Interviews with Planners - Fiorella Neira

Fiorella Neira is an event planner based in Wisconsin and owner of Neira Event Group. She produces both corporate and social events for clients throughout the state.

What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
Someone once told me to hang out with people whom I aspire to be like, who also made me a little uncomfortable and challenge me to be better. It is definitely hard to do, but important to keep growing.

What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?
The most unique venue was a ski lodge we used for a corporate retreat. The event took place during the summer and the ski slopes provided beautiful views. The hills were great for our attendees to get out for activities. The challenge was that we hosted the retreat off season, so the resort and town were not entirely prepared for our group. It was the little things that I noticed, luckily our guests seemed to be unaware. I would definitely recommend discussing seasonality with the venue to ensure there are people available to help problem solve when needed.

What advice would you give to someone entering the business today? 
I have two pieces of advice I like to share: One, have patience, this is both a logistical and creative field. So, you have to have patience to grow and learn. You won't know it all, and never will. As long as you are aware of that, reach out to your team of vendors for advice to reach your common goal you will be golden. And two, I have learned that you need to take care of the client but also the vendors who support your event. Without one piece of the puzzle, the event will not happen seamlessly. It is key that you treat your vendors and team right!

What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Purpose! You always have to keep the events’ purpose in mind when making decision and suggestions, not only during the planning process but also on the day of the event, as minor problems arise.

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How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
I think that as we get more engaged with social media, events will be more appreciated. There is nothing better than human connections and face-to-face networking. I think the industry will keep growing.

What makes you successful as a planner?
The people that help me in my company but also the venues and vendors that I work with. Also, knowing my numbers, I love numbers. From my own business to my clients’ budgets, it so essential to track what goes where!

In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year? 
Best trend is charging stations, leave your phone and go network with someone without looking down at your screen.

What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner? 
I don't have one but I do listen to the GatherGeeks podcast!

Fiorella Neira
Event Planner and Designer at Neira Event Group

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