Episode 331 THE NEXT LEVEL: PHIL VAN NOSTRAND discusses JOSH SPIEGEL/Using Social Media to Create Business During the Pandemic

Andy welcomes Phil Van Nostrand back to The Next Level. Phil is based out of New York and Los Angeles. Phil photographs weddings, commercial, and lifestyle projects and is an expert at capturing bright cinematic lifestyle imagery. Listen as they discuss Josh Spiegel, the Creative Director and President of Birch Event Design, a high-end decor, production, and floral company. 

Phil speaks about a support group of industry professionals that Josh is a part of during the shutdown and how he himself created his own network of people to reach out to. Phil also talks about the challenge Josh had to create something different for each event while planning daily weddings within the same group of individuals.

Phil discusses how Josh used social media to garner business during the pandemic while staying safe by doing smaller events, having the host testing each guest, and social distancing. Phil agrees with Josh that the smaller events will carry over because people see the beauty in creating an experience for their guests and being able to connect on a deeper level.

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Episode 325 THE NEXT LEVEL: VALERIE GERNHAUSER discusses MATTHEW MYHRUM, Event Visualization & Communicating Design

Andy welcomes Valerie Gernhauser back to The Next Level. Valerie is the Owner, Planner, and Designer with Sapphire Events working worldwide out of New Orleans. Listen as they discuss Matthew Myhrum’s definition of what he does and the events Valerie has worked on with Matthew, plus much more.

Matthew is the Founder of Matthew Myhrum Event Visualization, where they provide concept renderings, design drawings, and production design services for event professionals. Matthew shares that they essentially communicate design not only for his clients who are event planners and designers but also to be able to sell their concepts to their clients more effectively and help them with their design process in telling a story.

Listen, as Valerie shares that for her, design isn’t just decor; it involves constant innovation, and hiring Matthew allows her to show her clients exactly what the design will look like. Valerie tells a story of a wedding she worked on with Matthew to create a 360-degree presentation with a virtual reality headset and the reaction she got from her clients.

Valerie discusses the small nuances and details that Matthew puts in his presentation and how these elevate the level of reality for the client. Valerie also speaks about the importance of lighting and how it can be manipulated in Matthew’s presentation to create the look that will be achieved with her design. Valerie believes that in time Matthew will figure out how to add taste and smell to his presentations to elevate the client’s experience.

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Episode 323 THE NEXT LEVEL: SEAN LOW discusses MARIANNE BENNETT, Scoring Music To Tell A Story

Andy welcomes Sean Low back to the show. Sean is the owner of the consulting firm The Business of Being Creative, which focuses on providing practical advice to those in the business of being creative. He also has a podcast on The Wedding Biz Network called The Business of Being Creative. Listen as they discuss Marianne Bennett, the Founder and CEO of Element Music, a highly successful music and entertainment company in the event industry out of New York City.

Sean speaks about Marianne’s understanding of the difference between “custom” and “personal,” her storytelling abilities, and how she takes a client’s story and gives it back after adding her vision. Sean loves the fact that Marianne states that it isn’t just about enjoying the entertainment; it’s about the experience.

Marianne believes that you have to be creative with your company’s business side, and Sean agrees 100% with her view on combining the business and creative aspects to keep the company balanced. Marianne says you can love business and still be a great creative.

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Episode 321 PRESTON BAILEY’S Big Announcement!

Andy is excited for this special episode with floral and event designer Preston Bailey. Listen as they discuss how Preston is handling the pandemic both personally and professionally, what he’s learned about himself, and how he’s using the slow down to further his path both personally and in the industry. Preston also has a big announcement he is sharing with us, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Preston shares how he is handling the pandemic and what he has learned during 2020. Preston discusses how he thinks the event industry will change once the pandemic has been eradicated. He believes that event professionals will need to become better salespeople because consumers will want more value for their money.

Preston is hosting his own podcast called Stop and Smell the Roses! Listen as he shares why this is a dream come true and the content listeners can expect to hear. Preston also speaks about his segment called Dear Preston, where he will answer listeners’ questions live on air. His podcast will air every other Thursday starting January 14th on The Wedding Biz Network. See you there!

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

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Episode 317 THE NEXT LEVEL: CARRIE GOLDBERG discusses ALEX FITZGIBBONS, Orchestrating The Life And Soul Of A Wedding

Andy welcomes Carrie Goldberg back to The Next Level. Carrie is the Digital Travel & Weddings Editor at Harpers Bazaar, where she oversees all things bridal, weddings, and travel for HarpersBazaar.com. Listen as they discuss how who has the most input in weddings has changed, why Alex doesn’t advertise and how he maintains his client’s privacy by taking people’s phones at high-profile events, plus much more.

Alex is the Managing Director of Fait Accompli out of London, which organizes, plans and designs spectacular events worldwide from A-list to Royal weddings. He is also responsible for the wedding celebration of Ellie Goulding and weddings for the Royal family, including Prince William and Katherine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Megan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Listen as Carrie speaks about the weddings Alex designs, the glamping wedding he planned on the grounds of a medieval castle, and how his discretion has earned him the high-profile weddings others seek. They discuss the challenge of keeping guests engaged, with or without their phones, and how 2020 has shown where people place their worth in business and life.

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