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.
How do I balance work and life?
Many say, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I subscribed to that too until last year when I suffered from severe burnout. While searching for solutions, I discovered a video by NYC-based Burnout Coach, Caitlin Donovan who said, “In order to avoid burning out, you need to love your life as much, if not more, than your business. If your business is your way of escaping from your life - you’ll burn out every time.”
Hearing this was a defining moment and absolute game changer for me as I realized in that moment that like so many entrepreneurs and incredibly career driven people, I had built my entire life around my business and brand, and if for any reason it all disappeared, I would be left with nothing. Instantly I knew some significant changes had to be made. This is how I did it:
1. Goals: I asked myself the tough questions and got really focussed really fast.
2. If it’s not a “hell yes!” it’s a no: Now when an opportunity presents itself, if I cannot clearly see how it will enable me to get one step closer to achieving one of my goals, I respectfully decline.
3. I conducted a human audit: If someone in my life made me more unhappy than they made me happy, they had to go.
What’s my favorite way to decompress?
I love to binge reality TV for a quick escape from my own reality. When I’m completely overwhelmed, I like to start my day with a walk in Central Park (when I'm in NYC) or the Bondi to Bronte (when I'm in Sydney). A good power walk (with gorgeous views) always clears my mind and significantly reduces my stress. Another favorite is to just pop on my headphones, blast my latest playlist, sing WAY too loud to be living in an apartment and dance like I’d die if anyone was watching!
How do you decompress?
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.