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.
What do I see as the corporate event industry's greatest challenge?
Definitely the education of our clients. So often, we as planners receive what are truly unrealistic requests from clients because, (1) they don’t know what is right for their event, and (2) they don’t have any idea what it costs to deliver what they are requesting and/or to achieve their goals.
In one instance, there’s the client who wants to incorporate XYZ event trend simply because everyone else is doing it, rather than because it's a good fit for their target audience.
Another popular request is to include every single element you can possibly think of into an event program. Think keynotes, group sessions, breakout sessions, 1:1 meetings, wellness activities, networking opportunities, VIP dinners, partner/customer dinners, parties, side summits, and an exhibition hall. Now I’m not saying this can’t be done, as more times than not, it is, but I always remind my clients that just because they CAN do ALL of these things, doesn't mean they should.
Educating them on all of the above examples, as well as what it actually costs to bring their vision to life, is definitely something we need to do better as an industry.
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.