Episode 188 CHRISTINA MATTEUCCI, Creating The Ultimate Collaborative Relationship Between #1s And Their #2’s

Welcome to the Wedding Biz Christina Matteucci, the Executive Director at David Beahm Experiences. Christina is on the show to discuss how to be the best “number two” to your “number ones,” and how your “number ones” can best support the “number twos.” Andy and Christina take a deep dive into this topic as it is one that Christina has spoken about at several events, not the least of which is the Engage Summit.

Christina is affectionately known as “Teuccimama” by her colleagues and friends in the events industry and has been in the industry for almost two decades. She has first-hand experience in creating a sustainable and functional infrastructure to support a growing creative talent. Her experience has made her a highly sought-after resource in the event industry and a captivating speaker on all things “Number Two.” 

Christina has so many amazing nuggets of information to share about building a business around a creative talent and what that entails. Listen in as she reveals a bit about her past, her love for the performing arts, and how she managed to combine her childhood dream with a love for events to create an amazing career. Christina is a force in the industry and shares what it took for her to move!

Show Highlights:

[01:53] Andy welcomes Christina to the show and asks about her tag line on the about page of David Beahm Experiences. 

[03:43] What was Christina’s focus at NYU Tisch School of the Arts? 

[04:46] Why did Christina go to Tisch? 

[06:21] Christina shares her post-graduation experiences and why she turned away from the performing arts. 

[08:24] How bridal magazines and The Knot influenced Christina’s new career path and goals.

[11:26] Christina found David Beahm on The Knot… and did her research.

[12:25] What could Christina bring to the table with David Beahm’s company? 

[13:24] Christina shares her strategy for being noticed by David Beahm.

[14:06] How she finally got her chance to speak with him and wowed him into hiring her during a very volatile time.

[17:52] How counseling has helped Christina and David’s work relationship.

[19:05] What are Christina’s responsibilities as executive director of destinations?

[21:17] Christina explains her beliefs on how number 1s and number 2s create magic together.

[23:45] Why David’s support is the reason Christina is so great at enhancing his business.

[26:29] Christina has never considered herself an entrepreneur… she’s a king-maker!

[30:10] Turnover costs money. Christina shares how David Beahm Experiences has reduced their turnover.

[31:58] Why success does not mean having your name on the door.

[33:46] What can a number one do to keep a number two? 

[37:59] Number ones shouldn’t fear the development of their number twos.

[39:15] Christina’s alternative name for number twos.

[40:57] How to nurture current clients into becoming legacy clients.

[44:18] What topics are on Christina’s mind for her public speaking engagements? 

[45:52] How to reach Christina!

LINKS & RESOURCES

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

andy@theweddingbiz.com

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

Christina Matteucci

Christina on David Beahm’s Website

Christina’s Talk on TedxBeaconStreet
Christina on Instagram @TeucciMama

Christina on LinkedIn
David Beahm on Instagram @davidbeahm
David Beahm on Facebook @davidbeahmdesign

Mentioned during the interview:

NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Preston Bailey’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1 and  Part 2

Colin Cowie’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1  and  Part 2

Robert Isabell

The Knot 

David Beahm’s Episode on the Wedding Biz

Lynn Easton’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1  and  Part 2

Bryan Rafanelli’s Episode on the Wedding Biz

Ceci Johnson’s Episode on the Wedding Biz
Colin Cowie’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1 and Part 2

Episode 185 THE NEXT LEVEL: LYNN EASTON Discusses MARCY BLUM – A Pioneer of the Experiential Approach to Event Planning

Today on The Next Level, Andy Kushner is speaking with Lynn Easton, creator of Easton Destination Events, a worldwide luxury destination wedding design, and planning company. She is also the Co-Founder of Easton Porter Group, a luxury hospitality company with a portfolio of award-winning boutique hotels, vineyards, restaurants and event venues in North America and Europe.

The discussion this week is on Marcy Blum, an internationally sought-after event planner, and entertainment expert. She has been named one of the best in the world by Vogue, Martha Stuart Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times magazine. 

Marcy has worked with celebrities including LeBron James, George and Tamika Soros, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, to name a few. She has also appeared on television shows including Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly and the Rachel Ray Show.

