Hear from some of our ONE YEAR members on why they joined and why they are making sure to renew! If you are on the fence – you should read on. Sign up by May 31st for your waived $50 registration fee!
My first year in ILEA
With a sea of over 200 members, your first year in ILEA could be hard to navigate. We checked in with a few ILEA Austin Members who are now wrapping up their first year to see how it went.
“It was so great to meet the “movers and shakers” in the local event industry and to be able to pick their brains,” described Zach Bolad with Rent a Pro, a specialized GoPro rental business for weddings and events. “As a new business in the space, being able to ask questions to experience professionals from the area was priceless.”
The sentiment was echoed by Christy Seguin with Cakes Rock, a patisserie, who is known for her very uniquely designed cakes. Christy just finished her first full year as an ILEA member. “Meeting the ‘who’s who’ of Austin event professionals & seeing what they can do was my favorite part of the organization. I moved here from out of state & didn’t know a soul in Austin. ILEA has been incredible in helping me make excellent industry contacts.”
In fact, pretty much all feedback from the members we interviewed came back overwhelming positive!
“It’s been a great first year – I’ve met so many amazingly talented and creative people through ILEA,” explained Courtney Bianchi with Batch Austin, a company specializing in curated handmade and local gifts for corporate or wedding gifts. “I’ve always felt welcomed by ILEA members when I attended the free HH (before becoming a member), so when I became a member that friendliness and helpfulness only grew. Kevin has been amazing with introducing me to other members and Lori, our now president, has been extremely helpful in sharing tips and ways to better maximize my membership.”
All interviewed members served on a committee at some point, which helped them assimilate quicker in the event community.
“(My first year was) A little overwhelming” Seguin mentioned. “I found it a bit challenging to learn all the aspects of ILEA. Joining the membership committee at the beginning of this year helped me tremendously in learning how to get the most from my membership.”
While committee work is always the best way to get the most out of your membership, others found different ways to benefit from ILEA. “The monthly meetings because they allow me to network and gain knowledge around some part of the industry each month,” Bianchi said. “I also enjoy the private Facebook group to ask questions or use as a resource to find a specific vendor or product.”
Other great accomplishments came along with their ILEA membership this year, maybe some can be tied together in addition the member’s hard work?
“One of my cakes was featured on the cover of an international cake magazine, & I made MTV News with a celebrity cake” Seguin said. “I’ve grown my business from literally ground zero in May 2014 to having 2 employees, being fully booked almost every week, & considering growing into a commercial space.”
Bolad summed up though everyone’s overall feeling of how they benefited from their first year in ILEA: “Experience and Connections. Hands down. “
Thanks to Zach, Christy, and Courtney for sharing their experiences!