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BUSINESS HOW THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS MOVING ON FROM THE PANDEMIC AND FINDING SUCCESS IN 2021 VOLUME 06 | THE SUMMER 2021 ISSUE | THE HOSPITALITY EVENTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE


Welcome

TO THE SUMMER 2021 ISSUE OF SEATED! 2021 is a prime example of how hard work pays off. We entered this year wearing masks and following government safety guidelines to protect us against the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitality businesses across the country were still not operating at full capacity, and as I am writing this in July, there are a handful of states that still have some COVID restrictions in place for businesses. But we continued to follow the safety guidelines, got the COVID-19 vaccines as they became available, and kept working. States started to lift restrictions and hospitality businesses gradually reopened to full capacity. Private dining, events, and travel have come back. A Tripleseat and SevenRooms study in April showed that 72 percent of consumers are planning an in-person event. And a Tripleseat survey of hotel consumers found that 43 percent are planning leisure trips and 41 percent will be going on trips that are part leisure, part business. 46 percent of consumers also told us they are planning events at a hotel. We’ve also been navigating the changes here at Tripleseat throughout the pandemic and reopening, doing our best to make sure that our software can assist your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue with driving leads, managing business, and growing your revenue as you adapt to our new normal. That’s why we recently launched our newest product, TripleseatDirect, a new direct booking platform that will revolutionize the way restaurants, hotels, and unique venues grow their on- and off-premise event business. TripleseatDirect is an omnichannel, direct booking CRM platform that offers various tools and services restaurants, hotels, unique venues, and caterers need to start, run and grow their on- and off-premise business. With TripleseatDirect consumers can now book, plan, and pay for on-premise events, off-premise catering, and other experiences directly from a venue's website, social media, and Tripleseat's EventUp. TripleseatDirect delivers on the promise of how consumers now want to interact and book events and catering with restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. We know that TripleseatDirect will be a game-changer for hospitality businesses as we transition into post-pandemic life. This digital issue of Seated has several articles that will also help with this process. We take a look at trends that were created during the pandemic like microweddings, new in-room hotel amenities, how venues are accommodating customers who would like to keep following COVID safety guidelines, and the changing role of event planners and venues in planning events. You can also find tips on marketing, careers, and promotions for the hospitality industry. We hope you enjoy these Seated articles and wish you the best as we get back to business.

JONATHAN MORSE CEO, TRIPLESEAT


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LATHA YOUNGREN AZURE COLLIER MARK ABAIR

PUBLISHER EDITOR IN CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR

COLLABORATORS RACHEL CALKINS NICOLE CATATAO JENNA GABRIEL MITCH GREEN KATE KENNEDY RACHEL MAZZOLA AUBREY UNGVARSKY

SPECIAL THANKS The Entire Tripleseat Family

CONTACTS Tripleseat HQ 300 Baker Ave, Suite 205 Concord, MA 01742 978.614.0490 info@tripleseat.com tripleseat.com venues.tripleseat.com eventup.com

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

EDITORIAL TEAM


44 70 84 92

contents

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F E AT U R E S

BRIEFINGS

contents

seated magazine

VOL. 06 | THE SUMMER 2021 ISSUE

10

TRIPLESEAT IN THE NEWS

12

TREND REPORT 5 HOSPITALITY TRENDS THAT WE WANT TO STICK AROUND POST-PANDEMIC

16

WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG? WITH LAUREN RULLO

22

FIVE QUESTIONS WITH MTG HOSPITALITY

28

CELEBRATING SUMMER BLACKBERRY LAVENDER CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

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DINING BY DESIGN 5 RESTAURANTS WITH A MODERN TWIST ON A VINTAGE VIBE

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SIPPING IN STYLE: 5 HOTEL BARS TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD FOR HAPPY HOURS

56

CUSTOMERS ARE COMING BACK. IS YOUR VENUE READY? 5 IDEAS TO HELP YOU ATTRACT CUSTOMERS DURING THE REST OF THE YEAR

60

PUT YOUR VENUE IN THE SPOTLIGHT THE TOP 6 BENEFITS OF UPGRADING YOUR TRIPLESEAT BOOKING NETWORK LISTING IN 2021

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HOW TO WORK IT IN 2021: CAREER ADVICE FOR EVENT PROFESSIONALS

70

SURVIVAL MODE HOW THE DETROIT SHIPPING COMPANY FOOD HALL CHANGED ITS BUSINESS TO RIDE OUT THE PANDEMIC

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LESSONS FROM REOPENING: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED SO FAR ABOUT PLANNING EVENTS IN 2021

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NAVIGATING THE NEW NORMAL AN (UN)GUIDED LOOK AT POST-COVID VENUES.

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BIG DAY, SMALL WEDDING: HOW TRIPLESEAT VENUES ADAPTED TO THE MICROWEDDING TREND

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MORE THAN ROOM SERVICE HOTELS ARE GETTING CREATIVE WITH GUEST AMENITIES AND PERKS

96

THE KEY TO SEO STRATEGY HOW TO USE KEYWORD TOOLS AND RESEARCH TO DRIVE MORE ORGANIC TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

100

LEVEL UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM’S NEWEST FEATURES: REELS AND GUIDES

104

5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR VENUE’S EMAIL STRATEGIES


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

10

Tripleseat in the News 15 Tech Tools That Can Help Bring Back Live Events

What Will Have the Biggest Impact on Events in 2021?

BizBash, Nov. 11, 2020

BizBash, Dec. 22, 2020

This article focused on five categories of technology that

Event industry professionals from around the world shared

can keep attendees safe from COVID-19 at live events.

their predictions on what they think will shape events in

Tripleseat’s DirectBook feature got a shoutout as a tool for

this BizBash post.

pre-event planning and organization. Tripleseat CEO Jonathan Morse shared his thoughts: Tripleseat CEO Jonathan Morse was quoted in the article:

"Safety is paramount. Gone are the days of buffet-style

“It seems every market has a way to directly book an

displays and bulk serving. Making guests feel that their

appointment, airplane ticket, movie tickets, hotel room,

food is being prepared and served in a safe way will

etcetera—except for restaurants and hotels when it comes

be integral. That also applies to the event space itself.

to booking an event or catering. By creating DirectBook,

People will not want to be elbow-to-elbow at events like

a first-of-its-kind way to book events or catering without

they used to, meaning they will either need to opt for

having to submit a lead and wait for a response, venues

a larger event space or a smaller number of guests. For

can increase their sales and streamline the booking

restaurants with a limited amount of space, buyouts of

process even further.”

entire restaurants will rise in popularity. This extends into every facet of event planning and preparation."