Lynn speaks about how events need to evolve as they unfold. She also believes that every event should be customized for each client. Planners always need to up their game, plan more creative activities, and Marcy is the master at planning experiences. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:23] Welcome to the show Lynn, it’s great to have you back!
  • [03:30] Lynn chats about how she met Marcy on a panel at an Engage Summit.
  • [05:20] They both agree with Marcy that using a pre-determined template for an event is not appropriate.
  • [07:20] Every event should be customized for the client, and what the client wants. There should not be a set formula.
  • [08:50] They discuss how Marcy is a master at planning experiences at her events.
  • [09:55] Most weddings now are at least three or four days, and destination weddings can be five or more days.
  • [12:36] Lynn chats about planning an event in a country she’s never been to and how she finds the vendors she needs.
  • [14:28] Where have you never been that you would love to do an event?
  • [15:40] She agrees with Marcy that an event needs to unfold as it goes, there should be surprising moments.
  • [18:10] Andy and Lynn agree that having a comedy type of event in the days before a wedding can relieve stress so that everyone warms up and has a great time.
  • [19:22] Using place cards and seating guests around the tables, with intention, allows them to connect with other guests they may not know.

 

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 PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

Follow Marcy Blum

Marcy Blum

Marcy on Instagram: @marcyblum

Marcy on Facebook: @marcyblumassociates

Marcy on Twitter: @marcyblum

Marcy on Pinterest: @marcyblum

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Lynn Easton creator of Easton Destination Events

Easton Events

Lynn on Instagram: @eastonevents

Lynn on Facebook: @eastonevents

Lynn on Pinterest: @eastonevents

Lynn on Twitter: @eastonevents

 

Lynn’s Episodes on The Wedding Biz:

Part 1 https://theweddingbiz.com/lynn-easton/

Part 2 https://theweddingbiz.com/lynn-easton-2-2/ 

Episode 184 MARCY BLUM, A Pioneer of the Experiential Approach to Event Planning

Andy is very excited to welcome Marcy Blum, an internationally sought after event planner and entertaining expert who has 30 years experience. She has been named one of the best in the world by Vogue, Martha Stuart Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times magazine. Marcy has appeared on many television shows and, with event planner Sarah Haywood, has developed EPIC, the Event Planners International Collaborative that offers an intensive and advanced wedding and event planning education.

In this episode, Andy and Marcy discuss how she got started in the industry, when she started her own business and how scary it was to strike out on her own. She tells us about wanting her event designs to be different from everyone else and looking for clients who wanted the same thing. She also gives us insight into what the business looked like when she got started in the 80’s and how it has evolved today.

Listen in as Marcy talks to us about some of the weddings she remembers, the way she structures the rates she charges for her services, her advice for people starting out in the industry today and about EPIC, the program she started with her friend Sarah Haywood. Marcy is a pioneer in the event industry and you won’t want to miss all of the knowledge she has to share about the industry.

Show Highlights:

[03:02] Welcome to the show Marcy!

[04:30] Was there anything when she was growing up that was related to being in events?

[05:20] She went to the CIA to be a chef but after graduating and working in restaurants decided that it wasn’t what she wanted to do, it was too repetitive, not creative enough for her.

[06:20] She was planning parties at restaurants and some of the customers started asking her if she could plan events for them.

[06:45] Was she scared when she started out on her own?

[08:47] She said if she knew then what she knows now, about how difficult it is, she would never have started her business. Good thing she wasn’t aware of it at the time!

[09:26] Is there a relationship between acting and event planning?

[10:29] Back in 1986 how did people view her as a party planner? Did she try to do things differently than other party planners?

[14:18] Did she have visions of how she wanted her events to be different?

[16:35] She felt that everything was so canned and stiff back then, she wanted clients who wanted something different.

[18:23] How did she balance the art with business decisions? Were they emotional decisions?

[19:20] Marcy changed her business perspective by thinking more about the numbers instead of just the design.

[20:18] She now spends more of her time on events that are profitable and points out we can’t stay around this long unless we seriously consider the financial end.

[21:13] Her advice for someone just starting in the business is to get knowledgeable about what you are trying to do.

[22:13] You can’t be successful without templates but you have to be able to customize them for each client.

[22:48] She is all about the experiential approach to event planning, sell the sizzle not the steak.

