William P. Miller Brings Leadership to the Forefront of the Special Events Industry

In a time when leadership is more important than ever, event producer William P. Miller plans to demonstrate its impact at The Special Event Show’s (TSE) Leadership Lunch on Thursday, January 12 in Long Beach, Calif.

The Leadership Lunch is one of several showcasing events that take place during The Special Event’s three-day must-go-to conference for event professionals including planners, designers, and producers.  Scheduled for January 10 – 12, this year’s conference will welcome more than 5,000 attendees to the sunny Southern California city for networking, inspiration and information sharing.

For those new to TSE, it is known as the premier industry conference whether you plan weddings, corporate meetings, bar mitzvahs, food festivals, birthday celebrations or galas.  Over the three days, novice to expert professionals will enjoy the exhibit hall and attend seminars across nine educational tracks that include topics about pricing, budgeting, social media, design, contracts and negations as well as sales, marketing and sponsorships.

Leading the charge for the TSE Leadership Lunch is Miller, who transitioned from attendee to chairperson for one of the conference’s premier showcasing events.  As the 2017 Leadership Lunch Chair, Miller is responsible for creating the vision and developing the concept of the luncheon’s theme.  Miller is excited to introduce new voices and fresh faces to the event that is attended by event professionals with 15 plus years of experience.  We had a chance to chat with him about why this year’s conference and luncheon are different and why 2017 will be the year to attend.

Why did you become the chair of the Leadership Lunch?

What got me involved in the Leadership Lunch is that I started attending some of the industry conferences and I didn’t see people who necessarily looked like me or represented my audience or my business model participating on the speaker panels.  I found this to be frustrating so what I decided to do was channel that energy into a positive direction.  Instead of me being frustrated, I made a conscious decision to get more involved. I submitted my concept to the governing committee and I was selected as the chairperson.

Tell us about the theme of this year’s luncheon and what it means in regards to the event planning industry.

This year’s theme is, “Setting the Table for Success: Imagine!Ignite!Involve!” It is a call to action for those in the industry not to think of event planning as business as usual.  Ignite is all about maintaining a high level of performance in what we do. Inspire is about being personally inspired, being inspirational to guests and inspiring the next generation of planners. Finally Involve is all about diversity and involving as well as working with people who don’t look or think like you.

What is your vision for the luncheon?  Tell us more about the guest panelists and what attendees can look forward to.

I love the quote by Catherine Pulsifer that says, “We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity life would be very boring.”  It was important to me that the luncheon not be boring.  I organized a team of dynamic individuals to plan this event.  Together we wanted the audience to leave feeling inspired and have a sense of hope.  I engaged speakers who will provide the attendees with tools and lessons that will enable them to continue to build successful businesses.

How important is food and beverage when it comes to any type of event?

When you are looking at food, wine or other beverages, you should select a menu that will be complementary to the purpose of the event and enjoyable for your guests.  My rules when it comes to food at an event include:

  1. Be on time. “Good food late, ain’t good” is my philosophy that I drill into my chefs, service team and catering.  If your invitation states the event begins at 7, the food and beverage service should be available at 6:45.
  2. My golden rule is that people eat with their eyes.   As an event producer, I spend a lot of time working with catering companies on developing unique presentations of the food they will serve.
  3. Make sure there is adequate lighting for your food display. The lighting should not be bright fluorescent lighting, but soft mood lighting that makes the food look delicious.
  4. If you love a venue but they do not have the right kitchen, remember rental companies are great options to build temporary kitchens. If you decide to go this route be sure to research to make sure that you have the proper permits.

For event highlights, follow Miller on Twitter and Instagram (@wpmillermoments) and visit him at www.wpmillerspecialevents.com. For more about the conference and lunch, visit www.thespecialeventshow.com.

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