Over 30% of diners plan to cater a holiday meal, survey finds Restaurant Dive, Nov. 18, 2020 The Restaurant Dive blog featured Tripleseat’s survey

The Best Event Management Software Of 2021 Digital.com, Dec. 30, 2020

data that asked consumers about their holiday dining

Business software review website Digital.com named

plans for 2020.

Tripleseat as one of the 19 best platforms for event management software.

“A new survey from Tripleseat finds that 49% of consumers said they will not change their holiday plans this year due

The

Digital.com

researched

more

than

60

to COVID-19. For a majority of those consumers (86.4%),

management software companies to find the the top

that means an at-home gathering with a home-cooked

industry software. Their reviews and event management

meal, versus 2.8% who dine out.

software guide help small businesses and startups find the best event management software for their business.

“Nearly 30% of consumers plan to attend or host an at-home gathering with home-cooked food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 16.6% of consumers plan to order a to-go meal or cater from a restaurant. Most consumers plan to gather with six to 10 people, and over 30% plan to use a catering service for their gathering.”

event


IN THE NEWS Fast 50 2021: These are the fastestgrowing Mass. companies, ranked

Event Industry News, Jan. 4, 2021

Boston Business Journal, May 19, 2021

Tripleseat CEO Jonathan Morse wrote this post for Event

Tripleseat was ranked as the 14th fastest growing company

Industry News on his predictions for trends that will catch

in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal.

on in the new year. The members of the BBJ’s annual Fast 50 list are selected Morse said that he sees an increase in catering because it’s

and ranked by the Business Journal’s research department

a safe way for food to be prepared, delivered, and served

with a formula that analyzes revenue growth from 2017

for small gatherings, and it saves time (no cooking or clean

to 2020. Businesses that have their headquarters in

up at home). Micro-events, which began as a way to hold

Massachusetts and reported revenue of at least $50,000

celebrations with a decreased guest count, will continue

in 2017 and $1 million in 2020 were considered for the

to be popular due to the intimate feeling of the event and the

list. Nominees were not disqualified if they experienced a

reduced stress of planning for a small group that micro-

net loss during those years as long as they experienced

events provide. Venue flexibility will be a focus, as venues

positive growth.

will need to think about how they can accommodate in-person events that require evolving capacity limits and

"The economic shutdown sent a lot of companies'

make attendees feel safe and comfortable. Virtual and

strategies and financials into uncharted territory in 2020,

hybrid events are going to continue as options, as they

but as the Fast 50 illustrates, Greater Boston's fastest-

allow people to take part in the event according to their

growth companies pivoted and prospered despite it all,"

comfort level.

said Carolyn M. Jones, market president and publisher of the Boston Business Journal.

2020 SaaS Awards Announced

Tripleseat Launches TripleseatDirect

Appealie, Jan. 27, 2021 Tripleseat is one of 23 SaaS apps recognized for their

Hospitality Technology, June 24, 2021

demonstrated excellence and customer outcomes by

Tripleseat’s newest product, TripleseatDirect, was featured

Appealie. The company was selected for the SaaS

in this Hospitality Technology report.

Customer Success Award based on its submission of customer success stories and outcomes.

TripleseatDirect is an omnichannel, direct booking CRM platform that offers various tools and services restaurants, hotels, unique venues, and caterers need to start, run

EventUp By Tripleseat Expands to International Markets

and grow their on- and off-premise business. With TripleseatDirect consumers can now book, plan, and pay for on-premise events, off-premise catering, and

Hospitality Technology, Jan. 28, 2021 Industry

blog

Hospitality

Technology

other experiences directly from a venue's website, social shared

the

media, and Tripleseat's EventUp.

announcement of EventUp’s expansion into seven new countries, including England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland,

With TripleseatDirect, consumers can now book, plan,

Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

and pay for their event with zero friction or delay. Similar to Tripleseat's sales and event management

“Originally launched in 2011, EventUp was founded

platform, TripleseatDirect is subscription only and does

to completely streamline the event planning process

not charge a commission or fee for bookings or orders.

by bringing the best venues across the US onto one platform. Designed with corporate and social event

"Off-premise catering and events especially have grown

planners in mind, EventUp allows planners to browse and

exponentially as a viable way for hospitality businesses to

book the perfect venue for their event in only a few clicks.

generate new revenue. TripleseatDirect provides venues

Ten years later, EventUp's venue directory has more than

and caterers of all sizes a simple, commission-free online

15,000 restaurants, hotels, and unique spaces, ranging

ordering platform that will help them build their business

from bowling alleys to stadiums, gardens, and even

and increase event and catering revenue and improve

residential mansions, in both large and small markets

profits," said Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat.

across the US, and now, internationally.”

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

4 Major Trends for the Event Industry in 2021

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BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

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TREND REPORT 5 HOSPITALITY TRENDS THAT WE WANT TO STICK AROUND POST-PANDEMIC It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the landscape of the restaurant industry. More than 110,000 restaurants across the United States were forced to close their doors forever in 2020, and hundreds of thousands more dramatically changed the way they operate just to stay afloat. Yes, these numbers may sound grim, but with great challenge also comes new opportunity, and I believe that these five pandemic-era trends will make a lasting, positive impact.

KATE KENNEDY


TREND REPORT

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

1.

13

THE RISE OF TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY SERVICES

As restaurants across the country were required to close their doors to in-house diners, an immediate scramble from operators to put together some type of takeout, delivery service, or both ensued. For many restaurants, this was the only way they could and would survive the pandemic. As time passed and restaurant workers became more comfortable and confident with their new roles, the takeout and delivery sector became a breeding ground for creative and innovative ways to continue to serve patrons. Clever to-go packaging, cocktail kits, and online experiences to pair with meals are just a few examples of what restaurants have offered. As 2020 became 2021, most restaurants have reopened their doors and dining rooms to diners. Yet, this does not mean that the takeout sector is dead. Many operators have continued to embrace takeout and delivery as an added revenue opportunity, one that will continue to grow their business and allow them to reach a more extensive customer base.

