Editor’s note: It was an absolute priviledge to see David Tutera step onto our keynote stage this past July to offer a show-closing talk on taking chances. Pre-event, we all appreciated how much David was willing to collaborate with us to ensure our experience with him was exceptional. He truly lives what he espouses: “You must always put the work in and never rely on your reputation.”
Hats off to you, David! —Kathleen
The Special Event show played a big part in my entrance into the world of events as a professional. It was the very first convention I ever attended, and I immediately gravitated toward the energy and all of the talent, experts, and events. It allowed me to get a glimpse of how much I was going to love this industry. In fact, my very first speaking appearance happened in front of just 40 guests in a breakout room, showing that kicking off one’s career with baby steps is typical and even often needed.
Years later I was asked to design The Special Event’s Gala Awards in Texas and Orlando, and I was happy to accept the honor to do so. A year into the convention, my speaking appearances become longer in length and larger in attendance, so for me to come back after many years and close Catersource + The Special Event 2021 was an honor. I take stepping onto any stage to share my knowledge and to elevate our industry very seriously. My message for the closing session touched on how to step forward with strength and confidence, as well as understanding the importance of leading with kindness.
Be BOLD, Be YOU... and BREATHE!
A quote I like to keep in mind while navigating my career is, “chaos causes confusion and confusion causes chaos.” It helps me stress that professionals must stay organized and surround themselves with others that (themselves) believe they are great—because they are.
We must look to support and guide others and understand that we must be willing to help anyone that may appear to need some love, support, and guidance. Life is not only about focusing on ourselves, but also about sharing what we have within ourselves with others so they too can take the necessary steps to succeed. Success is measured in various ways. In my eyes, I believe success is the gratitude you feel within yourself for what you have created or produced for a client. Success can be the simplicity of finding time to pause, breathe, and be present with your partner, your children, and yourself.
I have learned the importance in teaching one another while remaining humble. Our industry is one that requires an enormous amount of work, time, and patience. You must always put the work in and never assume that you can rely on your reputation. It’s important to always reinvent yourself and stand out so you can be hired!
Following this mindset, I’ve accrued three decades of being in the event planning business, 20 years of being on television, I’ve authored eight books, and have had countless lines of retail product for two decades.
You can’t sit and wait for what is next… it’s up to you to figure out what is next for you. Stop worrying, stop questioning yourself, and make your move to stand out and be a leader. We need more leaders that are honest, open, and willing to share. This is what will elevate our industry.
With passion comes success.