Let’s just say I eat lunch a lot. In the past two weeks I have done lunch with Gian Carlo, Associate Director of Catering for the Hyatt Regency in Philadelphia, Eli Allen from Majestic Images Photography, Brian Toner from Eventions Productions and lastly, just this afternoon, with Renee Grande of Events by Monroe. In each instance I always see an opportunity to blog about it and tell the story of each experience, but in this case I’ve just been so ‘on the go’ that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit and organize a thought.
Lunch with Gian Carlo at the Hyatt Regency (at Penn’s Landing) was great. Over the past year Gian Carlo is someone I’ve become friendly with through N.A.C.E. (The National Association of Catering Executives) and a person whom I’ve wanted to sit down and chat with for a long time now. When he asked me to lunch I jumped at the opportunity and it was quite the experience. We ate at the Hyatt, with a beautiful view overlooking the Delaware and, a first hand look at Gian Carlo in action and the tight ship he runs (he is quite impeccable). As we sat and ate (I had the salmon Caesar) I watched him operate. A simple look to a waiter and an out of place napkin was put back in place, and he didn’t skip a beat in our conversation. He kept an eye on everything around us while we chatted, and impressed me as someone who takes great pride in the presentation of his facility.
Our meeting with Eli (it was actually Pedro and I) from Majestic Images didn’t end up being a lunch, as we all weren’t really that hungry which gave us the opportunity to talk business, as Eli told us all about his E-Photo online, as well as other projects he is currently working on. One thing I have always been impressed with is Eli’s studio in the Olde City section of Philadelphia. It is cozy, yet professional, and one of the few conference rooms I have been in that truly impress me.
Brian Toner – owner of Eventions – is someone I have known for years as we have always been his resource for dancers for his occasional bar or bat mitzvah, but this was the first time I ever visited his facility. Let me just say wow… cases upon cases of lighting, trussing and sound equipment, it’s no wonder Eventions is the foremost lighting company in the Philadelphia area. Our lunch was interesting to say the least, and I look forward to Cutting Edge Entertainment and Eventions Productions working together in the future. I hope to blog more about Eventions in the future once I get to the photos I took at his impressive facility.
My last lunch, with Event Planner Renee Grande was very educational. Renee is newer to the market and has a lot of fresh and creative ideas for not just weddings but all kinds of events from kids parties to reunions. Many clients who think a wedding coordinator might be out of their budget might find Renee’s ‘Event’s by Monroe’ to be not just affordable, but of great value. Using a coordinator can really take the stress out of planning an event, as it is second nature to them and the final product (or party) is typically more polished and runs much more smoothly than a do-it-yourself, especially if you want that ‘wow’ factor.
I have always found that networking and sharing ideas with other event professionals has helped to give Cutting Edge its ‘Edge’ over the competition. Unlike other companies that try to be a one stop shop, I always appreciate professionals that focus on one thing, as opposed to trying to be a jack of all trades. I learn ideas, but when it comes down to it I like to turn to experts like these to do their jobs, so that my staff can do what they do best… entertain.
I am grateful that these good folks took the time to lunch with me so that I might learn more about what they do, and I look forward to working with all of them in the future.