2.

CUSTOMER LOYALTY

3.

TECH IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

Of course, customer loyalty has always been an essential

The pandemic has forced us to become tech-savvy, and

piece of marketing and running a successful restaurant,

restaurants are a huge part of that. Online reservations,

but this loyalty is never more critical than during a crisis.

QR code menus, mobile ordering, and curbside pickups

While we were all stuck inside our homes just trying to

are just a few examples of how people of all ages

get through another day, the thought of ordering from our

embraced technology during the past year.

favorite local restaurant for a meal was exciting and also uplifting. The pandemic heightened the importance of

We began our technology journey of 2020 with a simple

supporting local businesses and made us feel like we were

goal to make everything contactless. But, now that we

doing something good — giving back to our community.

know and love the convenience technology can award us, there’s no turning back. Not to mention that many

This newfound brand awareness is something that

restaurants spent big money to obtain the technology

restaurants can and should build on post-pandemic.

to offer contactless everything. With these two reasons

Customers now feel more connected and loyal to their

in mind, I believe that tech in the restaurant industry will

neighborhood restaurants. Restaurant operators can

only grow in 2021 and way beyond.

use these connections to build other relationships while strengthening the ones they already have. It’s a win, win for everyone!


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

14

4.

PIMPED OUT OUTDOOR DINING

5.

A KINDER AND MORE EQUITABLE INDUSTRY

Before we were allowed back inside restaurants, we were

One thing that the pandemic did was give us all time to

allowed to dine alfresco. And just like restaurant operators

reflect — to think about what is really important and also

rushed to build takeout and delivery services, they also

what desperately needs to change. I’ve always had a deep

jumped to create or upgrade their outdoor dining options.

appreciation for the restaurant industry and for its players.

Parking lots were turned into outdoor dining oases, city

Yet, that does not mean that I believe the industry is a kind

streets were blocked off to accommodate yurts and

or equal one. Changes need to be made.

creative seating areas, while outdoor heating lamps were selling like never before. Americans began to

I think we can all agree that change does not happen

dine outside during colder months like our European

quickly, and we certainly can’t fix things overnight. But

counterparts have been doing for decades.

the restaurant industry is made up of mostly good, hardworking people, who want to change for the better.

I truly hope that town and city governments will adjust

After all of the reflection the past year has given us,

their rules moving forward to allow for this trend to grow.

coupled with the fact that the restaurant industry is one

It was so fun seeing city streets, once lined with bumper-

that does not bow down from a challenge, makes me

to-bumper traffic, bustling with groups of friends and

believe that kindness and equality are in our future.

family dining together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s also a great way for our restaurants to add additional seating, which in turn brings in additional revenue.


JOIN US AT

THE EVENT FOR HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS

October 26, 2021 | New York City

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:

tripleseateventcamp.com


Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue 16

BRIEFINGS


17

What’s in Your Bag? KATE KENNEDY

WHO: Lauren Rullo, Sales and Marketing Manager for Weber Grill Restaurants. Rullo books and handles all private and large group dining, catering, grill classes, as well as all off-premise and on-site grilling events for the entire Chicagoland market. She also works alongside the corporate marketing director to develop and support all marketing efforts. Rullo began as a server for the original Weber Grill Restaurant in Wheeling, Mich., in 2004. Like a lot of hospitality veterans, Rullo thought she would work as a server for no more than a year and figure out her next move. Sixteen years later she’s still at Weber Grill and has amassed a strong passion for food, and event planning. She’s convinced that event planning is what she was born to do. Rullo did leave Weber Grill for a short time. In 2009 she accepted a sales opportunity with Harry Caray’s. From there Rullo took an event planning job at Bucca di Beppo and then went back to serving for a brief stint at the Lucky Monk in Chicago. Looking for something more high-end, she applied for a serving job at Shaw’s Crab House. Once they found out she had a sales and catering management background, they promoted her to Sales and Marketing Manager. After several years at Shaw’s Crab House, an opportunity came up at a newly opened Weber Grill in St. Louis. Rullo decided to take the position. Weber Grill was her family and it was time to go home. Rullo is a graduate of Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in English. In 2016 she was awarded the Young Business Professional of the year by Chamber630, and then in 2018, she received the Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award by the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce. Rullo sits on the NextGen Executive Board for the DuPage Children’s Museum and is an advisor to the Vice President of Operations for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, at her alumni. With the little free time, Rullo does have she spends it with her close friends and their children. She loves throwing them over-the-top birthday parties with crazy themes and spoiling them as often as possible. They call her Auntie Lolo, and she loves them all like they were her own.

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

Event Pros Tell Seated:


Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

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THE BAG Michael Kors Bedford Legacy Large Pebbled Leather Tote Bag THE ESSENTIALS Duct tape: It’s no secret that duct tape can fix just about anything. So I am sure it’s no surprise that I see the value of always having some in my purse. I have fixed tables, cake stands, shoes, chairs, floral arrangements, strapless dresses, and wheels on trailers, just to name a few. It comes in handy for festivals with directing lines, hanging lights, menus, and as a Band-Aid if you’re desperate. On one occasion the parents of a bride had their window smashed in during a wedding, and while it was terrible, no one wanted to deal with it right then and there. So, I used duct tape to temporarily fix the hole in the window. Weber Grill Thermometer: Food safety is always important in the restaurant business, and with events off-site, the risks become even higher. Taking food temps is important to ensure safety to our guests as well make as a quality statement. Weber Grills already have a legendary reputation when it comes to all things grilling, so I know I can trust that my thermometer is the best around.


