I think this virus and all of the challenges around it will greatly change the events industry as a whole and gives us opportunities as planners to learn and try new things.

Liz King Caruso

CEO

Location: New York City

I started my business on Twitter – that’s right – @LizKingEvents was just a Twitter account in 2009, but after building my thought leadership & making many connections, it bloomed into an event business. Since 2010, I’ve been helping thought leaders build their audience and sell their products & services.

I’ve also recently launched my consulting program, Ignite, to help event businesses tap into their brilliance and define their audience so they can control their revenue, limit the “low” times in business, and build a company that works for them and their dream lifestyle (and not the other way around!)

I’d love to connect, so please send me an email anytime. [email protected]

BIO:
Liz King Caruso is an Event Specialist, Consultant & Speaker who is passionate about impactful, successful & fun events. Liz launched Liz King Events while still running events full time for Columbia University and quickly became a thought leader/influencer amongst her peers after voraciously sharing content on event best practices.

Liz works with thought leaders like Ramit Sethi, Microsoft, SeatGeek, Teamworthy Ventures, Ramon Ray and many others to host strategic conferences and events that engage their audience, build their brand, and sell their products and services.

She also works with other independent event hustlers to help them run more successful businesses through her consulting program called IGNITE. IGNITE helps amazing planners tap into their brilliance and build their thought leadership so they can get more of the right clients and become more financially stable. In addition, Liz ran one of the most iconic event-tech conferences in the industry called techsytalk LIVE.

Liz has been featured in Successful Meetings’ list of 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry, Connect Magazine’s list of 40 Under 40 Up-and-Coming Event Planners, and Meetings and Conventions’ list of Top Influential Female Leaders in the Events Industry, amongst other awards.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

Having great relationships with vendors is incredibly important. Not only because you need to deliver for your clients, but typically your vendors have a lot more knowledge in specific areas than most event planners do.

For example – with A/V – you are looking for a partner who not only provides a great service but has deep information about what your needs are and can help you think of things you may not have thought of on your own.

Keeping these relationships healthy is incredibly important to your overall success.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

I am responding to this interview during the coronavirus crisis so it might seem odd to talk about exciting things on the horizon, but I do believe this unique time in history is giving us unique opportunities. During any downturn or change in business as usual, we have the ability to rethink how things are done and implement new ideas.

I think this virus and all of the challenges around it will greatly change the events industry as a whole and gives us opportunities as planners to learn and try new things. While things are very difficult now, I think this will be very good for us in the long term.

What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?

My company actually started organically through a Twitter account. I was sharing things I was learning on my Twitter account and started getting client inquiries.

It took me 2 1/2 years of taking projects here and there and learning about proposals, contracts, and all of the logistics to fully launch my business. All the while, I was working full-time doing events for Columbia University so I had a great base of experience in events, but it did take a few years of learning what it would be like to run my own business before getting the confidence to break out fully on my own.

What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?

My first event was actually quite a good learning experience. It was a high-level retreat for multiple days and I had a great time researching venues, putting together the vendor team, and working with a client for the first time.

Unfortunately, in the end, the client did not get the registrations she was looking for so the event ended up being canceled so I got the full experience of planning an event and canceling it for my very first client. Not exactly ideal, but it was a great learning experience!

What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?

One of the things I wish I knew was how flexible you need to be to find success. If you told me that I would be a paid speaker and making the bulk of my revenue from consulting + revenue sources outside of event planning, I never would have believed you.

However, being open to the various opportunities that running a business presents has given me a lot of flexibility to grow my business. I have been able to take less event planning clients at a higher rate and supplement my income from a wide variety of sources. None of these things would have made it into my original business plan, but staying flexible and being open to opportunity can take you to some great places!

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