Tag Archives: Chicago

The New Workout Plan

24 Jan

If you’re wondering if I stole that title from Kanye’s song…you’re absolutely right. I did. But now that I’ve given him credit, I am hoping not to be sued by anyone. Indeed, today’s topic is about working out – everyone’s favorite topic! Well, it’s not everyone’s favorite topic but alas, it is still a very important topic for all the reasons you and I both know such as :

Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy!

and

A healthy body is a healthy mind!

Exercise: via http://www.mylot.com

Okay, I’ll cut out the corny sayings (for now). Let us assume that you’ve been working out as hard as you wanted to when you made your New Year Resolutions a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, I know what assumption make me.) Still, we all need a reminder to “shake it up a bit”…our routine that is. I find that many people will do the exercise that a.) they like the most or b.) feel is the easiest. Still, it seems to me that many of us are cheating ourselves at of our workouts and not only when we do not commit to a schedule. Now, I do not take for granted that people have unequal bodies and suffer unequal injuries or discomfort in one body part or the other. Doing the same workout routine, week-in, week-out while IS better than doing nothing, is NOT the best you can do.

THE MAIN REASONS WHY YOUR WORKOUT NEEDS A SHAKE-UP:

 Your body is like your brain. If it’s not learning anything new…well, it’s not learning anything new. Which means you’re probably getting less and less out of your workouts. 

I compare it to reading the same book over and over again. Imagine if you read 1 book all year. At some point, you’d probably know everything about the book and as much as you love that book, you’re never going to learn anything else if you only read that book. Good analogy or bad analogy? You tell me.

The great thing about Chicago is that it is a very exercise-friendly city, though it is by no-means known for being an “in-shape” city. That said, there is a gym or an exercise studio on every corner so there is indeed an opportunity to shake-it up whether you have a gym membership or not! This month I tried out 2 awesome studios in Lincoln Park which I must commend for shaking-up the “workout-spehere” (Yes, I just made that up). Fit Lincoln Park is great for a very personalized gym experience with very small class sizes and by small I mean, 3-5 people for many of the studio classes. The trainers there also offer a personal training experience. The only thing I will say about Fit Lincoln Park is do not take their “RIPPED” class after a two-week hiatus of not working out. Trust me.

I also tried Barre Bee Fit which I must admit I have a personal bias because I have gotten to know the trainers there and they are awesome. Each Barre Bee Fit class is different and consists of dance moves and stretches, circuit and set-workouts and some yoga and pilates moves! It’s like an all-in-one stop that mostly targets women! In fact, to find out a little bit more about what a Barre Bee Fit Experience is like, here is a piece I wrote: After The Barre: My Post – Barre Bee Fit Experience.

Now, I am no EXPERT. Actually for legal reasons, let me make that a little more conscpicuous:

I AM NOT AN EXPERT. THESE ARE NON-EXPERT VIEWS from a girl who loves working out, trying new things and giving some local Chicago places a little love every now and then. What is something new you want to try out with your workout plan this year? Whether it’s running a half-marathon, spinning, taking a Zumba or kickboxing class, I say the more variety, the better! What do you think?

Cheers,

Kovie

How to be “that guy” at a networking event.

17 Jan

Hi all

It occurred to me that I haven’t written about events in a while and as I have many networking events coming up, I thought it might be good to touch base with the “events” side of my life. Furthermore, last week I attended a networking event and thought it was a great event.  For the first time in my post-grad experience, however, I felt like “that guy” at a networking event. Why, do you ask? Well, because I spilled MY WATER glass at the bar which enticed looks from both the bartender and one of the ladies working the event. I reiterate – I SPILLED MY WATER GLASS. Still, I started to feel self-conscious that they thought I was tipsy. Now, ordinarily I couldn’t be bothered with stares from complete strangers. But, I was at a networking event representing the business, and so no matter how much I don’t care what people think about me personally, I certainly care what they think about me professionally.

Over the next few days, I re-played the incident in my head and would do a slight head shake with a cringe at the thought of other people thinking I would be dumb enough to get tipsy at a networking event of all places. But then I thought, there are a few people who are dumb enough to do certain things (including getting tipsy) at a networking event. So, here’s my humorous take on all our favorite guys at networking events. (FYI – I use “that guy” to refer to both genders…shoot me.)