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WHATS IN YOUR BAG

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue


Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

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Storehouse flats: Some of my events have me running around non-stop for up to 15 hours, so regardless of how comfy my shoes are, there comes a point at which I need to switch them up. Storehouse shoes are very similar to another more expensive brand that I just can’t bring myself to purchase. I actually think they’re even better. They are made of all leather, fold up, and are like a hug for your feet. Plus, they have super cute limited edition prints each month which means I am bound to have a print match and sass up every outfit. Pink rhinestone multi-tool pocket knife: I have no problem with jumping into any situation and trying to fix the problem. I am a girly girl at heart, but I am not afraid to get my hands dirty when I need to. So if I were to carry a multi-tool foldable pocket knife, it, of course, would have to have bling on it. My mom gifted this to me back when I was in college. I was not all that excited to receive it as I would have rather gotten a gift card to go shopping. Little did I know that fast forward 10 years, it has become one of the most valuable tools for my job. It comes in handy all the time, looks good while I use it, and reminds me to be thankful for every gift, especially those that come from my mom. Tarte lip paints and Makeup Junkie bag: I always feel more put together and like I can conquer the world when I have my lips painted. I am obsessed with Tarte lip paint. It stays on all day, doesn’t rub off, isn’t sticky, and doesn’t dry out your lips. My current go-to color is Extra. It’s a killer red that goes with everything. Of course, I have several other shades that I love as well so I keep myself organized with my Makeup Junkie bags. They are a lifesaver because you don’t have to dig into the bottom of the black hole that a purse can become.


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Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

Increase your event sales + streamline the planning process.

Capture every event lead

Check event space availability

Create documents that get results

Capture leads from your website, Facebook, VENUES by Tripleseat directory, and even the phone.

See events from one venue or hundreds. View by status, room, or venue to know what spaces are available.

Quickly build banquet event orders, contracts, proposals, invoices, and more with our SmartDocs tool.

Get paid faster

Manage relationships

Intelligence reporting

Online payments have never been easier. Customers can pay with any credit card knowing their information is secure.

Our CRM system organizes and manages all of your contacts in one central database — accessible to everyone online.

Report on every aspect of your event business. View reports for upcoming events, financials, leads, payments, and more.

tripleseat.com “I love and embrace Tripleseat and have learned how to use it to work smarter and not harder. It really translates into my sales exponentially increasing. And that’s the bottom line of everybody’s day in this event world.”

Marisa Colangelo | Director of Private Events, Zuma NYC


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Five questions RACHEL CALKINS

with

MTG Hospitality

The coronavirus pandemic hit the hospitality and events industry hard, forcing all those who work in it to creatively rethink the processes they have always known. Natalie Thomas, Founder and Events Director at MTG Hospitality, was one of those individuals who had to put her thinking cap on and look at new ways to drive business in the given circumstances. As both an event planner and representative of her venues, Thomas provides a unique perspective for both corporate and social events. We chatted with Thomas to learn more about MTG Hospitality, how she pivoted her business during the pandemic, and what she predicts for the events industry in the rest of 2021.


FIVE QUESTIONS

1

Give us a background on MTG Hospitality. What venues does MTG represent in a pre-pandemic world? What event programs has MTG created? MTG Hospitality was started five years ago from our passion for creating memorable events and our deep understanding of unique venues. Pre-pandemic, we worked with several corporate clients managing their meetings and with four unique venues managing their events. After the 2020 hit to the industry, our corporate clients canceled their meetings, and only one of the unique venues was able to open and host events. That venue is the 446 acres of outdoor green space in northeast Washington, D.C., The United States National Arboretum. We leaned into the microwedding trend and created affordable and accessible wedding packages for couples wanting to celebrate their wedding safely. And it has been a success!

2

What have you learned about yourself and MTG Hospitality, the event industry, and the hospitality community over the past year? I learned patience, adaptability, and that I do not hate wedding events! I once had the corporate meeting planner mindset that weddings were an inferior event. However, the wedding event industry kept going during the pandemic and created programs to keep our vendors — and myself — working. The Washington, D.C., hospitality community came together over the past year, in big thanks to the D.C. Event Coalition. They scheduled bi-monthly industry calls and monthly venue calls. I met venue managers that I would have thought of as my competition, but today I think of them as some of my closest friends.

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BRIEFINGS

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3

The trend for intimate microweddings is something that you have embraced with your clients throughout the pandemic. Tell us about the most rewarding moments that have come out of these smaller gatherings? At the core of our business is our passion for creating memorable moments through events, and microweddings in a pandemic are the very definition of memorable. People had been isolated for so many months, and they were able to come together in a safe and friendly space to see and celebrate their loved ones. It was also rewarding to see how we can get back to work, and the excitement and happy guests reminded us that people love gathering and will return to it as soon as we are fully open.

4

Tell us about your experience using Tripleseat. How does Tripleseat help you streamline the event management process while planning events? Were certain features extra beneficial given the circumstances over the past year? I could not do my job if I didn't use Tripleseat. The ability to quickly track sales, results, client information and easily share documents with colleagues is crucial to managing not just one venue but multiple venues. The ability to track emails and create tasks was highly beneficial the past year. During the slow time, I was able to work with my Tripleseat account manager and create custom fields that have changed how we create facility reports for the venue itself. I have no idea why it took me four years to do that, but I am thankful now!


FIVE QUESTIONS

5

What do you predict the rest of 2021 to look like for MTG Hospitality and the wedding industry? I predict that corporate events will stay in a hybrid format and that social events will continue to grow in popularity and demand. Smaller and intimate weddings will stay, but I also see a trend for large anniversary celebrations. From the corporate perspective, I predict large corporate events like client picnics and appreciation events later in the year. The pandemic made our industry get very creative, and it will continue to inspire more creativity.

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BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

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Celebrating summer with the Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail KATE KENNEDY

Let's toast to new beginnings with a taste of summer! Summer has always been known as a time for relaxing and adventure. But the summer of 2021 takes this age-old notion to new heights. There’s never been a more appropriate time to toast to and enjoy all that life has to offer. This beautiful cocktail gives me all of the summer vibes. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and a bit herbal. Pair it with light hors d'oeuvres or a dark chocolate dessert. Great for batching!


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Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon dried or fresh lavender flowers 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries ½ cup maple syrup ¼ cup vodka 2 750 milliliter bottles chilled Champagne PREPARATION: Begin by making the blackberry lavender syrup. Combine the blackberries, lavender flowers, maple syrup, and vodka in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Use the back of a large wooden spoon to mash the berries as the mixture is heating. Continue cooking and stirring for an additional minute. Remove from heat and let it cool completely. You can use the syrup right away once it’s cooled or store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. To make the cocktail, simply add one tablespoon of the blackberry lavender syrup to a glass of your choice and fill the glass with chilled champagne. You can add ice if you’d like, but it’s great with or without. This recipe makes eight servings, but you can adjust it to batch as much as you need.


