Sunday, April 13, 2014

BizBash Live - Alyse Pask Interview

Since 2001 BizBash has been my home page, and I feel fortunate to now be one of the bloggers able to share information about the great people in our industry as they appear at various fabulous BizBash events around the country. Today we have an interview with Alyse Pask of PASK productions who will be at BizBash Live on April 23rd in Fort Lauderdale, talking about "7 Values Every Planner Should Live By".  In an industry where we can struggle with the how / ethics of doing business I think attending this will be an excellent way to spend some time - being inspired by a thoughtful presentation which ties success to values.  Following you will see why I think this, as Alyse shares her thoughts.

Q1. Your transition from Army National Guard to president of PASK Productions must have an interesting story, would you like to share a little of your journey between the two?  
A1. When I started the company, I remember thinking that there was nothing that had prepared me better for the challenge then my military training. I am sure many people would think the transition would be difficult however the military and the business world have many similarities which are parallel... In both worlds you must set a goal and determine the best path to get you there. The military helped to strengthen my personal confidence to take on any challenge and the stamina to push myself at all costs to attain my goals. I think everyone can relate to this...There are moments in everyone's life that you must believe in yourself and know you have the ability to succeed... My personal journey in the military mentally prepared me to fight to achieve my dreams. 

Q2. Through your career you have focused on a variety of luxury brands – what drove you to found your own company to focus on this?  
A2. It was the passion to elevate creative energy that drove me to focus on luxury brands. Many luxury brands are dedicated to embracing unique experiential design in their events. PASK is driven to create one of a kind experiences that inspire people. I believe this passion can help deliver authentic experiences for the luxury category.

Q3. Did you just find it was time to bring your own values to each and every project?
A3. In the fast paced industry we are in, I wanted to stand for something I believed in. I am passionate about the work we do. We want to inspire the world one person at a time ;)   (Editor's note - isn't this what keeps all of us producing events to some extent?) I decided at the inception of the company that I would put a piece of myself into everything we touched. I have done this by encouraging my team to embody these values. I believe it is what sets us apart.

Q4. You obviously understand brand management. Tell us a little more about how your core values at PASK have defined your brand.
A4. I strive to instill my personal values in all we do. By living these values, it allows the team around you, the work you produce and the clients who bring you opportunities to have the same positive thread that hold it all together. We are all drawn to like minded people that respect our work, this is what the values help to maintain. 

Q4. I believe events can be done in a sustainable manner (and teach a Sustainable Event Operations class at BCIT) and I love that you also are responsible for an eco-music festival, EMU – can you tell us a bit more about this festival and how it came to be?
A4. EMU, Eco MUsic, Festival was my brainchild and passion project for 5 years that I turned into a reality. It was an epic experience that challenged my value of personal courage. I have always dreamed of doing my part to make the world a better place and this festival helped me to feel that deeper connection to the world around me. We wanted to shift people's consciousness through education and music to create a party for positive impact. 
Please see the link below which explains all our efforts to inspire change for the eco conscious movement:
Author's note - this looks AWESOME and accessible and interesting and FUN 

Q5. PASK has a great roster clients including a host of premium liquor brands – after creating their special events, what do you do for fun and relaxation?

A5. I LOVE to travel and see the world... I am drawn to adventure travel. It allows me to push myself out of my own boundaries to be more. Whether I am traveling to India for Kumbh Mela, hiking to the top of Mount Fuji in Japan, or meditating on a sailboat with my Dad I find myself deep in moments of adventure. It inspires me and in turn allows me to build that inspiration into the work we do.

Do you want to hear more?
Alyse will be speaking in Fort Lauderdale on April 23rd during BizBash Live: The Expo, South Florida in the Event Innovation Forum track. More details on Alyse's session "7 Values Every Planner Should Live By" can be found here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Job Week One

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First let me tell you this is not the beginning of a week to week dialogue of my new job, but I know many of us have faced the same first week anxiety I did this week, so here we go... Tahira's short list of highlights of my first week as the Manager, Events at QuickMobile.

  1. QuickMobile is a collaborative environment - there are always multiple meetings going on crossing departments, sharing ideas.  This collaborative mindset also reaches externally as the power of "collective smartness" is embraced and truly understanding partnerships and dialogue is a core value. There are no silos. (I love this)
  2. I will never meet everyone. Since I have never worked at a company with more than 35 people, this is an idea I am having a hard time wrapping my head around. Not that I won't make the effort - there are just a lot of people to meet!
  3. They want us to meet each other. The first thing you have to do - in the first three hours of your job - is send an email to everyone introducing yourself.  They also do a weekly appy hour - and yes, the keg is open for those who choose to enjoy a tall, cold, fresh one.  Why? It promotes idea flow, which is the first step to innovation.
  4. Accessible C-Suite. The doors really are always open, and our CEO Patrick is often seen roaming the floor and engaging in active conversations about every aspect of the business - he cares about how the end product will make meetings better, and also about the environment which nurtures these products and the people who create them and since 2008 (for real!) has been active in building this.
  5. Food always breaks down boundaries. In my immediate vicinity I know who are the healthy eaters (ie the chocolate has to cover fruit to be considered) and those who are on the flip side of this (ie they wish chocolate could be deep fried) and I am happy to share any kind of chocolate, or whatever works to start a discussion and bring a smile to someone's face.
  6. The coffee robot. There is no other way to describe this magical machine, but I thank whoever thought this was a good idea. I also appreciate the coffee purists in the office who made sure the espresso machine remains a countertop feature.
  7. Mobile, mobile, mobile... for years as a meeting planner and event producer I have been working to see apps integrated into meeting design and exploited for the possibilities to begin connecting people, to instigate and continue conversations, and yes to be the next step in building communities and as a place to collect and share content.  To be surrounded by heaps of like minded people - it is a highlight of going to work every day to be surrounded by others who are embroiled in working with so many organizations to make this a reality and to be part of the continual evolution of mobile and meetings!
And now... it is time to rest. Tahira
Now found at and lots of awesome events in 2014!