Earlier this year, BizBash revealed its Fresh Faces 2022 – a group of up-and-coming event entrepreneurs, resourceful in-house planners and passionate nonprofit specialists tipped for success and a lasting impact on the US events industry.
As part of Glisser’s sponsorship of the initiative, Chief Evangelist Vanessa Lovatt joined BizBash’s Executive Editor, Claire Hoffman and five of the Fresh Faces class of ’22 for an online chat about their career aspirations, what they’ve learned and how to get ahead in the fast-paced world of events.
Here’s some selected highlights and soundbites from the conversation.
Josh Sugarman, Chief Experience Officer for Bite.Delivery
“We create events and restaurant concepts that turn food delivery into an en
tire night of interactive entertainment that family and friends experience together, right from their kitchen table. When the pandemic began, we knew folks needed a new sort of event, and a new way to access it. That’s when we started delivering.”
“Authenticity is the key for all types of creative experiences. If you lead on what matters to people, they’ll always meet you more than half-way and embrace your offer.”
“My advice to anyone in events is to understand the technology and tools available to you and to communicate regularly with platforms and suppliers. Learn the available tech – it will allow you to work with smaller budgets and remove the constraints often associated with event planning.”
Jessica Toro, Event Manager at Clio
“You do not have to be the loudest and most outgoing person in a room to make an impact in this industry. I want to remind people that sometimes the quiet, pensive folks sitting at the table can have the biggest impact just by listening. I want to continue working with forward-thinking people and inclusive companies to create memorable experiences.”
“Challenge how your events have been run in the past and don’t do things the same just because that’s the way they’ve always been done. If you get stuck in the industry status quo of what’s considered ‘normal’ you’ll put an expiration date on your own career.”
“Reach out to your peers, build relationships with your suppliers, mentor students and don’t let small mistakes ruin your day.”
Sign up to watch the full and extended discussion featuring five of Biz Bash’s Fresh Faces on demand here.
Michael Wallace,VP of Sales at Firefly Team Events
“We felt a seismic shift happen when Covid approached our industry, and instead of asking ourselves ‘will we have customers?’ we stopped and asked ‘how can we help our customers?’ Our customers have strengthened their relationships with us, and we have grown exponentially because of this question—but it took resolve and belief in ourselves to get us here.”
“Focus on vision and empathy. Vision will allow you to see what’s ahead so you can innovate, while empathy is what allows you to connect with your customers and evolve their experience.”
“I want there to be a time, in the not so distant future, where when someone asks anyone in our industry about creating an experience or engagement or activity that is original, engaging, inclusive, kick-ass and amazing, they think of Firefly Team Events. If that happens, all my other goals will fall into place.”
Weston Gonzalez, Owner and Creative Director of Westhaus
“I’ve never been a fan of repetition, and prior to the pandemic, I was seeing a lot of uninspired work. I love to push my clients and challenge them to take risks on event components that have become stale, like step-and-repeats.”
“The pandemic forced the industry to shift and think differently in almost every way, taking us into the world of virtual events and at-home experiences. I hope this new way of thinking sticks and we continue to see inventive approaches to all facets of events both physical and virtual.”
“As planners we need to plan for work life balance. I have my routine and I plan trips and my free-time. Don’t be afraid to say no as this industry can consume you.”
Ify Ifebi, Founder and CEO of Vendorspace
“The biggest thing the pandemic taught me about the events industry is how creative we can be. The need to gather was so important it birthed innovative solutions in virtual spaces and hybrid concepts. Not only did we find a new way to host events, we also found more ways to connect globally. This really taught me the power of events.”
“My biggest career goal is to be the Live Nation for social good – to inspire more women and more black women.”
“Diversify your network. Meet more people and lean on the industry groups that exist to network with seasoned event professionals. You never know who can connect you with your next big lead or opportunity.”
To watch the full and extended discussion featuring five of Biz Bash’s Fresh Faces, sign-up to watch In With the New: An Evolving Industry and New Work-Life Balance‘ event on demand.
Learn more about Glisser and book a platform demo at glisser.com/discover.