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Features

Dining by Design 5 RESTAURANTS WITH A MODERN TWIST ON A VINTAGE VIBE

We all know that design is cyclical. Everything old becomes new again — with a twist. If you're looking for some inspiration to update your venue this year, check out these six Tripleseat customers who have embraced a vintage vibe but made it contemporary. They've taken the best of midcentury design — from colorful seating to warm wood to pop art to lighting — and made it chic. AZURE COLLIER + NICOLE CATATAO KATE KENNEDY + RACHEL CALKINS


Dining by Design

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Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

Harriet's Rooftop NYC, New York City


Features

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Beatrix, Chicago Sit back and relax in this eclectic neighborhood coffeehouse, restaurant, and meeting place in Chicago's River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market and Oak Brook neighborhoods. You’ll always feel at home and comfortable at a Beatrix. Whether you’re in the mood for a signature latte and pastry, a working lunch or a cozy, casual dinner and a glass of wine, Beatrix has it all under one roof.


33 Dining by Design

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Features

Castell, New York City Nestled atop the AC Hotel in New York’s Times Square, this cozy rooftop bar recaptures the spirit of the classic cocktail lounge. Iconic views enhance Castell's contemporary décor in a sophisticated but comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy the intimacy of a fireplace lounge showcasing abstract art. Gather ‘round the luxe granite bar, or go out for drinks – literally – on the lush, open-air terrace.


35 Dining by Design

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue


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36 Features


Dining by Design

Local, fresh, quality ingredients are among the star players at Glass & Vine lead by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and Grove Bay Hospitality. What better way to celebrate with a group than gathering under the stars and twinkling light-draped trees of the warm Coconut Grove air and sipping on a signature cocktail like the much lauded, Magic School Bus (Aperol Spritz-like but so much more!) and snacking on Jamon Serrano Croquetas? Tucked away next to the lovely Peacock Park, amidst the trees, this charming former library-turned-restaurant provides a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the day.

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

Glass & Vine, Miami

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38 Features


Dining by Design

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Harriet's Rooftop NYC, New York City This rooftop lounge and bar in Brooklyn offers unparalleled panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline from the 10th-floor vista. There is 2,800 feet of space just waiting to host a spectacular private event with craft cocktails and inspired seasonal bites. The outdoor rooftop is gorgeous during the summer months but the design and decor of the indoor lounge will draw you in all year round. You may never leave, once you’ve settled into one of their cozy, chic banquettes with their rich inviting colors, perfect for the colder seasons. This venue is not to be missed; whether you are visiting NYC for the weekend or have lived there your entire life, make Harriet’s a destination.


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Dining by Design

This LoHi restaurant was designed for balance in its customers' modern lives with its artisanal foods, a playful and chic dining experience, and a marketplace that allows you to enjoy inventive food on site or at home. The Bindery's wide open feel, natural light, and modern simplicity creates a welcoming feeling for food to be enjoyed and savored.

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The Bindery, Denver

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Are you a member of our online

community of event professionals? You are already aware of the benefits Tripleseat’s software has on your events, catering, and group sales business, but are you a member of our online community of hospitality professionals? We have created a community specifically for Tripleseat users to access: – exclusive Tripleseat product content – event industry resources – educational tools – networking opportunities – and much more... You can even earn Party People points for your participation in the community, and exchange them for fun rewards like gift cards, swag, or a chance to be featured in Seated magazine!

Wait, there’s more! The Tripleseat team also heads out on the road to host in person Party People events for all of our Tripleseat customers! You can mix and mingle with fellow event professionals in person and talk about how excited you are that events are truly back! Check out our events page regularly at tripleseat.com/events to find out if we are coming to your city next! To become a Party People member, sign up online at rewards.tripleseat.com/join/seated21 to join. For more information on this and all of our other customer perks, contact: Rachel Calkins Communications Marketing Specialist rachelc@tripleseat.com


TripleseatDirect Deliver a seamless booking experience with TripleseatDirect, an omnichannel direct booking solution. TripleseatDirect enables restaurants and hotels to offer on-premise and off-premise events and catering to be booked by their clients, directly from their website, social media platforms, or EventUp.com.

Learn more or sign up for a demo at tripleseat.com/tsdirect


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Sipping in Style: 5 HOTEL BARS TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD FOR HAPPY HOURS

Hotels pose a dilemma for today’s travelers. On one hand, there’s the room with its comfortable bed, giant TV, floor to ceiling windows, and room service. On the other, you’ve got modern facilities like lobbies with cafes, stylish restaurants, and chic bar spaces with cocktails to match. Who wants to spend all day in their basic white bed when there are amazing bars in the building? That’s why we’re featuring five Tripleseat hotel customers and their bars in this issue of Seated. Take a look at these trendy watering holes and get inspired.

AZURE COLLIER


Sipping in Style

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Shinola, Detroit SAN MORELLO BAR


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Shinola, Detroit The Brakeman is Shinola Hotel’s own beer hall that offers rotating drafts of Midwestern craft beers, seasonal frozen drinks, classic spirits, and fried chicken from Penny Red’s restaurant next door. You won’t be bored in this beer hall — after you’ve tried a beer or cocktail and sampled the chicken, watch the game on The Brakeman’s big-screen TVs or play foosball, table shuffleboard, or ping-pong. Or step outside to the beer hall’s outdoor spot and people watch in Parker’s Alley.


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Sipping in Style

Located on the first floor of the Freehand Hotel in Chicago, Broken Shaker is described as a “den” on the Freehand’s website, and that’s exactly the vibe you get when you walk in. Take a seat on one of the leather couches draped with plush blankets, get cozy on the couch that runs the entire length of one wall, or perch on one of the bar stools at the wood-paneled, retro-wallpapered bar area. Prepare to stay for a few hours because there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied, from the eclectic bar menu that includes drinks called Camping on Acid and Sequence in Nature, to the hodgepodge of decor on the shelves and a large wooden cutout of an octopus wearing a hachimaki on the wall.