Kovie’s  MEET “THAT GUY.” (ALL OF THEM) 

1. THAT GUY who is Tipsy. (haha) Okay, I have to start with this one. This is just my personal rule, but especially if you are a “light weight” like I know I am, cut yourself off after two drinks. No excuses. Whether you are representing yourself as a freelancer, your employer, a service, etc, you’re there for business, and business etiquette applies. (Tip – if you do happen to accidentally SPILL YOU WATER GLASS, don’t try to prove anything to anyone by ordering more drinks; continue your networking as discretely as possible and when you get a window of opportunity, walk out of there with your head held high…)

2. THAT GUY who is Pigging Out. You are not at an all-you-can-eat buffet no matter how much food they are serving or how hungry you are, control yourself.  Eat as if your current or future employer is in the same room as you. There is just no excuse for this one.

3. THAT GUY who thinks they’re on Dr. Phil. I understand that sometimes it feels great to just talk about your feelings especially after a hard day at work. But talking about your life problems when you first meet someone is not a good way to make business connections. Period.

4. THAT GUY who believes it’s LIVE Match.com. Now, with respect to the fact that people meet people to date anywhere and everywhere, I don’t want to tell you not to “look for love” at a networking event. Still, remember that your professional self is being represented and would your professional self be checking people out and flirting like you’re on a dating show?  (If you answer yes to this question, we may need to have a chat about your professional self.)

As someone who has inadvertently been “that guy,” it’s not fun at all. So do try and remember what you want to portray when you are at a professional event. Still, sometimes you just have to laugh things of. Speaking of, does anyone have any good stories about “that guy” at a networking event? I would love to add to my list.

Cheers,

Kovie

Dreams. What do I want from life?

13 Dec 310718_10150414041203125_512588124_10101295_1843540330_n

Above is one of my favorite quotes for life…and death. Yesterday, I read an article about death (sort of) titled : “The top 5 regrets of those about to die.” It’s a good read and I highly recommend  you read it. (After you’re done here, of course.) http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/the-top-5-regrets-in-life-by-those-about-to-die/ Before reading it, I had started on making my vision board. I certainly believe in the power of positive thinking coupled with a belief that we all have a purpose on earth. Between these two activities-making my vision board and reading the article, it made me go into reflection mode. What do I, Kovie Biakolo, REALLY want out of life. Do you ever wonder and legitimately think about this too?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of life that we forget we ought to have dreams and purposes in life. Well, at least I believe we do. As I made my vision board and tried to decide what I want out of life, professionally and personally (and especially professionally), I realized that what is harder than chasing a dream or living for a purpose is realizing that you don’t know exactly what dream to chase or purpose to fulfill. As in, I don’t know for sure what I want to be (when I grow up). I don’t know exactly what I want from my professional life. Or maybe it is that I have so many options, I am not so sure which one is “my calling.” You see, I don’t believe in just having a profession or job, I believe in having a vocation. I like marketing, I like events, I like media and social media. I also like education, writing and I like law (at least I like reading about it). I LIKE SO MANY THINGS!

The beauty of course is that I know that I don’t need to decide this in a certain period of time. That’s what life is all about, right? Figuring it out and making room for some adventures along the way. In fact, some of my best life decisions were made in an instant or “by chance” or I prefer, fate. Going to Drake, for example and dare I say, not going to law school this fall.

Going back to my vision board. For some reason, deciding on my personal goals  seemed a lot easier. I’m not really much of a personal lives “sharer,” but there’s a first time for everything I suppose. Here it goes: I know I want a big family like the one I grew up in. I know I want to live in London at some point. I know I want to travel to about 100 countries and I even know that I want to be a Zumba instructor for fun in the next year or two. The only certain professional goals that I secured is that I know I want to work with MsCareerGirl for a long time (wherever I am) and that I want to be a founder of a “cause” organization.

I am grateful that I have some goals and that I know some of what I do want personally. Work, after all, as they say, is a necessary evil. I guess I want whatever vocation I find myself doing as work in the long-term, to be a necessary good. The article confirmed for me that it’s good to have dreams, but not to just have dreams but to keep track of those dreams. Remember when you were a kid and you believed everything was possible? Did adulthood take that away from you? Well, don’t blame it on adulthood. You’re not supposed to lose your childish enthusiasm, remember? Adulthood should make those dreams more coherent despite growing up being difficult; it should make the path to those dreams clearer. If of course, we really want what we say we want badly enough.

I’ve heard (I believe from Grey’s Anatomy) that as tough as wanting something is, those who suffer the most are those who don’t know what they want. (I might be in this boat a little) But as I’ve also heard (from Grey’s too) life is not a spectator sport. So why is it that people go through their lives as if they are spectators? If you’re living, you’re in the game, not on the sidelines. Maybe those who suffer the most then, are those who go through their lives and don’t even bother to dream and those who have a dream but never even bother to chase it. I’m not saying stop everything you’re doing, quit your job or sell all your belongings and go for it (although if that’s what it takes, you might consider it) but for goodness sake, ask yourself: what do I want out of my life? Then write it down and go from there.

