How Did I Start My Business? What Were The First Steps I Took?

a mel-factor minute! Jul 10, 2020

Hi! I’m Melissa, an award-winning event producer who travels the globe whipping teams into shape, and transforming struggling events into extraordinary must-attend experiences. Sounds pretty cool, right? It does to me. 

You could say that I’m living my dream, but before you go and get all “Single White Female” on me, let me be clear: I’m not sitting front row at New York Fashion Week. I'm the girl behind the scenes, with the messy bun, getting shit done. 

How did I get here?

A self-made entrepreneur, I have built a global event business through word-of-mouth referrals, attendee recognition, repeat clientele and an ROI track record that will make your head spin.

I began my professional career in Australia working at Reed Exhibitions producing high profile, business and consumer events like The PGA Golf Show and General Practitioners Conference & Exhibition. I then joined Out There Productions, and after producing some of Australia's largest special events like The World Masters Games Gala Ball and Closing Celebration, I launched my first event management company in 2008 at the age of 26. 

I continued working as an event producer for six years delivering events like HSBC Bank’s Chinese New Year Gala Dinner Tour, Asia-Pacific’s Incentives & Meetings Exhibition and more than 20 outdoor festivals before I decided to take a leap and make a splash in the United States in 2014, where I have now made a name for myself in the technology space for my seamlessly executed large-scale conferences, strategic sponsorships, and innovative brand activations.

I am regularly asked about my career, entrepreneurship, personal and professional development and all aspects of event management so I thought I'd create a blog to answer a few of the most common questions that have slid into my inbox.

Today's question: 
How did I start my business? What were the first steps I took?

I love the quote “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” I’ve always gone above and beyond and to this day will stop at nothing to exceed my clients expectations and deliver a kick-ass experience that is guaranteed to blow their attendees minds. 

When I decided to launch my first business in Australia, I simply emailed everyone I had ever worked with to share the exciting news AND asked for a recommendation if they knew of anyone who required event management services for upcoming events. With that one email opportunities began flowing and as more people experienced my events, so did the referrals.

When I relocated to the U.S., I had no contacts or connections so I had to start over from scratch. To begin, I first took an in-house role and after six months was promoted to Director of Global Strategic Events. This role enabled me to showcase my expertise as I delivered the company’s Global Summit in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia during 2015 to 2017.

After two years working in-house, I was ready to step back out on my own. Last year my team and I delivered 30 large-scale conferences, strategic sponsorships, and innovative brand activations, all a direct response to recommendations and referrals from clients and event attendees.

I want to hear your stories! What were the first steps you took?


P.S. If you've got a question, don't be shy! Pop it in the comments section below and I'll be sure to answer it in an upcoming post. 


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