Act on your dreams!Starting a business is the new black. It seems that there are one too many ENTREPRENEURS nowadays. Starting a business is sexy, to say the least. Being an entrepreneur means you are creative, you think well under pressure, you take risks, and most especially, you take ownership. There are plenty of small business owners who lack the entrepreneurship skills. Business owners who lack entrepreneurial skills refuse marketing planning, advertising strategy, and any other promotional investment.

If you’ve been contemplating on joining the entrepreneur community, here are 3 sure fire signs that you are ready to start your own business:

1. YOU ARE CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR PASSION. Passion is an important element in the entrepreneurship equation. When things get very challenging, you have to have enough passion in what you do to continue your work and not give up.

2. YOU ARE READY TO SACRIFICE FUN FOR WORK. Yes, the ultimate goal is to live a life “boss-free” but the beginning stages wouldn’t necessarily seem that way. When you are first starting your business, it’s all about work and you’ll have to remind yourself to have play once in a while just to keep your (in) sanity.

3. YOU TRUST YOUR INSTINCT WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING RISKS. Unfortunately, running a business is all about instinct. Most of the time, there are no right or wrong choices, but you’ll definitely need a sound instinct to lean towards a choice that you know, without a doubt, will work best!


Holiday Sale Tips

If you are a small business owner and don’t have any holiday sales promo or campaign then you are definitely behind! But don’t fret, I have a few last minute ideas that you can personalize and make your own but you must act FAST!

1. CREATE LOST LEADERS – simple but easier said than done. There are only a few days left before Christmas! If you don’t have a plan, then you must roll up your sleeves and start this last minute process by doing a little research. Who are the top players in your industry? What holiday gift deals are they offering? Start looking for examples online! Lucky for you, most things are now online.

A “lost leader” is a merchandise that you are willing to sell at or below cost just to get the people in the door! Offer it as a gift with purchase or a discounted purchase with purchase or a BOGO (Buy One Get One, free or half off). Whatever your offer is, make it a “too good to be true” promo AND offer it only at a limited time.

2. SUGGEST GIFT PACKAGE IDEAS – Have you heard of the term “out of site, out of mind?” Well, this also implies to retail. Shoppers are already very distracted, if you don’t feed them ideas for the perfect gift for him, her, or the kids, then you will be missing out on possible sales. Take some time to group complimentary items together and arrange it as a package deal.

3.  OFFER REWARD POINTS – Reward customers who chose to buy from you. Allow your shoppers to redeem their points earned and encourage them to come and shop with you again after the holidays.

Bill O’ Reilly and John Stewart shouted about “white privilege” – was this a stunt?

So, this video of Bill and John (yes, we are on first name basis) has gone viral because these two older white men discussed and argued about white privilege on national TV. Now, I don’t have a long blog about this but I simply want to pose the question: Where they sincerely indifferent or was this a plot to increase their “minority” viewership and popularity? Because now, as you can imagine, many Blacks and Asian Americans are sharing and arguing about this as well.

If you are a “fair-minded” person, I’m sure you can agree that everything they do is all about the ratings. Sad to say, we will never find out if they really meant what they said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is Brilliant! This is how it started…

Iggy doing the #ALSICEBUCKETCHALLENGEI honestly wish I thought of this first!

How else can you get J.LO, Chris Brown, Tyrese, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry, Oprah, a whole football team, Lebron James, and many more to buy into your charitable efforts?

This is one of the most brilliant marketing strategies and the ALS foundation didn’t even come up with it!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has quickly gone from a fundraising campaign to a viral Internet sensation, raising $15.6 million so far for the ALS Association to research Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But how did a campaign that has drawn in celebrities from Oprah and LeBron James to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg actually start?

Chris Kennedy, a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., was nominated by a friendto participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which at the time, had nothing to do with ALS. The campaign was not tied to any specific charity, and participants would select a charity of their choice for donations. Kennedy’s friend had selected a charity that benefits a young child with cancer in the area. Kennedy, passing the challenge along, then selected ALS because a relative is suffering from the disease. Kennedy nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony is the one suffering from ALS. Kennedy posted this video on July 15—what appears to be the first instance in which the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS were linked. To read more, click here: http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/ 

So how can something something this brilliant not planned? Mainly because we are all suckers for the Social Media and the word “challenge.” Yes, plenty of teens are into unproductive challenges but this one is actually for a good cause.