I don’t know everything I want. I might only know as I continue to go through life’s adventure and this year has certainly been one heck of an adventure for me. But as God is my witness, as I figure it out, I’m going for it. I’ve never been much of a spectator anyway. One of my greatest strengths is that I am competitor and I love to play the game.

Cheers,

Kovie

Traditional Office vs. Home Office

2 Dec

  VS

 

 

 

 

 

As every events person knows: location is key; it’s not everything but it’s key. Your event surroundings can easily put off or excite your audience. But what about your “work surroundings?” Are you a traditional office worker or do you work out of some kind of home office? Is your local coffee shop your home office?

Working in a small business, I have the freedom to work from home a lot of the time…which yes, is still my brother’s apartment. (Though that may change in the new year with things looking up)  MCGMediaInc though incorporated for three years now by MsCareerGirl, is officially launched and ready to take the digital marketing world on. We’re starting with a client in the Chicago burbs and for the last couple of days, we’ve worked out of their office. With my last post being about how to stay focused during the holidays, I paid more attention to how I worked this week and working in an office certainly has its advantages.

Working in the office kept me on track and allowed me to easily meet my goals. I was barely distracted and I was even multitasking by working on 2012 Ms Career Girl Connect plans, social media interacting, and reading articles related to marketing or social media. Of course, some days will be busier than others but in the office, multitasking was, well, less “tasking” than it was at home. Nicole and I both agree that when MCG Media is ready, a physical office might just be in store.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some things I love about working from home. It’s not like I have to be at home too. Sometimes I do go to the local coffee shop or Starbucks because I need the change of scenery. A huge factor of working from home is working on my own schedule because I am a night owl. Perhaps, it is when I like to think I perform my best work, perhaps it is just a habit, but if it can be done between the hours of 8PM and 2AM, that’s when I would like to get work done.

So, which works better for me? I haven’t decided yet.  If I had to pick, there would have to be a “Both” option. I suppose that’s what I like about the working arrangement I have now and the event planning and new marketing industry; there tends to be some flexibility. I have the freedom to go in by 8 AM when it needs to be done or do it at may own time, even if that means 8PM. Of course, commuting in a big city and missing all the stress that comes with that has it’s advantages but there is much to be said about having somewhere to go, which can make a difference in how you approach your day.

One thing’s for sure though, I like working with people and having people to talk to while I work. Which explains why Nicole and I tend to get more stuff done when we’re at the same location, whether it’s a traditional office or home office or coffee shop. So, maybe location isn’t necessarily the key in the “traditional office vs. home office” debate. Maybe it’s more about having people around vs. not having people around? What do you think is the key? What’s working for you and what would you like to change?  I WANT TO KNOW.

I’m starting to think that maybe it all depends. In my case, having people around is the key; specifically, maybe having the person I work with around, is the key. Yes, I love my boss.

Cheers,

Kovie

It’s all about the give and take.

11 Nov

It occurs to me every once in a while that I am not solely a marketer or an event planner, the title of this blog after all is “EVENT MARKETING rookie.” When I do think about my “marketing” side, I think that it’s about communicating to a person, a group of people or a business to do something, and for that matter to want to do that something.  This could mean getting them to research a product or service or try it or buy it.

The “planning” side is creating a situation, that is, an event, that people come to for a product or service or my personal favorite, an experience. Of course, planning an event is much more than this-it is a lot of administrative work and a lot of promotion initiatives. Before these main tasks occur, however, it is a lot of negotiating.

What do you negotiate? Well, just about everything. You negotiate with your caterers, with your location hosts, and of course with sponsors. Above all, however, you negotiate with people who know people. What do I mean here? People who know people are known as “influencers’ and in marketing and event planning, these are the people you want on your side, talking about your event or product or service.

So how do you negotiate with influencers? Well, there is always the offer of publicity which let’s be honest, unless the influencer you are trying to reach is a major celebrity, is always a good place to start. There is always the offer of a free sample or ticket to an event which I must say, is something that I fall for easily. I know, shocker, I LIKE EVENTS! What I have found however,  is that in the end, how you negotiate is like a relationship (a business one, anyway) and in a business relationship, it’s all about the give and take.