[24:45] Do you pay attention to the news on a daily basis? Does a possible recession scare you?

[25:33] People, for the most part now, are more interested in what they are bringing to their friends and family than their own experience.

[28:42] Is the demographic of the guests at a wedding important when planning the event?

[29:35] Music should have a beginning, middle and end.  Hear Marcy’s favorite way of presenting music for ceremonies. 

[33:58] Marcy said guests really appreciate place cards at events, it can give guests a different experience and they can meet people they wouldn’t normally have talked to.

[34:57] Here her take on the best timeline for weddings.

[35:53] Marcy talks about planning 3 or more day events before a wedding, starting with the rehearsal and lasting until after the wedding.

[37:58] Marcy would love to take a lighting design course – the visual nature of it can take events to another level.

[38:35] How involved is she in the lighting design of her events?

[41:08] Is there a dream project she hasn’t yet been able to do?

[43:53] Learn about Marcy’s pricing policy. 

[45:37] EPIC is hands-on education for someone wanting to take a deep dive into event planning.  It is very intensive and lasts 3 to 4 days.

[47:28] Within the next five years, Marcy would like to write a novel based around the event business.

[48:21] What is her morning routine?

[48:35] What is her work schedule like?  

[49:25] How does Marcy define success at this point in her life?

 

LINKS & RESOURCES

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 PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

Marcy Blum

www.marcyblum.com

Marcy on Instagram

Marcy on Facebook

March on Twitter

Marcy on Pinterest

Mentioned during the interview:

Harriet Rose Katz of Gourmet Advisory

Denis Reggie

Lynn Easton’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1  and  Part 2

Bryan Rafanelli’s Episode on the Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1  and  Part 2

David Stark’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1  and  Part 2

Preston Bailey’s Episodes on the Wedding Biz – Part 1 and  Part 2

Sylvia Weinstock’s Episode on the Wedding Biz

Ray Thompson’s Episode on the Wedding Biz

Bentley Meeker

Joe Baum

George Soros

Todd Fiscus

Liz Banfield

Sarah Haywood

Episode 183 THE NEXT LEVEL: PHILLIP VAN NOSTRAND Discusses KING DAHL Former Executive Director of Events, MGM Resorts

In this episode of The Next Level, Andy Kushner and Phillip Van Nostrand a photographer based in New York and California, talk about King Dahl’s interview on the Wedding Biz. Phil has been been published in numerous publications including the New York Times, Fortune.com, Huffington Post and Forbes.com and was a master class speaker at WPPI. 

Listen in as they talk about King Dahl and his incredible designs. King is the former Executive Director of Event Design for MGM Resorts, where he was responsible for 1200 events a year. He is known for his signature style which is large, dramatic productions and was inducted into the Event Solutions Magazine Hall of Fame. They talk about how he left his career when he was at the top to slow down and enjoy life and then came back, two years later, as an in-demand event design and production consultant. This is a very entertaining episode about King Dahl, Phil’s life philosophy, travel and making your job work around your life. So relax, plug in and get ready for an entertaining conversation.

Show Highlights:

  • [01:16] Welcome to the show Phil!
  • [01:32] Andy and Phil discuss King Dahl and the amazing events he has designed.
  • [02:08] King encouraged his team members to bring their own voice and personality to productions.
  • [03:00] They chat about how it takes a top leader to empower and inspire people and not tell them what to do, but rather to ask their input.
  • [04:52] King said we are always reinventing ourselves on a personal level and your career is just an extension of that.
  • [05:15] King left his career for two years, just walked away from everything.
  • [05:50] Phil chose freedom as his ultimate value point so every decision he makes circles around that point.
  • [06:40] Phil spends about 10 days a month just doing what he wants to enjoy life.
  • [07:38] Andy talks about how he took five weeks off, spending it on an island, which cleared his head, and gave him perspective and inspiration to start this podcast.
  • [08:01] King said he didn’t want to work 48 to 50 weeks a year so that he could only have a few weeks off…he wanted more time with his family.
  • [09:55] Is Phil turning down work so that he can maintain his time off?
  • [10:23] Phil has added photographers to his team so that he can delegate and maintain his way of life while earning what he needs.
  • [13:05] King realized that in two to three years he would have to work again and realized he apply musical improvisation skills to his personal life.
  • [14:20] Phil says that people who can improvise have a higher risk tolerance.
  • [15:30] After 2 years King was asked to consult for MGM Resorts and other companies, which allowed him to work on his own schedule.  
  • [17:05] Prioritizing means you can build your job around your life instead of the other way around.

