Kate Patay, CPCE Wins CIC Pacesetter Award

Convention Industry CouncilSparks, NV – Creative Coverings, a Nevada-based, national linen rental and sales company, is pleased to announce Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, has received the distinguished Pacesetter Award from the Convention Industry Council. This award is given to emerging leaders who are making a difference within the events and convention industry.

Kate Patay, CPCEKate Patay joined Creative Coverings in 2009 with experience in F&B design, hotel/casino catering sales, special events and convention services. In her current role, Kate oversees the growth of the rental and sales division, as well as brand integrity. Working closely with the design team to stay ahead of fashion and décor trends has contributed to the rapid and successful growth of the company.

“We are thrilled to see Kate recognized by the Convention Industry Council.” says Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, and Executive Director of the National Association for Catering and Events; “She is a true industry professional, always supporting her colleagues through education, training, and insight. Kate excels as a professional, volunteer and leader. She will continue to do amazing work in the industry.”

Creative CoveringsAs Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Kate helps represent Creative Coverings as the NACE National Secretary/Treasurer, a NACE National Business Partner and Social Media & Trend Expert. She is an active member of ISES, ICA, ACCP, ARA, EPA, and is on the advisory board of The Solace Tree. She has also been a featured educational speaker at numerous conventions & organizational meetings around the country.

The Convention Industry Council will honor Kate during the Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration on October 13th in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about CIC please visit www.conventionindustry.org.

The Wedding Marketing Blog offers its highest praise and congratulations to Kate Patay, CPCE, and her sponsoring organization for this honor, NACE.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Meal Companion Networking: Who and Why

Woman looking to her social network  - isolated over a white background

The art of face-to-face networking is not a random event. That is particularly true of a lunch or meal function. In most cases, you will be seated between two people.

At any meal event, you have many choices:

  1. Sit with random people you don’t know.
  2. Sit with friends and/or people you do know.
  3. Choose to sit with one or two people you would like to know more about.
  4. Sit down at an empty table, and wait to see who surrounds you.

There are certainly other options, but I recommend #3.  The most effective way to expand your circles is to invite one or two specific people to sit with you.

An ideal strategy is to find out, in advance, who has RSVP’d for the event. Even if an RSVP list is not available to you, in advance, be the first one to arrive and review the meeting badges, laid out on the registration table.

Review them, and pre-select 4-5 people who would be food for you to know… or become more familiar with. Think about who and why those people may be important as part of your circle of business contacts. Connect with them during cocktails, chat a bit, and ask 1 or 2 to join you for the meal. If not already committed, it’s likely they’ll be flattered, and join you.

Use the time and opportunity to ask questions, and learn about your meal companion.

And then follow-up. Do that, consistently, and your contacts will grow.

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Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

10 Traits of a Successful Volunteer

10 Traits of a Successful VolunteerMy friend, Darcie Swedelson (A Dazzling Day) read the recent post, Connecting Face-to-Face through Coffee and Conversation. She asked this question: “Beyond showing up, what makes a successful volunteer?”

OK, here are some of the traits of a good volunteer. In the context of this blog, we are talking about volunteerism with industry trade associations, wedding networking groups, and the like. We are not talking specifically about community service, although some of these groups do community service work.

  1. The best volunteers don’t wait to be asked. After joining an organization, they immediately attend meetings, member orientation (if offered), talk to chapter officers and senior members, and seek out the right opportunities for involvement.
  2. Ask good questions: It would be nice if leaders asked you good questions about you, but don’t wait for that, either. You know your skills and interest. By doing some investigation, you’ll be able to decide how you might best fit in.
  3. Don’t over commit: Sell raffle tickets at ONE meeting. Serve on a Project Committee, of limited length.
  4. Serve on a committee: Have the time and interest for an ongoing task, step up.
  5. Serve as an elected board member or committee chair: This is where the work increases, and your visibility goes way up.
  6. Donate your time in a way that is NOT self-promotional. Sometimes, you can do more bonding and relationship building stuffing envelopes with other members. Look for these types of participation opportunities.
  7. Make judicious donations of your product or service. With rare exception, only donate in situations that will showcase you appropriately. Don’t wait to be asked (see #1).
  8. Don’t say “No.” Say ‘”That’s really not a good fit” or “I’m not available this month, how about next month or the month after?”- All too often, people ask for donations, too close to a meeting, or they have a need to fill, but do not consider what the benefit would be for you.
  9. Confirm how you will be credited for a donation, in particular: Will it be on the website? Do you receive a certificate and verbal recognition in front of the entire group? Will you be listed in a meeting. program? Confirm those items in an email. Then reconfirm them, just prior to the meeting.
  10. Develop a pattern of involvement: If you are involved on a regular basis, your reputation as consistent volunteer and team member will be solidified.

When you do #10, you will have become a core member of the organization. People will look to you as a leader. You will have the cachet to pick up the phone and call any member to ask any question.

It’s not really hard. Just make a plan, and follow it through.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert
Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Start networking, yesterday!!

start networkingMy friends who work at wedding venues are losing jobs at an alarming rate. Their job tenure appears to have no relation to their departure.

In some cases the person with the most experience (and highest paycheck) is let go in a ‘cost-cutting move.’ In other situations, a job is eliminated, due lack of event activity, and one or more people absorb the work until ‘business picks up.’ In yet other cases, business close down altogether.

Here’s the thing: If you slave away as an event or catering manager for a wedding venue, it’s easy to never leave the premises. Bad idea.

It’s always important to attend industry networking events at other properties. There are two good reasons. First, see what cool things other venues are doing. Second, meet other industry people and develop personal relationships.

Today’s competitor may be your next employer, should you get laid off. Also, vendors do business in many places. They could be the source of your next job opening.

Vendors like to brag about their relationships with ‘big name businesses.’ They name drop an event at the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton (went out of business at Lake Las Vegas – sold to Ravella Hotel). 

The fact is, too often, vendors don’t have a relationship with ‘the venue,’ they have a relationship with ‘one person at the venue.’

So the question becomes: If that venue contact is transferred or laid off, how solid is the relationship, in real terms?

Relationship building means more than attending industry organization meetings. It means becoming familiar with everyone in a department. It means having friendly relationships with competitors.

There is nothing more sad than seeing a member of organization who has been MIA for a year, suddenly show up after he or she has been laid off. It’s a little late, at that point.

Networking should not be situational or calendar-based. It should be part of everyone’s personal and business marketing plan.

The value of real interpersonal business relationships is priceless.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog