February 2018 Print

President's Report

“I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

I just returned from a conference for academic event professionals. It’s always exciting to attend sessions and learn new things or new techniques. I return energized and excited to take on the next challenge.

We are a diverse and talented association with hundreds of years of experience between us. I encourage you to reach out to our board with suggestions of new educational topics we can feature at our meetings. Education and professional development is part of our international mission.

Consider your own professional growth. Would you be willing to present your knowledge at a chapter meeting while strengthening your public speaking skills?

We can all be students, educators, mentors, and sounding boards.

Matthew Redd, President - Nashville ILEA

Back to top

New Nashville Venues

The newest restaurants, venues, hotels, and more happening around Music City!

This month we feature Noelle, Kuchnia and Keller, and Woolworth's on 5th.

Noelle - Noelle is an experiential hotel and creative gathering place for adventurous people seeking a true Nashville encounter. 

Created by some of the area’s finest makers and artists, this one-of-a-kind collaboration is designed specifically to bring guests face to face with the warmth, talent and delightful unpredictability that make Nashville, Nashville. 

Kuchnia + Keller - Kuchnia + Keller aims to bring the neighborhood corner bar experience to you. Using local ingredients and Eastern European cooking traditions, plus a strong beer and cocktail program, you can enjoy a night out, a quick late night snack, or just hang out all night. Whatever you are up to, you are welcome at Kuchnia + Keller!  

Woolworth on 5th - Located at 221 5th Avenue North, the Woolworth building is a registered historic site as part of the Fifth Avenue Historic District in downtown Nashville. One of the original “five and dime” stores, F. W. Woolworth became the site of some of the first lunch counter sit-ins during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in Nashville. The new Woolworth on 5th will honor the history of this space by serving as a welcome table for all – an upbeat atmosphere with food, music, and dancing that everyone can enjoy. 


Back to top

New Member Spotlight

Caroline Reeves, Social & Leisure Sales Manager - Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group

Tell us about your company and what your role is. Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group is compromised of three diverse offerings from our entertainment brands. The crown jewel of these being the world-famous Grand Ole Opry – the show that made country music famous. The historic Ryman Auditorium and Ole Red (coming May 2018) also make up Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group. As the Social & Leisure Sales Manager, I handle group ticket and venue rental sales for Weddings, Receptions, Anniversaries, Bachelor(ette) Parties, Family Reunions, Birthdays, etc.

How did you get involved in the special events industry? I have always been creative and knew I wanted to get into an industry where I could inspire others. My eyes opened to the event industry when I started off as an intern at iHeartMedia and was then hired on full time as the Nashville Event Coordinator right out of college. I have loved special events ever since!

ILEA members inspire. What inspires you? Seeing other professionals in our industry create new and exciting concepts really inspires me to get out there and learn from others. I feel like the industry in Nashville is so much more unique as everyone is always helping others create bigger success stories. It truly feels like a family here.

What do you enjoy most as an event professional? Getting to be creative and designing events from the bottom up. I love that my day is never the same and each day brings some new and exciting challenge!

Favorite thing to do in Nashville? Eating! I love all the new and unique restaurants popping up in Nashville and how they are really adding to the culture here. Plus they make great places to grab drinks with friends!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself? I finished high school when I was 16 years old and had 2 years of college under my belt by the time I was 18. 

Angela Mills, Corporate Sales Manager - Fadds Entertainment

Tell us about your company and what your role is. I am in outside sales for Fadds and am responsible for growing the corporate market for Fadds Entertainment. We also do many weddings and social gatherings as well. But our corporate market is growing rapidly. I book any business leads I receive and do outside sales appointments with potential clients and many venues around the greater Nashville Area.

How did you get involved in the special events industry? I started in the Hotel Industry in Corporate Sales over 20 years ago. I also did Event Planning for various organizations such as Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity and several Pharmaceutical organizations. I was recently doing my own events independently when I decided to join the Fadds Entertainment team.

ILEA members inspire. What inspires you? Meeting great people and learning more about this fun industry that we are all involved in daily. Also watching my mother take care of my father who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease over the past 5 years is a great inspiration to me. She is one tough lady and my hero. I aspire to be like her daily.