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Broken Shaker, Chicago

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Lorenzo Hotel, Dallas When it’s time to escape the Texas heat, you’ll want to surround yourself with the coolness of Hamilton's at the Lorenzo Hotel. The mirrored ceiling and huge windows give the space a ton of light, and the seating choices are endless: cowhide print chairs, black leather ottomans, Victorian chairs, posh metal barstools, and hot pink leather chairs. You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction no matter where you sit if you arrive in time for Hamilton’s Happy Hour starting at 4 pm daily.


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The Robey, Chicago This hotel in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood provides guests with three bars that provide a place to relax with a drink as well as the best people and city watching spots in town. The second-floor Lounge is outfitted with couches, comfortable leather chairs, and a pool table, but the main attraction is the window where you can see the street action below. Want to spend some time outside? Try the Cabana Club on the 6th floor, where you can swim in the pool or settle down on the outdoor cushions and lounge furniture for 180-degree views of the skyline. The Up Room is on The Robey’s 13th floor, and provides stunning views — The Robey is the only skyscraper in Wicker Park, which allows visitors to see for miles across the city of Chicago,


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Dear Irving, New York City Dear Irving’s New York bars are a feast for the eyes. At the Grammarcy location, you’ll enjoy the jewel-toned velvet seating and an Art Deco vibe from the glass elements, lighting, and flooring. The Hudson location has a modern twist on midcentury design, with wide velvet couches, wood decor, and sputnik chandeliers, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an amazing view of the NYC skyline.


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Customers Are Coming Back. Is Your Venue Ready? 5 IDEAS TO HELP YOU ATTRACT CUSTOMERS DURING THE REST OF THE YEAR AZURE COLLIER

After a year plus of staying close to home and widespread COVID-19 vaccination availability, Americans are feeling optimistic about getting back to a new normal. Their enthusiasm for spending time at restaurants, hotels, and events is ramping up.

Restaurant reservations were up 46 percent in the spring of 2021, according to Yelp. A Tripleseat survey of hotel consumers revealed that 62 percent who plan to travel will do so during the summer of 2021. And, according to a survey conducted by Tripleseat and SevenRooms, 72 percent of consumers said they were planning to hold in-person events during the year. This new surge is great news for your hospitality business’ bottom line. But you can’t just sit back and assume people are going to walk in the door. Now is the time to boost your efforts to attract these post-pandemic customers. Try these ideas and promote them as much as possible on your website, in your email marketing, and in your social media posts in order to connect with consumers.


Customers Are Coming Back. Is Your Venue Ready?

2. CATERING

These two terms started appearing in industry publications this spring. Vaxications are vacations taken after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and revenge travel is the vacation you take as COVID-19 revenge, after being cooped up for over a year.

Catering became one of the breakout trends from 2020 and 2021 because having food delivered to a home or venue was a safe way to hold a small social gathering during the pandemic. Hospitality businesses got creative with their catering offers and introduced options for families, celebrations, and experiences.

Create deals around the post-lockdown travel trend and encourage people to stay at your hotel for their summer vaxication or revenge travel trip. Your restaurant can get in on this trend as well — build special promotions that target your out-of-town guests to stop by when they’re traveling.

If you haven’t already, put together catering packages and boxes such as family-sized meals, cocktails to go, cooking kits, tasting kits, charcuterie boxes, picnic boxes, party boxes containing food and party favors, and individual lunch or party boxes for corporate clients.

3. EXPERIENCES Customers have been stuck at home for more than a year and they are ready to get out and make memories. Consider adding experiences to your events program to give guests something extra. Some popular experiences include yoga (including regular yoga, goat yoga, and drunk yoga), mixology classes, cooking classes, silent disco (guests wear headphones that allow them to switch between different DJs), or multi-course meals.

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1. VAXICATIONS AND REVENGE TRAVEL

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4. SOCIAL EVENTS Social occasions are being celebrated in a big way this year. Event professionals tell us that customers are booking their social parties as soon as possible to make up for lost time. Remind customers and prospects that your venue is the perfect place for their birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagement parties, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, baby showers, retirement parties, graduations, proms, and any holiday celebrations from the Fourth of July to Christmas.

5. CORPORATE EVENTS Employees want to get face-to-face time with their coworkers and clients and your venue can make that happen. Contact your corporate clients, get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce, and call your city’s convention and visitors bureau to let them know that you are available to become a preferred vendor for events. Promote your space as a place to host board meetings, conferences, trade shows, conventions, company retreats, and holiday parties. But don’t forget the smaller occasions, like small corporate or sales meetings, room rentals for a temporary workspace, and rooms for living and working remotely. If you have an in-house audio/visual team or a reliable vendor, your venue can also host hybrid events, which are a combination of in-person attendees and online attendees who watch a live broadcast of the event on their laptops.

CREATIVITY WILL HELP YOU BOOST BUSINESS The last year was rough but the hospitality industry showed its resilience with creative ideas like these. Take the lessons you’ve learned, introduce something new that works, and get the word out to help drive more business.


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a podcast about hospitality trends From current hospitality news, food and beverage trends, interviews with event guests, marketing tips and more, Tripleseat's podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, will keep you in the loop on all things relatable to anyone in the events industry. Tune in with hosts Kate Kennedy and Rachel Calkins every Friday to catch up on the latest hospitality topics. Find podcast episodes on Apple, Spotify, our website info.tripleseat.com/two-chicks-three-seats-podcast, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Want to share your own event professional perspective and experiences as a guest on a future episode? Email us at 2chicks3seats@tripleseat.com!


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Put Your Venue in the Spotlight THE TOP 6 BENEFITS OF UPGRADING YOUR GLOBAL LEAD NETWORK LISTINGS IN 2021 NICOLE CATATAO

Tripleseat is the leading catering and event management web-based platform for restaurants, hotels, and unique venues that will increase sales and streamline the booking process, but you knew that already.