What does give and take mean? It means in the business of event marketing or event planning, one cannot just expect people to show up because it’s a “great event.” Some of your major supporters…do you promote their events and or/ business? Do you give them social media shout outs and encourage your network to get to know them? Most importantly, do you attend other people’s events? If not, then you’re taking and you’re not giving back and sooner or later, people will realize it.  (By the way, do you have any other helpful tips for negotiating with influencers?)

So go to other people’s events as much as you can and as much as your budget allows of course. As I have found too, if you cannot give money, give time! You’ll find the more you show up and are known as the person who supports others in their endeavors, especially when you’re in the same industry, the more you will find that  people will show up to your “things.” This is assuming you have taken care of all those administrative, promotion and marketing tasks! It is all indeed about the give and take. And just to show you that I do practice what I preach-I was part of a few crazies who showed up to NBC 5’s Dance Friday to promote Dance_OutLoud very early this morning. See below (Although to be fair, when you’re having as much fun as we were, it seems like you’re doing more taking than giving!)

(BriteChicagoStacymb1 EllieAbrams nbcchicago maloriejanasek)

So as you’re thinking about giving and taking…if you’re in Chicago why don’t you show a little love tonight at 7pM for Dance_OutLoud (If you’re not in Chicago, you can always donate) It’s a great event where you’ll be dancing and having a great time but for a good cause! It’s already Friday night anyway.  As always, I’ll leave you with a few other event shout outs and reminders!

Cheers,

Kovie

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CHICAGO??

– It’s 11.11 and that Means Veterans Day and if you’re a Veteran, there are a few restaurants serving you some appreciation meals including ApplebeesChilis, …http://chicagofree.info/2011/11/08/2011-veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts-for-veterans-active-military/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

– Logan Square Kitchen Pantry 11.12 at 10 AM ($1 admission)  http://www.meetup.com/chicago-restaurants/events/38287312/

-“DesignYourLife” 11.12 Hosted by whitneyEVEport  2:30 PM  Tickets and information here: http://designyourlifechicago.com/event_details.html

– Extended Play 11.13 at The Playground Theater 9:30PM (FREE)    http://www.the-playground.com/

MsCareerGirl.com “Ms Career Girl Connect” 11.17 at ProofChicago 6:30PM Tickets and more information here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2322115510/5Dollars/21569237114

“Sweet” Standing Out

13 Oct

My last post was about standing out as an individual. Businesses too have to stand out. I had the privilege of meeting with someone who does some pretty “sweet” standing out…pun intended! Read on.

Aren’t the above picture delicious? What do they look like to you? Cupcakes or Cookies? Well, they’re a bit of both which makes sense as they are the creations of the “Twisted Cookie.” Joana Fischer is the founder of The Twisted Cookie  http://www.thetwistedcookie.com/ where she has taken two of America’s favorite snacks-cookie and cupcakes- and turned them into one fabulous treat!

Growing up with a mom who baked, I must admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Actually my love of baked goods has earned me a “Cookie Monster” title according to one of my brothers. (Thank goodness that my family instilled a love of working out as much as they did, a love of baked goods!)  Now living next to Molly’s cupcakes  http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/ certainly makes my cookie monster ways easier. Molly’s has a lovely selection that I am quite familiar with and the people who work there are always really nice.  I am also a big fan of the well-renown Crumbs Bake Shop  http://www.crumbs.com/ and they’re endless selection of goodies. It’s a good thing the holidays are coming up soon. If you’ve been living in the Chicago area, you have probably noticed that bake shops and food trucks selling baked goods are on the up and up and the Twisted Cookie is well on her way too. With the “cookie-cupcake” difference, however, they are sure stand out.

Joana began The Twisted Cookie after a career as a project manager for a company and it has certainly not been an easy road but the proof of her hard work is in the taste of her delicious goodies. She hopes to have a store front in the near future and along the way she is learning the need for social media marketing, and all that jazz that small business owners have to know these days. I am putting my Marketing degree to good use and helping her with some marketing research and social media analysis which is a nice little project to keep me busy.  She is also consulting with my mentor Nicole Crimaldi who does social media consulting with MsCareerGirl.com. So soon enough  you will get to hear what’s next from The Twisted Cookie on your facebook and twitter.

Joana herself is a one-woman machine. She bakes the goods herself and delivers them herself, not to mention all the administrative and bookkeeping tasks that small business owners do. The Twisted Cookie, however is doing more than “cookie-cupcakes.” Joana is also specializing in smores and a “pecan pie cookie.” Trust me when I say both are to die for!