What do you enjoy most as an event professional? Networking with our industry professionals and making friends. I also enjoy seeing the final event come together and get a lot of satisfaction from seeing it completed.

Favorite thing to do in Nashville? Attend the Symphony downtown or TPAC for concerts and musicals, and eat out at a great restaurant!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself? My first great job was my sales internship at the Memphis Marriott as I was graduating from Rhodes College. It got my feet wet with the hospitality industry and I loved it right from the start.


Back to top

Experience Article

President's Letter: 10 Tips to Manage Event Planner Stress by Ingrid Nagy, ILEA President

I recently read an article that listed event planner as one of the most stressful occupations and was reminded of my New Year’s resolutions to reduce stress. As a live events professional, our jobs are 24/7 and full of pressure we put on ourselves and our clients put on us.  To assist, I’ve compiled my favorite “Top 10 Tips” to manage stress and thrive in our hectic industry.

  1. Build breaks into your schedule. In fact, incorporate a workout into your daily plan.  Take care of yourself first to have the focus and energy to deliver. Those long days and late nights can start to take a toll.  
  2. The devil is in the details. We’ve all been there – your client comes to you with production requests claiming you weren’t clear in the contract. The more information you can provide upfront, the lower the likelihood of miscommunication. And don’t forget to review the details in contracts you receive too!
  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel! Connect with other ILEA members at chapter events, on social media, and the ILEA Communities for help and easy access to solutions from like-minded individuals.
  4. Spend time in nature. Living in Denver, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities and I feel most rejuvenated after a hike in the mountains, a good day of skiing or a simple jog through Cherry Creek State Park... 

 To read the full article, click here to visit ILEA's online news hub Experience.



Back to top

Additional Announcements


AlliedPRA Agrees to Acquire Destination Nashville

Nashville Business Events Market Leader to Join AlliedPRA in its Next Chapter of Growth

AlliedPRA, Inc. the leading destination management company (DMC) in the business events industry, has agreed to terms to acquire Destination Nashville, the DMC leader in the Nashville market.

This acquisition will provide AlliedPRA with an important presence in the Nashville market, which in 2017 enjoyed a record-setting 14.5 million visitors, representing a year-over-year increase of 4.6 percent. Nashville is among the most sought-after locations for business events in North America. 

Destination Nashville founder, Rhonda Marko, CMP, CMM, DMCP, will serve as an active strategic advisor to AlliedPRA. Jacqueline (Jackie) Marko, CMP, DMCP will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Jackie, a member of the Destination Nashville team for over six years, will work closely with Mike Fiber, Chief Operating Officer, AlliedPRA. 

In 1994, Rhonda Marko founded Destination Nashville to provide comprehensive destination management services to in-bound corporate, incentive and association clients. Destination Nashville, named one of the best places to work in Nashville, specializes in unique events, entertainment, impeccable coordination of tours and transportation, custom in-house team building activities and a host of other needs in the business events space. Destination Nashville is the preferred DMC partner in Nashville’s leading hotels. 

Broadly, Destination Nashville enjoys a reputation as one of the pre-eminent event management firms in the meetings and hospitality industry. 

Rhonda Marko commented, “Our team takes enormous pride in the business we have built over nearly 25 years. Like AlliedPRA, Destination Nashville is dedicated to our team members, local relationships and one-of-a-kind destination experiences in the Music City with our clients. AlliedPRA has a fantastic reputation for operational excellence and a strategic vision for our sector. Once we become a member of the market-leading AlliedPRA family, we can together redefine our sector’s position in the business events industry. We are thrilled about the future of this team as an AlliedPRA company.”

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills and ability essential to perform all components of a special event. ILEA endorses and manages the voluntary CSEP program for those who meet established standards. 

This program was developed to:

  • Increase the proficiency of event professionals
  • Elevate industry standards and practices
  • Establish the level of knowledge and performance necessary for certification
  • Promote the advancement of the special events industry
  • Advance the careers of practitioners
  • Acknowledge the high caliber work of CSEPs and the value of the products and services they provide

Still wondering if it's for you? Consider that it is...

For more information about CSEP certification, click here.

Back to top