Here are five ways you can emulate the success of the ALS BUCKET CHALLENGE: 

1. Make it simple but extraordinary.

2.. Make it meaningful or charitable.

3. Make it fun.

4. Design it to be “shareable”

5. Create a hashtag.

You can view more celebs participating in the challenge, here http://www.rap-up.com/2014/08/18/drake-chris-brown-justin-bieber-iggy-azalea-lady-gaga-take-als-ice-bucket-challenge/


My Horror Story With Paypal (lesson learned)

I have been using Paypal for a few years now. First as a buyer and now, as a business owner. Let me preface this by saying that Paypal was not the only one to blame but if they keep allowing this to happen, then there is no hope for small business owners who provide services versus products.

Let’s call the perpetrator “Joe.” Joe purchased two tables for a charity gala worth $2,000 that we produced. Six days after the event, Joe issued a charge back claiming this was an unauthorized charge. Clearly, I was perturbed because this has affected the amount of donation that we had promised the charity to donate after all was reconciled post event.

At first I was hopeful because Paypal allowed me to show them evidence that this was an authorized charge. I sent them text messages and emails and photos of the event for proof that the gala happened and Joe and his 19 guests ate their dinner. Paypal said it takes 30 days for them to review the case but on the 15th day, they sent me an email stating:

As you know, one of your buyers opened a chargeback with their credit card issuer. This means that the buyer has asked their card issuer to reverse the money for this transaction.
We want to help you fight this chargeback, and are disputing it with your buyer’s credit card issuer.

In the meantime, the disputed amount has been debited from your PayPal account because of the following reason(s):

– Intangible items are not covered under Seller Protection.

In addition, you have been debited a chargeback fee.

When I called them to rebuttal this unfortunate conclusion, I told them “Of course it was tangible! Joe and his 19 guests ate all their 20 dinners! Am I wrong?” The Paypal Associate calmly replied: “But it wasn’t something that was shipped.” – PAUSE RIGHT THERE!

You’re reading this… you mean to tell me if I had shipped their dinners then Paypal would cover this with insurance? So the difference between tangible and intangible is “shipping.” Complete nonsense but hey, what’s done is done!

Then the Paypal Associate continued “We have the best dispute team and they are working on disputing this with the credit issuer. It will take up to 80 days to find out whether or not we were successful with the dispute.”

I was speechless so I hung up!

I just felt like I was robbed! I work hard to do something great and help raise money for a charity and this is what I get in return? Joe pretty much screwed me and Paypal was not able to help with the situation? On top of that, I was charged $100 more because of a (false) chargeback? I’ve been doing events for almost 10 years and this was a first.

Don’t worry, As mad as I was, I now realized, why the CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATION form exists and I will be using one moving forward!


Post event marketing is just as important as ticket sales, advertisement, promotions and more. Why? Because your post event marketing strategy will determine the success of your next event. A strong post event marketing strategy can set the tone for the next event by re kindling your guest’s experience and showing the absentees what they’ve missed. Great photos and videos can be a reason for your guests to share it on social media.
Events in the City Post Marketing Tips blog photo
1. Watermark all your photos

– before posting images online, find an app that would allow you to either watermark your logo or your website on the photo. Why? well for the simple reason that once these photos are online, people will find the photos and will be interested to participate for the next one but wouldn’t know how to get in contact with you.
2. Write a blog about it or ask someone to

 – blogging is more than just telling a story online. It’s a way to get “found” online. So when you blog, use the right keywords and always remember to add information about where they can signup to get more info or get more details.
3. Publicly thank everyone who helped make it happen

– You have to exhibit a grateful attitude to keep having successful events. Make people feel good about helping you. People will forget what you say but will never forget how you made them feel. Present certificates to your volunteers and  your sponsors. Then post those photos online and thank them again. You can never thank them enough!
4.   Share and re-purpose your photos and videos
After editing your photos and videos, plan a schedule for when to post them. Naturally, after an event, you want to post all your photos on an album on facebook or other social media means but you should also hold back on some photos, design it by adding text about the event or information about the next event and plan on posting a photo 2x or 3x a month until your next event. Don’t let people forget how great your event was.
5. Create a special tab/archive
On your website, you can create a tab dedicated to archived photos and on there, you can store all your past event photos so when you are getting ready to promote for you next event that potential sponsors and guests can view past event photos. Make sure that you label all your photos correctly and caption them as much as you can.
When saving your photos on your computer, make sure that you save it using the name of your event and the year for two reasons:
a. Easy navigation – it will be easier for you to search for your photos whenever you need them.
b. Searchable – when people search for your event on Google, the photos that were labeled properly upon upload will show up on the results.
When uploading your photos on your website/blog, make sure that you change the “title” of the photos to your event name and year for the same reason as above. Make it easy for people to find your event and label all your photos correctly!