All in all, The Twisted Cookie desserts are perfect for kids and adult birthday parties, bridal showers, corporate meeting events and any special occasion that requires beautifully decorated and delectable desserts! But really, I think the desserts are the occasion. To order them, you can email Joana at info@thetwistedcookie.com or call her directly at 708 692 2128.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback. What are your favorite desserts? What do you think about the idea of a cookie and cupcake dessert? What are your suggestions for The Twisted Cookie? As I like to do on Thursdays too, please take a look below at some cool events going on in Chicago in the next couple of days. Be sure to let me know if you are heading to any of these or where you will be headed this weekend. I am always looking to blog about events and local businesses and anything marketing-related so I would love to hear from you.

Cheers,

Kovie

UP-COMING EVENTS in Chicago:

http://www.meetup.com/20s-and-30s-Chicago-Night-Life-Adventure-Group/events/36040292/  A Rover North Meetup, Fri Oct 14th @ 10:30 PM

–  http://www.zanelamprey.com/zanetoberfest.html  Octoberfest’s “Zantoberfest” Sat. Oct 15 @ 2p.m. at Joe’s Bar http://joesbar.com/

– VelvetStyle Social Mixer,  Sun Oct 16th @ 2p.m. at the D.O.C Wine Bar, Lincoln Park http://docwinebarchicago.com/

 http://www.the-playground.com/ Free for all comedy show, Sun Oct 16th @ 7.30p.m. at the Playground Theater

-This is not up coming but while we’re on a “sweet” subject, remember you can always check out “Chicago Chocolate tours” http://www.chicagochocolatetours.com/tours and here’s a a Groupon deal for it: http://www.groupon.com/deals/chicago-chocolate-tour?utm_medium=afl&utm_campaign=4406015&utm_source=rvs

Standing out: what’s your story?

10 Oct

With 7 billion people in the world, it can sometimes be a little hard to stand out.  I suppose you can go Yao Ming’s route and literally “stand out” but for many of us that ship has sailed. In life, we want to stand out but more relevantly, in the workplace and in the search for a workplace, we need to stand out.

The statistics are often debated but somewhere around 6.7% of the word has a college degree. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/19/percent-of-world-with-col_n_581807.html ) If you live in the United States, I believe the figure is around 26%. Now, for the sake of argument let us assume that 5% of that 26% hold the same degree as you and of that 5%, 1% are directly competing with you for a job. Let us assume that the figure you arrive at is 800,000 people. Daunting isn’t it? Well, there are two things we can do. The first is to give up mentally and assume that it’s all luck. The second is to consider the following serious tips that I have received from different professionals including my professors, friends, colleagues and mentors as well as Nicole, the founder of www.mscareergirl.com who is keeping me busy as the events coordinator.

1. YOUR RESUME AND COVER LETTER must be up to par, at least. Thanks to Nicole,  my brother and  my brother’s friend Jon, I know what a good cover letter and resume consist of: accuracy, conciseness and personality. What is personality? It is the professional demeanor that is reflected when you write. There are a plethora of resume resources on the internet. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. Most of them are free anyway. If you live in the Chicago area, you definitely want to check these guys out: http://betterresumes.com/locations.html Also, ask your HR and management pals to look at your resume. They are the ones who do the hiring so they will see things differently and different is good.

2. YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS must be relentless. Luckily for me, I have always had the gift of gab so shyness in an interview is not my problem. However, I have found that practice is the problem. I think having a good friend or family member do some research about the company and ask you questions as if you were in a real interview is a good way to practice. Some people even suggest doing interviews for jobs you will NEVER take, as another way to practice. Above all, asking people you have interviewed with about how you can improve is best. Sure, it’s awkward to go crawling back to the people who rejected you but it’s worth it to know what the “other side” is thinking of you in an interview.

3. YOUR STORY. This is the most important one. One may think that “oh, there is nothing special about me” but you simply have to build on your strengths. There is one or two things that you have done in school or in a job or as an athlete or blogger that you can be proud of and should be proud of. Your story is what really separates you from “the others.” I will say being in America as an international student who has always been a foreigner seems to work for me. It works that I graduated high school early, that I came up with “Drake Haiti Relief” on my university campus, that I speak a few languages and that I am willing to blow my own trumpet.

None of the above things are anything special in the sense that none of them are novel. However, when I explain my story to people I show them how all of the mentioned examples give me a global perspective on the marketplace, show leadership in small things which show a willingness to do the small things. I tell them living as a nomad has always made it easy for me to learn quickly and to connect with people easily in order to survive and thrive in a place. What’s the point? It’s my story and I tell it like it’s the best story ever.

