As a professional speaker in the events industry, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy what I do. One of my favorite things about speaking is that it adds diversity to my event planning business and I can share and collaborate with other professionals so we can all keep progressing and continually strive to be the best at what we do. I especially love traveling and meeting new event professionals all over.
When I take on the role of speaker, I take on the role of being a “vendor” to other event professionals and one of the things I love most about this is that I get to witness what it’s like to be on the other side and see how other professionals do their jobs in direct relation to my services as a speaker.
One of the highlights of my career was speaking at the ISES (International Special Events Society) Greater Los Angeles Educational Symposium yesterday held at the London West Hollywood.
To say I was dazzled by the service of The London West Hollywood would be an understatement. I’ve traveled the world, lived in Paris for awhile and seen service at every level and I’m telling you: this hotel has it nailed. The moment I pulled up, the valet was highly organized and they were expecting me. They knew where my event was, and when I mentioned I had materials I needed assistance carrying, had a Bell Captain to my car to unload for me in no time.
The lobby was warm and inviting and the front desk staff knew exactly where to direct me – back to elevators that not only had life-size photo images of British people on the doors, but an Elevator Attendant to get me to my correct floor. Everyone was warm and hospitable and the hotel was immaculately elegant and upscale without being pretentious.
The only thing that rivaled the hotel’s hospitality was the incredible graciousness of the ISES Greater Los Angeles Board who were there on time (in fact, early) to welcome me, ask me how they could help, and personally escort me where I needed to be, tending to every detail. This fine group of professionals, including and especially ISES LA President Gerry Rothschild of The Gerry Rothschild Band and Melissa Navarro of Lawry’s Catering Beverly Hills were on top of their game and worked together as a team not only getting me set up, but tending to the other speaker’s needs who were following my presentation as well.
ISES Greater LA knows how to do it right. You don’t just “check in” for your educational seminars. You are treated to refreshments and networking at Hampton Court at the London West Hollywood rooftop setting with prime views of the city with Pinkberry providing a yummy yogurt bar while you are checking in. It was an “experience”.
The London West Hollywood is a leader in hospitality and event service. Once I arrived to my ballroom (which was set up completely when I arrived and in fact, early) , I was introduced to Kyle, who headed up the Audio Visual Department and Kristen, who was assisting him. They had their tech table already set up in the back and quickly took care of integrating my technical materials with theirs. Their service standards insist that they be in the room manning the a/v the entire time. And honestly, there should never be any other standard but this at any event. They did more than just throw a mic up and check it. They did more than just plug my flashdrive into their master laptops and fiddle with it on the screen. Perfection was their middle name and they tweaked and sound-checked things that perhaps only a dog could hear. Their professionalism and trained ears and eyes caught things I never would have noticed. So, if I looked good and my presentation did, I must say that it is the result of a team of professionals who know how to make it work and know what is needed.
This was the first Educational Symposium for ISES Greater LA and I opened their session as the Keynote Speaker on behalf of Beverly Clark Hospitality Training Program on “How to Generate Immediate Revenue in the Next 30 Days”. Following this opening session, there were several other breakout sessions attendees could go to: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Permits, Current Food Trends, Global Event Planning, Marketing for Event Professionals and Event Waste Management – each presentation given by an expert in their field and it was an honor to be in the company of these distinguished professionals.
The event concluded with a fabulous party rooftop overlooking the bright lights of the city with special lighting effects on the wall fountain cascading by the pool, uplit palm trees, a gorgeous fire tray with live guitarist playing right behind it and my personal favorite: private little cabanas with lounge furniture to sit and enjoy intimate conversation while taking in the views of the city. Guests enjoyed Wild Mushroom Risotto, Fish and Chip, Scones and Accompaniments, Finger Sandwiches with English Summer Tea Station and Desserts provided by Butter End Cakery. With a crescent moon and stars above, a warm evening and great company, I can think of no better way to end an already successful event.
This was perhaps one of the best industry events I have attended (or participated in) and think that ISES Greater LA is going to have a tradition and leave a legacy of service that will raise the bar for other educational events and organizations going forward.