The 2014 Survivor’s Fashion Show was officially a success and the number one relief is the fact that we actually raised money on our very first Survivor’s Fashion Show. We promised to deliver an inspiring show and we are so happy that it was accomplished.

Something special happens when you learn about another person’s struggle and then witness them strut down the runway with a smile from ear to ear. It’s as if your own struggles are suddenly insignificant and petty. When a 10 year old who survived stage 3 Kidney Cancer and got her kidney, pancreas and part of her diaphragm removed walks down the runway full of life, suddenly your financial challenges doesn’t seem so challenging any longer.

We need more inspiration in this world (in my opinion). We need to be inspired to live and love life to the fullest. We produced The Survivor’s Fashion Show for three reasons:

1. Raise money for Cancer Research

2. Inspire others to appreciate life

3. Give Cancer Survivor’s the Hollywood Treatment

Plenty of companies and businesses saw the potential in this event and we thank all of them for lending a helping hand and participating at the inaugural event. Companies like: Paul Mitchell School of Beauty, CAO Cosmetics, Taglyan Complex,  Pisidia-USA, Lash Factor Inc., Speedpro Long Beach, Cheetah Girl Boutique, Linda Richards, Mary Kay, Naylah’s Fat Thighs Cupcakes, Fabuluxe, Fund with Photo, Kangen Water, Small Change Handbags, Krave Jerky and The Soozi Show.

Needless to say, it was an awesome night and here are some photos:

The Biggest Event in my Career So far: The Survivor’s Fashion Show

I’ve done plenty of big events but this, Survivor’s Fashion Show, is one that I hold close to my heart! Not only because my father passed away with Lung Cancer and I felt the need to do something annually to honor him and help build a community of survivors or anyone affected by cancer but because this feels like the first event where I took the most risk so far! Zero budget! But with the right collaborative partners, we are getting things done and have sold out our VIP section!

Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and please believe that everything I wrote on my last book: http://bit.ly/ebookeventplanning was put to use! So if you are looking to plan an event in the near future make sure you get a copy of my book and read all about the 10 Step Guide to a Successful Event.

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*Media Alert   *Media Alert  *Media Alert

Cancer Survivors Take to the Runway for The Survivor’s Fashion Show Benefiting American Cancer Society Relay for Life

WHAT:   In honor of Cancer Research Month, on June 26, 2014 cancer survivors will take to the runway in designer and couture fashions featuring the Kardashian Kollection by Sears, Award-winning Couture Designer Sue Wong, International Designer Shekhar Rahate, Yere Designs by Chinyere (swimwear), Courtney Allegra,  Pisidia-USA (official launch of organic silicone handbag line in North America), The Write Fit, La Liga Clothing Crespatrick de llos Reyes, and Carrington Designs by Jason Oliver, as their inspiring stories of victory are narrated in front of an audience filled with the colleagues, family, friends and supporters of Cancer Research fundraising events.   Hair and Makeup sponsored by Paul Mitchell School of Beauty and CAO Cosmetics.  Mink lashes by Lash Factor Inc.

Keeping the celebration ALIVE will be featured artists such as DJ Mia from America’s Best Dance Crew and Nick Cannon Wild N’ Out,  Sony/Epic Recording Artist, TahMac featuring Redman and Newkast Recording Artist, DeJur.   This is going to be EPIC!

Mark Antonio Grant, Keynote Speaker, Cancer Survivor and Representative for Councilman Bill Rosendahl, will share his experience and encourage others to join the battle.

Taja V. Simpson, Celebrity Host, Mistress of Ceremony and Film Director, will narrate the stories of the survivors as they strut the runway and keep the show fabulous.

Proceeds will be donated to The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life!   Main Sponsor Civic Duty

WHO:  Co-Producers Events In the City LA & LW Special Events Management LLC

WHERE:  Taglyan Cultural Complex 1201 N. Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90038

WHEN:   Thursday, June 26, 2014

TIME:  5:30 pm to 10:00 p.m.   Red Carpet begins promptly at 5:30 pm.

CONTACT:   Sweeney Mae at press@eventsinthecityla.com or call 1-866-223-4545 ext. 2