I believe too that you can stand out and make your “story better” by learning from other people. So, especially for all you social media and marketing junkies, here’s a FREE event that you might want to check out if you’re in the Chicago area on October 12th: Womma’s “Wine Wednesday” http://womma.org/events/category/wine-wednesday/and register here: http://chicagowinewed.eventbrite.com/ Womma is the leading voice for ethical and effective Word of Mouth and Social Media Marketing.

As always, I would love to know your feedback. What’s your story? What makes you different? What makes any of us stand out to employers and what should we do to stand out more?

Cheers,

Kovie

The “3 must have’s” of an eventmarketingrookie :

6 Oct

Upon reflecting about being part of the event planning process for MsCareerGirl.com  September connect and now looking ahead to planning the November 17th connect and a holiday party for December, I have to say there are certain things an event marketing rookie needs.

Firstly, I would like to point out that at some point everybody is an event planner. Have you ever planned someone’s birthday? Bridal shower? Baby shower? Or maybe a football viewing party or a local fundraising event? Many times even at your job you may have to put together a networking meeting, an office meeting, a dinner of some sort, or one thing or the other that needs an event planning touch. So, whether it is your job or aspiring job 😉 or something that you only do once in a blue moon, here’s my two cents on the “3 must have’s”:

1. Every eventmarketingrookie needs a planner. It sounds simple but it cannot be said enough. Planning is about 85% of an event. I definitely believe that to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. Use your computer, use your phone, use a hard copy planner; I actually recommend using all three if you can. Whatever you do make sure you have your dates, your times, your goals and all that jazz WRITTEN DOWN. Simple as that. That said, what is your favorite way to keep your event together? Are you more of a paper and pen person or is your smart phone indeed your “life?”

2. Every eventmarketingrookie needs a network. What does this mean? Well, it means that you know someone who can give you a good discount on a rented location. It means you have built a great relationship with your local flower shop. You are making good friends with caterers and food service personnel. You are going to events to meet people in your profession. You are meeting people who have nothing to do with your profession but who are taking an interest in you and your events because you are taking an interest in them. Meet people. Meet people. Meet people. Do it at your coffee shop and at the local bar or hangout. Do it at the gym, at your place of worship, and yes do it on twitter.  Go on http://www.meetup.com/ and see what everyone is doing around you! A good way to have people remember you too is to carry your business cards everywhere you go and be sure to take theirs and email them within 48 hours or you will be forgotten! It’s not easy to do this. In fact it is scary and difficult. It takes courage and practice.  Nonetheless, I am convinced that you just never know who you’ll be lucky enough to meet when you just have some confidence to say “hi” and with a smile of course. Am I missing anything?

3. Thirdly, every eventmarketingrookie needs an entourage. Think of the hit TV series Entourage which I must admit I never really followed too closely. One thing I do know is that anytime there was something major, the whole group or entourage was there. In other words, make sure you know people who are going to do their best to be at whatever  event you are planning.  This could be your family, your current or former classmates, your colleagues, etc.  You need a solid group of people that you know have your back and will not only show up, but will show up with people. Now, if you are lucky enough to have a notorious social butterfly in your network, thank your lucky stars! If you don’t, well, make friends with one and if you have it in you, become one!  The reality is if  building a network is hard, multiply the difficulty level by ten and that is  how tough it is to build an entourage. It takes time, patience and a lot of personal investment in other people. Let me be clear: your entourage is part of your network but your network is not your entourage. An entourage, however, can be redemption when the chips are down because an entourage always shows up!

So, how far am I with these three? Well, I must say I have the first one practically perfected and I am working really hard for the other two. I am trying to go to meet ups, I’ve found a free monthly membership at a gym, and of couse through MsCareerGirl.com and all the people Nicole knows, I am meeting people. Through hard work, persistence and patience though, I am sure I will get to where I want to be. It does help that I have an interesting story and that I am willing to tell it! Most importantly, I believe everyone has a story too thus I am willing to listen. While  we are on the subject of meeting people, if you live in or around the Chicago area, below are a couple of events that are good places to start this weekend and one save the date. But before I give you those, let me know: what are your top 3 things for event planning? And if you have any other great ideas for how to go about meeting people or cool events coming up, let me know and I’ll add it to the post.