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

King Dahl

MGM Resorts Event Productions

Facebook – @kingdahlcreative

Instagram – @kingdahlcreative

Twitter – @kingdahlcreative

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Phillip Van Nostrand of Phillip Van Nostrand Photography

https://phillipvn.com/

http://www.phillipvnphoto.com/

Instagram @phllipvnweddings

FaceBook @phillipvnweddings

Twitter @phillipvn.com

 

 

 

 

Phillip’s Episode on The Wedding Biz:

https://theweddingbiz.com/phillip-van-nostrand-photography-designing-your-lifestyle/

Episode 182 KING DAHL, Former Executive Director of Events, MGM Resorts: Designing Your Dream Life As An Events Professional

Andy is excited to welcome King Dahl, former Executive Director of Events at MGM Resort Event Productions leading the design and sales teams and ultimately responsible for 1200 events a year. King began in the event industry with Cheryl Fish before starting his own company King Dahl event design, which he later sold. King is known for large dramatic productions and he became an inductee of the Event Solutions Magazine Hall of Fame.

King left it all behind to design his dream life, taking time with his family and traveling but also to allow the young guns in the event industry to spread their wings and see what they could do. He now works when he wants, on the events he wants to design and produce, and works around his life instead of living around his work.

Listen as King give us a glimpse into his world, his events, his mentors and why he is glad that his new lifestyle allows him to play jazz again. He didn’t let fear stand in his way as he planned and strategized to make this new lifestyle happen. Listen closely and you may be inspired to redesign your life to live on your own terms.

 

Show Highlights:

[02:04] Welcome to the show King!

[02:32] Andy chats with King about meeting him years before at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

[03:05] King says that he documents all of his events with pictures and or video because once the event is over you only have the pictures left to remind you of what you did.

[04:05] King was born in Indiana and grew up in Coco Beach Florida, his father was the youngest bank president at the time. He saw the Apollo take off from his backyard.

[05:32] He got his love of music from his father who was a very good trumpet player and played with some of the greats of the time.

[07:43] King is a bass player which is why music played a big part in his event planning, it was where he got his creativity.

[12:05] He got a job in his brother’s new company, an event planning company, building props where he met Cheryl Fish.

[13:35] King gives us a rundown on the kinds of events they did those many years ago when this industry really got going.

[17:28] He was given the opportunity to open his own company which he jumped on.

[20:43] Cheryl offered him the position at the MGM to run the sales and creative division.

[23:48] He surrounded himself with the best event designers in the industry and earned their trust and respect because he let them work creatively on their own.

[26:43] King managed by breaking things down by team leaders and department heads. He then worked with them individually to make sure things were handled correctly.

[28:53] You have to allow people on your team to spread their wings and take on responsibility, bringing in their own voices.

[31:03] Have you ever reinvented yourself? Your business? Do you need to?

[32:15] King handled events by understanding where the client is coming from and what the purpose of the event is.

[35:15] He tells us a story of one of his favorite events for the Keep Memory Alive Foundation.

[40:43] King left it all and moved with his wife to Washington State to slow down, relax and travel.

[46:05] He said it was time for him to revamp himself and regroup.  He also wanted to allow the new talent at MGM Grand to flourish and spread their wings.

[46:52] King discusses his strategic plan that allowed him and his family to survive without having a regular income.

[49:25] The day after his last event he said he was walking on air, the possibilities were endless and he felt free.

[52:20] Has King changed since he started traveling around the United States and Canada? Did it open his eyes?

[53:50] After a couple years he decided to start looking around for something new to do and MGM Resort Event Productions asked him to come back on a freelance basis..

[55:55] King now gets to pick and choose when he wants to work and what events he wants to work on.

 

LINKS & RESOURCES

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

 

King Dahl

MGM Resorts Event Productions

Facebook – @kingdahlcreative

Instagram – @kingdahlcreative

Twitter – @kingdahlcreative

Mentioned during the interview:

Cheryl Fish

Kevin White

Dan Frazee

Kelly Creative