she means by this statement, and why sometimes we have to reframe our notion of failure. Andy’s conversation with Kathi is uplifting and inspiring. Read her book if you need a helping hand, getting your life back on track.
Also, Andy has launched a new podcast network called The Wedding Biz Network, in which he will produce podcasts for other people in the event industry, with Sean Low being its first member. Sean’s show now comes out every Tuesday and stay tuned for more new show announcements coming soon.