Cheers,

Kovie

UP-COMING EVENTS:

Chicago Film Festival October 6th-20th http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/

Chicago Marathon October 9th http://www.chicagomarathon.com/cms400min/chicago_marathon/

Chicago’s “Little  India”  October 7th  8p.m. Sher Punjab Indian Restaurant http://www.meetup.com/Ethnic-BYOB/events/32216302/

Wine tasting through all of October http://languedocadventure.com/events/chicago/

SAVE THE DATE: VelvetStyle Social Mixer, October 16th 2p.m.-5p.m. at the D.O.C Wine Bar, Lincoln Park

And the event was….

3 Oct

In one word: successful! Firstly, I have to apologize for not keeping up my goal of not letting a week pass by before I post. Its been far more than that. This time, I have no real excuse but a lack of motivation. Last week was rough. If you’ve ever been through a job hunt, you know what I mean. It was “one of those weeks” but I managed to pick myself up and get back on my feet over the weekend. What can I say: even the best fall down sometimes, right?

Anyway, the 9.22 event went extremely well. Sure there were glitches such as the microphone having trouble and then there was no  LIVE streaming due to the location in the process of changing something in its internet service but as I said in my last post, expect the unexpected.  All in all,  we had over 90 RSVPs and there were approximately over 80 people there. But more importantly, everyone had a wonderful time and those are the things that good events are made of. Here are couple of pictures and their tags to show you what I mean:

First of all below we have Nicole Crimaldi, the founder of MsCareerGirl.com  and the host of the event. She was charming, hilarious and real. She came up with the theme “Personal Finances” because it’s an awkward topic that a lot of people tend to run away from! (Classic Nicole, always saying what everyone is thinking.) She also chose it because it is necessary to talk about personal finances as a young professional and with her wit, the pill of personal finances talk was swallowed well.

Then, there was the awesome panel. The ladies who were on our panel worked in finance, real estate and  insurance. My favorite was a Dami Olotu who I met a few weeks earlier. Dami works for Nationwide Mutual as Financial Representative (She’s the girl you want to call to plan out your short and long-term financial goals.) But here are the lovely ladies whose seats were reserved:

Then, there were the lovely gift bags (which I got to arrange and greet people with) that contained some goodies for the ladies to take home with them. But really, the bag was the best goodie if you ask me:

 

 

 

 

 

….And here I am with some of our gift bag arrangements: (Believe it or not, I was doing work. Well, I guess it doesn’t feel like work when it’s FUN)

 

 

 

 

 

Then there was the lovely food. Below are some lovely desserts from the Twisted Cookie (which you will be hearing more about soon.) I tried one of these…okay, it was more like three or four but I was hungry and they were amazing. Feel free to order directly from Joana at http://www.thetwistedcookie.com/

The location too was amazing. It was the perfect, “anything fun and social takes place here “feel.” So if you’re looking for that social place or to host a private event, I suggest going to http://www.proofchicago.com/ and checking them out yourself. What’s the name, you ask? Read below:

 

 

 

 

One person’s pic I wish I could tag is Joy Turner, the girl behind these photos. Her day job is an accountant but her “hobby” as a photographer is very impressive. So if you need a good photographer for a wedding, fashion or a real life event, reach out to Joy at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joy-T-Photography/260652467294566?sk=info

So, there you have it. Now what is the eventmarketingrookie up to next? Well, first of all, a lot more LinkedIn applications, a couple of interviews coming up and some meetings with recruiters. But it’s not all work, work, work 🙂  MsCareerGirl.com has got two more events this year: another networking/panel coming up in November and a holiday party in December that I will be helping to plan. I guess you could say I am an official part of the team. Finally, I have a pretty SWEET project I’m working on for my next local businesses entry so stay tuned and as always, tell me what you think about my post, what I am doing right or wrong and how you measure the success of an event that you attend!

Cheers,

Kovie

Art, Art and More Art: The Lincoln Park Art Faire…belated

20 Sep

Exactly ten days ago, I went to the Lincoln Park Art Faire. Why am I only telling you this now? Well, the eventmarketingrookie has been working hard at this Thursday’s MsCareerGirl.com event, and then also I have been quite sick. So unfortunately this is a rather belated post. But, I did meet some amazingly creative people at the Faire, and rather than chalk it up, I felt its better late than never. The good thing about doing this late is to also realize who was memorable and who wasn’t. So for better or for worse, I’m doing a much shorter post than I would be doing which is probably a good thing. But, if you want to be talked about you have to be memorable to your audience, and that is just one of the first rules of marketing. Another rule of marketing is that you can only do so much, so unfortunately, even if the artist was memorable, I had to make cuts. What does this mean? Well there were many painters, clothes and accessories designers, photographers, but with a few exceptions, I’m only showing my favorite in each category. Although I must say there are some that are just in a category of their own which is why those made the cut too! Enjoy!

