What do you do when you want to learn more about your profession? You put yourself in the room with the best in the business and ask questions.
That's what I did at The David Tutera Event Planning Symposium June 5th-7th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
And all the way up to June 5th, I panicked.
I've never in my life been so nervous about an event. Not only would I be in the same space as Mr. David Tutera, but I would also be in a room with many very successful people in the industry.
I was enthusiastic about the opportunity, but I was also freaking out.
During my panic time, I did two things to prepare myself for the event in hopes of getting myself to a calm place:
1. I watched YouTube videos of David Tutera's shows and interviews for a solid two weeks. This tactic was used to help me so that I wouldn't "go groupie" when I met him in person.
2. I read one of David's books for a second time just in case he decided to quiz us and give the winner their own TV show (my imagination is incredible).
Before I knew it, freak out time was over! I was flying to the west coast to attend an event that I hoped would give me all the knowledge I needed to grow my business and gain even more confidence in myself and my skills.
The symposium started off with a cocktail soirée at the hotel. I realized there were gift bags I missed out on earlier in the day. I went up to the main floor to claim my bag but got turned around. As I scanned the hallway squinting my eyes to locate the room, there he was, Mr. David Tutera himself. I confidently and calmly (thanks, YouTube) introduced myself and asked for his help. I expected him to call a staff member to assist me so that he could make his way to the party. That wasn't the case. He led me to the room, sincerely thanked me for being there, and assisted with retrieving my bag.
Mr. Tutera was everything I hoped he would be. Not only was he courteous, attentive, and directly involved, he was, of course, impeccably dressed! After receiving my bag, he shared his excitement about the upcoming events and genuinely thanked me again for attending before heading to the cocktail party.
When I returned to my room that night, I thought about the day.
I realized how much I appreciated the cocktail reception. It allowed me to relax and get to know the other attendees and some of the guest speakers. I also thought about my interaction with Mr. Tutera. During our brief conversation, I learned a lot about who he is, and it put me at ease.
I knew I made the right decision to attend the symposium. Now I had to make an effort to take full advantage of the opportunity!
The next two days were packed with open discussions, guest presenters, and one-of-a-kind events. I learned something new and enlightening from each person that graced the stage. Since this is a blog post and not a dissertation; I'll give you a few highlights!
David Tutera - Q&A (IG: @davidtutera)
Nothing was off limits! He answered every single question openly and honestly. Who knew David was human and made mistakes? That made me feel so much better about my life!
Eda Kalkay - PR and Social Media (IG: @edakalkay)
This presentation helped me realize I had no idea what I was doing with my business social media accounts!
Slomique Hawrylo - Team/Vendor Managment (IG: @slomique)
I appreciated Slomique's topic as I have dealt with difficult vendors in the past. It was helpful to have confirmation on past decisions I made while also learning how to build an effective team of service providers!
Anne Palmer - Successful Communication (Website)
This was a very powerful session! Anne shared essential information about effective communication with clients, employees, and anyone else in our lives.
Jacqueline Nwobu - Getting Published (IG: @jackienwobu)
If you don't know how Jacqueline became Editor in Chief of her own magazine, google her or call me. Her story was so motivating! She also shared essential tips for getting published!
Joey Toth - Balancing Personal and Professional Life (IG: @yourcoachjoey)
With my crazy schedule of work and more work, this session was exactly what I needed! Joey also taught yoga each morning which was the best way for me to start each day!
The highlights I listed don't even scratch the surface. Each speaker shared valuable information that I will surely use in business and life. I had the most fantastic time learning from the experts as well as the other attendees! I will remember this experience forever.
I hate to end this post because there are so many more things I want to share! However, I think it's time for pictures! Enjoy!