Are you interested in pursuing a career in the event planning industry? Kasey Larson, founder of DBY Invitations, visited Illinois State University to speak to students about the industry and what it is like to work in event planning. Larson is an event planner in Chicago and has been in the industry for 15 years. Larson was one of nine keynote speakers at COM Week 2014.
On Wednesday, April 16, Larson was introduced with a warm welcome from Dr. Peter Smudde, giving the audience a bit of background on Larson and how she got into the industry. Audience members were encouraged to use the hashtags #COMWeek2014 and #EventPlanning if they were tweeting about the event. From there, Larson spoke a bit more extensively about her academic background and how she made her way in the event planning industry.
Larson focused on the reality of event planning because often times the career is glamorized, and people go into the industry with a skewed expectation of what they will do. She went on to explain that event planning is more than just showing up to events after putting it all together. There is a lot of paperwork, organization, anticipation and you have to have the ability to work with other event planners.
Larson referred to event planners as similar to the Red Cross because “we know when the hurricane is coming. We hope it doesn’t hit but we are prepared just in case.” The time frame for an event planner is that you have 364 days to plan for a one-day event, and you have to utilize all the time you have. Larson said she is always working, even if she thinks she isn’t working. It is all about multi-tasking.
Larson wanted to tailor the presentation to what people were interested in hearing and wanted to know, which led to the Q-and-A portion of the event. Larson gave insightful information based off the questions she was asked, including what it takes to be successful in the industry. She said that you have to be street smart, open, curious, hungry for success, willing to take risks and stay up to date on what is trending in the world. Larson also spoke about the confidence needed in the industry. If you are not confident and don’t own it, you client will not trust you or take you seriously.
The presentation on event planning was very insightful, and Larson provided the hard facts about the industry, which can be helpful to many who are interested in an event planning career after college.
By Maggie Ziemann
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a career in sports television? Phil Bedella, current vice president and general manager of Comcast Sports Television, visited Illinois State University during COM Week 2014 to tell students about his career, along with other professional advice and plenty of life lessons.
Bedella kicked off COM Week on Monday, April 14, as one of nine keynote speakers during the weeklong event. Bedella’s journey through the sports media industry has been an impressive one, and it all began when he was a student at ISU, writing for The Vidette and interning forRedbird Athletics.
Bedella attributes much of his success to his time at ISU, where he began to develop the writing skills and sports experience he still uses today. According to his mentor and current faculty member Tom Lamonica, Bedella has always been eager to learn and work hard, traits that motivated his fellow colleagues and co-workers.
“Work hard, hustle and the rest will fall into place,” Bedella told students.
He has definitely worked hard throughout his career, from humble beginnings as a sales associate with the Chicago Cubs to becoming one of the first people hired to the Comcast SportsNet team.
Bedella even shared a story of the one time he chose rest over going to a sports game, and missed out on meeting his favorite band, U2. The moral of the story? “Don’t sleep through opportunities.” This advice can apply to anyone starting out as a young professional because you have to take risks in order to reap the benefits.
As a current ISU student, I was inspired by Bedella’s journey and success. By attending ISU, getting involved and seeking opportunities to gain experience, he was able to become the major player in the sports media industry he is today. Despite his success, he never forgot his roots, and returned to his alma mater to inspire other ISU students to follow their dreams.
By Becca Williams
The tradition continues as the School of Communication hosts COM Week 2014. Twelve undergraduate interns have worked throughout the year to plan the event, which takes place April 14 through April 17. The four day event will be packed with 15 panels and nine keynote speakers.
In addition to the panels and speakers, there will be a two-segment career institute consisting of an education segment and a networking segment. The education segment will allow students to ask questions about resumes, portfolios and interviews. Students will have the opportunity to network with professionals, many of whom are Illinois State University SoC alumni. Students will also be recognized for their hard work at the Awards and Scholarships Luncheon.
The Documentary Film Festival Wednesday evening will showcase both student work and ISU alum Griffin Hammond’s documentary “Sriracha.”
Students will not want to miss COM Week, especially after seeing the topic and guest lineup.
Panel topics include job search and recruiters, promotions and advertising, event planning, sports communication, agency public relations, crisis communication, visual communication, entrepreneurship, and more!
COM Week will offer the following exciting keynote speakers:
· Phil Bedella, Vice President and General Manager, Comcast SportsNet Chicago
· Jennifer Thompson, Global Client Relationship Manager, Edelman
· Kevin Petschow and Steve Smith, award-winning public relations professionals in the corporate, medical and nonprofit fields
· Angelica Colantuoni, Senior Vice President, Digital, Weber Shandwick
· Alex Reside, freelance photographer, Rolling Stone and photo editor, Instyle.com
· Kasey Larson, president and co-founder, DBY Events and Invitations
· Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss, co-founders, The Everygirl
The keynotes and panels will take place Monday, April 14 through Wednesday, April 16. The Career Institute and Awards and Scholarships luncheon will wrap up COM Week 2014 on Thursday, April 17.
Mark your calendars for COM Week 2014 and check out cas.illinoisstate.edu/sites/comweek for schedule, speaker information, and more. You can also follow the event using the hashtag #COMWeek2014. See you there!
By Ali Seys
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.