 Eleven Eleven Jewelry come in all shapes and sizes as well as colors and are all unique pieces. I was also quite impressed that the owner was actually teaching people how to make thes too. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, ElevenEleven invites all to “wish upon a jewel.” To find out more  go to http://www.elevenelevenjewelry.com or shoot them an email at elevenelevenjewelry @gmail.com.

  This next picture was the first of many paintings that I came across and for some reason, I was instantly drawn by it. I had an opportunity to talk at length with the artist, Michael McNeal, and I found out a little bit more about it. He told me that he was drawn to this hat and asked the girl who was wearing it to take a picture. Well, the picture was taken and turned into a painting, one that if I could afford it, would be hung upon my kitchen! To look at more of Michael’s work and perhaps get this beautiful painting before I do, go to michaeljmcneil.com or contact him directly at 309-378-2338. But FYI, he’s in Bloomington, IL and he must be a busy man because its by appointment only.

So as I mentioned earlier, I had a few exceptions to my only one in each category rule-here’s the first. A piece called “Crazy Girls.” Talking to Tiphanie, the artist, she said the fact that every girl has a wild side inspired this piece. You can see why I like it…But seriously, Tiphanie was probably one of the most personable people I met and took some time to tell me a little bit about herself and her artwork. To find out more about this very talented and awesome lady, go to http://www.tiphaniespencer.com. Truly, amazing stuff.

 What do your coasters look like? Well, I can tell you mine don’t look like anything I saw at “Stella Alily'”s at the Faire. These amazing pieces are made with a photo transfer process. I don’t know too much about that either. I am an event marketing rookie, not a photographer! But they look fabulous, and as soon as I get my own apartment, I’ll be giving Juana Ryan, the photographer, a call. You can shoot her an email at jryan@stellalily.com or log on to http://www.stellalily.com

 The bathroom is a personal place and not one when where you can usually have your favorite sports teams, band, etc at your disposal. But that’s all changed with spray painted toilet seats. There is no need to say more-this is just plain cool.  Go to http://www.garysgaragegallery.com where you’ll find this creativity can extend to cases, mirrors and frames and if the toilet seats are enough for you, here’s the contact info: gandalfwis@yahoo.com.

Eric Erf Wood Designs is in a few words: renewable, sustainable, functional art. I would love to take credit for the description but those are the exact words on his card and sometimes its just better to leave the artist to use his words. Truly something cool and kinda weird but in a “cool weird” kind of way. Literally, bird houses made from barn. I was fascinated.  Own one of these and you’re probably owning wood from over 100 years. Weird and cool! Go to http://www.ericerfwooddesign.com or contact the artist at ericerf@sbcglobal.net.

Have you ever come across pictures that just made you feel sophisticated and calm? I have. These are Dawn Heitsch photos and even looking at these pictures from a computer gives calm. I actually took a few more of Dawn’s pictures for keepsake so that anytime I need some “namaste” while working at the computer, they’ll be right there. To get some more of Dawn’s calming pictures, look her up at the Andersonville galleria (www.andersonvillegalleria.com) or go straight to Dawn’s website at ausradesigns.com.

Another exception to my  “one in each category” rule, Katie Clogan does photography that is about the everyday beauty that surrounds her and goodness, is it beautiful. Her pictures are exquisite and remind us that beauty is in the ordinary, we just have to open our eyes, but it goes without saying that Kate would capture it better than most of us. To find out more about Colgan photography, look her up on facebook and to contact her directly, be sure to reach out to her at KatieColganPhoto@gmail.com.

So, we’ve come to the end of the road, well almost. Below, was my favorite display at the Lincoln Park Art Faire. It is called “Something by Mary” and it is hand woven fabric, out of Wisconsin by the way. Why is it my favorite? Maybe because I love clothes, and especially scarfs. But mostly it is because Mary Delgado and her son who was with her, really took the time to get to know me and tell me about them and ask me about me. And with that, they were probably the best marketers there! These scarves will be some of my “me” presents to myself once I get that full time job. .  But till then, I am showcasing them to you with the hope that by the time I call Mary, there’ll be a few left. Here’s a video enlightening us all  about this very wearable art:

You can contact Mary at 414-444-2365 or mdelgado1@wi.rr.com. And you should certainly visit her site at somethingbymary.com. Thanks for reading! And always feel free to comment-let me know which art tickles your fancy for example.

Cheers,

Kovie