We've all made it home from LCT-NLA Show East a little more educated and probably a lot more connected through the myriad of networking events. You can’t underestimate the value of new business relationships and face-to-face time with affiliates whom we e-mail and call daily.
All of the educational sessions, suite parties, networking events and even the layout of the showroom floor are planned long before you even have an opportunity to purchase a show pass. It's easy to show up and partake in all the goodness of the show but it wouldn't come together without the masterful behind-the-scenes planning of many people.
LCT senior events planner Kristen Messineo (R) with team members (L to R): Courtney Silbiger, Michelle Mendez, BBM CEO Ty Bobit, and LCT sales coordinator Lori Briggs at 2014 LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City, N.J., Oct. 19-21, 2014.
As with any large event, there always must be someone in charge. That one person that says, “The buck stops with me.” While there was a sea of pretty girls running around in red shirts or jackets, the ringleader is our own, Kristen Messineo. Kristen reports to Michelle Mendez, the organized, sharp, driven and eagle-eyed redhead who can be seen tearing up the floor of the night club, Dusk (And she dances completely sober, too!). Mendez is the Director of Events for Bobit Business Media, which means she is in charge of all 12 annual events produced by BBM.
Messineo is a senior event planner for BBM, and LCT shows are her baby. Since 2006, Messineo has been the go-to professional for our shows. She lives, breathes and speaks show details and executives shows with a cool-as-cucumber style. Putting fires out, dealing with last minutes changes, off-the-wall requests and testy vendors are all in a day's work. Tennis shoes are standard attire for her during shows because this isn't a job for high heels.
About six months out, Messineo begins putting a show together working with hotels, convention centers and of course the NLA Show Committee to plan informative meetings while never losing sight of such details of serving mac and cheese for lunch on the second day of the show, an idea hatched while driving down the freeway in Los Angeles, her home base.
The beach girl who loves live music and was once part of a band steals ideas from random conversations with her friends while talking about nothing remotely related to the production of an event. She simply becomes inspired by things mentioned and puts them to good use.
During the production of a show, she's the first to arrive and begin setting up a "show office" where day-to-day business is handled, staff meals are served, and quick meetings take place all day and night. She is the last one out after all the boxes are packed and ready for shipping back to our home office. Messineo says a good night of sleep for her at a show is about four hours.
I certainly don't want to diminish the many people it takes to put a show on, myself included who participated in many teleconference calls prior to the event to make sure we were all on the same page. But the fact is there can only be one “bawse,” the slang term for a really, really cool person that gets things done.
While months of work can seemingly pass in the blink of an eye, I hope you took home exceptional experiences, education and memories from the efforts of the BBM, LCT and NLA teams. Let's do this again in Las Vegas for International LCT Show, March 16-18, 2015. Rest assured, Kristen will be ready.
I've learned that good will with law enforcement goes a very long way.
It's not only the most wonderful time of the year, but also one of the most dangerous.
Series: How to handle difficult run-ins with law enforcement over a limousine.
Driving Gem: Plenty of things unrelated to phones can result in accidents.
Driving Gem: Lifting and handling luggage is never good for the back.