What you may not have realized is that with your Tripleseat subscription, your venue is automatically added to Tripleseat's Global Lead Network. Tripleseat's Global Lead Network consists of both of our online venue directories, VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp powered by Tripleseat. With your Tripleseat subscription, you automatically get a Basic listing on both VENUES and EventUp. Your venue listing is a dedicated page about your venue with photos and event options marketed to social and corporate event planners searching for the perfect venue for their next event. They can submit an inquiry to you, which shows up as a new event lead in your Tripleseat account. With your Basic listing comes top ranking within city search pages, inclusion in blog and social media posts, as well as a venue spotlight blog post written by professional writers. We recently launched our sponsored Premium and Premium PLUS listing packages — these upgraded packages give venues maximum venue exposure and increased leads.


Put Your Venue in the Spotlight

A Premium package is $50 per month, and with that: • Your listing rotates above city search results, among other sponsored listing ads, and is immune to filters • Your venue is highlighted in a blue frame directly to event planners • Your listing will appear at the top of the organic city search results

PREMIUM PLUS LISTING A Premium PLUS package is $80 per month and includes everything from the Premium package along with: • A rotating picture listing on the home page of both directories • A static picture on the right side of the search results • You can select 10 competitors to target when planners are submitting quote requests • Selection of two other local markets to appear in • The ability to highlight special deals and promotion with custom taglines on your listing • Dedicated social media posts promoting your venue across Tripleseat accounts

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PREMIUM LISTING

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF UPGRADING? 1. VENUES and EventUp is simply where event planners go for all of their planning needs. Between the two directories, we see • 1.5+ million page views each month • 7,089+ leads delivered to venues monthly • 55+ million search impressions each year • 7.78 percent average lead conversion rate, which is above the industry average Not only do we get more visitors each month, browsing through more venues, we also convert the most planners into leads for our venues compared to any other online venue directory! 2. Tripleseat will never charge a commission for any of the leads that we generate for you. We believe your leads are yours, and all the event revenue should stay with the venue.

3. One of Tripleseat’s newest features, DirectBook, can be added to your VENUES and EventUp listing. Venues can offer their customers a seamless and easy way to book, manage, and execute any off-site catering, in-house private events, and takeout and delivery services with zero friction or negotiations. This means that in addition to submitting a lead inquiry, prospects can actually submit a booking for you to accept directly from your venue’s EventUp listing. All the client has to do is click the Book Now button located on your listing. Having the Book Now option for event planners makes it even easier for them to reserve a venue as soon as they find the perfect one for their party needs. Plus, it means more events for you, without having to sell the venue’s benefits. 4. The Tripleseat Booking Network is international. In January of this year, EventUp expanded into seven new countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. More countries will continue to be added throughout the year. The more countries that we expand into, the more venues and planners we can support and introduce to each other. Adding an international presence also allows us to encourage planners to book and schedule international events, weddings, company trips, and retreats with complete confidence in their venue selections.


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5. You’ll gain a marketing partner dedicated to driving leads to your venue to grow event sales and revenue. We do this in several ways: • Google display ads • Google search ads • Social advertising on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter • Streaming radio and podcast ads The two most significant ways to drive awareness and planners directly to your listing are through our Venue Spotlight blog posts written by professional writers shared across our social media channels. And our dedicated Instagram posts highlight only your venue on our VENUES and EventUp accounts for a combined audience of more than 20,000 planners. 6. You’ll be ROI positive with a single booking. With the average event cost of $2,000, your premium listing is ROI positive for the year in a single booking, actually about half a booking.

HOW DO YOU UPGRADE? You can easily upgrade any of your Basic listings right in your Tripleseat account. When you sign in to your account, take the following steps: • Go to Settings • Scroll down to Tripleseat Advanced Features/Subscriptions • Click Add a Subscription to add features • Under Tripleseat Venue Ads, find the locations you want to upgrade, using the drop-down menu options, and choose your package • Once you have your subscriptions selected, enter your credit card information, and hit Submit You now have an upgraded listing on both VENUES and EventUp. Within your Tripleseat account, leads will appear on the Lead Details report organized by which directory they were generated. If you want a little help upgrading your listing, don’t worry, you can connect with our sales team, who will guide you through the upgrading process. Upgrading your Tripleseat Booking Network listing is easy, affordable, and risk-free since anything beyond a single booking is all revenue that you keep.


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How to Work it in 2021: CAREER ADVICE FOR EVENT PROFESSIONALS NICOLE CATATAO

The global pandemic of 2020 forced many industries, especially the hospitality industry, to rethink the size and organization of their teams. Many people found themselves without a job, furloughed, or the last one standing supporting several jobs at once. Although life and careers are yet to be back to normal officially, the ubiquitous light at the end of the tunnel, we have all been patiently waiting for can finally be seen.


How to Work it in 2021

So whether you are looking to advance in your career, get back into the hospitality industry as venues continue to expand their teams, or looking to join the industry for the first time, there are some universal career development strategies we can all implement to strengthen our career growth, increase our hireability, and open up new opportunities. Here are the two things I want you to do first: 1. Optimize your resume 2. Update your LinkedIn profile

OPTIMIZE YOUR RESUME The most common thing that most people get wrong on their resumes is how to write the bullet points for each position they have held. Most bullet points are written as statements in the first person: Waited tables. Filed paperwork. Assisted with orders. These statements are simply writing out the duties of the job, not how you helped or what you brought to the position. For each position you have held, write three to five bullet points, starting with the most significant and working your way down. Work experience bullets: Use dynamic verbs to illustrate ownership and responsibility. Don’t use:

Use these instead:

• Coordinated

• Managed

• Facilitated

• Led

• Conducted

• Created

• Acted

• Oversaw

• Organized

• Strategized

• Assisted

• Built

• Provided

• Launched • Developed

Here’s a formula for writing a resume and LinkedIn bullet points: what you did + how you did it + your results = your new bullet point. Instead of saying you answered phone calls, you oversaw all incoming inquiries and directed them to the correct departments based on a formulaic survey you developed, which led to a 60 percent decrease in customers being placed on hold. You did not file paperwork. You managed and organized sensitive information on behalf of customers by developing a streamlined process that resulted in a secure and accurate database.

UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE When a manager or recruiter reads your resume, the first thing they check next is your LinkedIn profile to validate three things: 1. You are who you say you are 2. Your positions and timeline make sense as well as match your resume 3. Your connections align with the companies you have worked for If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, set one up today. Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual business card to network with other people. Do not use LinkedIn the same way you use Facebook. Use a good quality photo of only you. All of your positions, dates, and bullet points should match your resume. You can add more information and details to your LinkedIn profile since it offers more space, which is OK. Connect with past and current employees. Join groups and network with the folks who are interested in the same topics as you.

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WHERE TO START YOUR JOB SEARCH Once your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date, you’re ready to start your job search. LinkedIn is still the number one place to search for new opportunities. Venues and companies that are seeking new employees will be sharing posts about their open positions. Your network of friends and colleagues will also be sharing open positions listed at their own companies or ones they come across. Social media has quickly become a real-time source of open positions. Follow all of your favorite venues, venues that are local to you, restaurant group accounts, associations, follow hashtags, and as many sources as you can to widen the scope of possibilities and get notified as soon as posts go live. That way, you can apply and send a follow-up email as soon as possible, getting you in the door for an interview faster than others.

• Learn how to pitch your ideas. Stop being a question person, and become a solutions person. Want to start a blog, takeaway options, or a sustainable food storage container program? Great! Don’t ask, “Can I do this?” Put in the hard work and research and present your ideas to your manager, with the problem as well as the solution. You may not always get a yes, but your manager and the team will start to depend on you as the person with the ideas and solutions. • Practice gratitude. Having dreams and goals shouldn’t negate your appreciation for your current place in your career. Even having the worst job or boss can still offer valuable lessons to take with you on your next path.

TIPS FOR JOB SEARCHING Many interviews are being conducted online right now, and you’ll need to make sure that you’re equipped for this new world of digital recruiting. 1. Get prepared for your online Interview

Look directly on websites. If there is a particular venue, or business, or restaurant group that you want to be part of, look directly at their website to see if they have a section dedicated to open positions. If not, also check their blog or any more generalized space on their website. If you apply to a job directly on their website, don’t be afraid to send them an email saying you applied for which specific open position and are looking forward to learning more and connecting.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR DREAM JOB Your dream job most likely doesn’t exist. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to create your dream job: • Be vocal with your manager about the tasks you enjoy; it can be as simple as, “Today was so much fun, thanks for pulling me in.” • Get grabby at work. As in grabbing the open seat next to the boss at the meeting or being the first to volunteer or make a suggestion. It’s less about being first and more about being confident to take advantage of the available opportunities. • Don’t wait for permission. If you see something that needs to be done, then just do it. Write the blog post, organize the swag, or draft a landing page redesign. It may not end up being the final solution, but you come off as dedicated and enthusiastic about the organization’s overall goal. • Be open with your manager about your goals. You need to initiate those important conversations with your manager about your goals and come ready with examples of how you will work towards them. Your manager can help coach you along the way and fill in any areas of growth and experience opportunities needed. But, without knowing your goals, there is no path to lead you down.

Most companies are using Zoom or other online meeting platforms to conduct remote interviews until workers return to offices on a regular basis, so you’ll need to create a professional atmosphere and attitude for both sides of the screen, starting with these online interview tips: • Invest in a ring light. These are not just for influencers — they really do make you look better. • Look at the camera, not the person — this sounds counterintuitive, but it ensures that you are looking at them in the eyes on their end. • Get fully dressed up professionally, from head to toe. It puts you in the right mindset. • Clean up around your area or add a Zoom background that won’t be distracting. • It’s OK to take notes and refer to any pre-written questions. Casually mention the note-taking, so the interviewer understands why you are looking down. • If you anticipate any disruptions during the interview, mention them at the beginning of the call. • Try to relax! You’re having a conversation and interviewing them to see if you even want to work there.


How to Work it in 2021

Example:

The thank-you note after an interview is not dead! They are very much alive and still expected. You must send a thankyou note after every interview. It doesn’t have to be a handwritten card that you physically mail. Email follow-up is preferred, but LinkedIn will do if you simply cannot find their email address. These emails should be sent within 24 hours after the interview.

Hi Taylor, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day yesterday to sit down with me and discuss the Event Manager open position.

Sending a thank-you email shows that you have excellent follow-through, you are proactive, and don’t need to be micromanaged. And most importantly that you want the job.

I am excited about this opportunity. I know that I can lean on my 10 years of experience assisting in planning and executing events at ABCDEvents and help grow sales by 20% this year with the innovative design and safety ideas that we discussed.

In your email, always include:

I look forward to hearing from you!

• Their name

Thanks again, Nicole Catatao nicole@email.com 555-555-1234

• Writing out the phrase thank you • A reference to something that the two of you spoke about • Your interest in wanting the job, and based on the overall discussion, you know that you will be a great fit • Ask about the next steps and timeline of the hiring process • Close out the email with “I look forward to hearing from you!” • Then provide your contact information again

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DON’T STOP LEARNING AND GROWING IN YOUR CAREER PATH The hospitality field and career opportunities are constantly evolving, so make sure you’re on top of the latest trends and industry news by reading blog posts, going to conferences, or registering for webinars.

And don’t forget books! Here’s a list of career growth books I recommend: • “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts” by Brené Brown • “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter” by Michael D. Watkins • “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” by Adam Grant • “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth • “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini • “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg • “Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success” by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch • “Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Frances Frei, Anne Morriss • “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle


The leading global venue directory helping restaurants, hotels, and unique venues capture new leads and grow event revenue.

Top Google Search Results Drives new event planners to the directory every day Support all event and venue types Cover all markets with one affordable listing Paid marketing campaigns With your listing you gain a marketing partner Commission free leads All the event revenue stays with you

Generate More Leads with EventUp Premium Package Listings


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Survival Mode

HOW THE DETROIT SHIPPING COMPANY FOOD HALL CHANGED ITS BUSINESS TO RIDE OUT THE PANDEMIC

KATE KENNEDY


Survival Mode

Who knew that one year could feel at the same time like a whirlwind and like it took 10 years to pass. Or that trends would revolve around terms like “new normal” and “unprecedented.” But, if there’s one single industry that felt these things a little more than others, it’s the hospitality industry. From states of emergency to shutdowns to opening at limited capacity, back to shutdown, and around again, the hospitality industry sought every high and felt every single low. Yet all of those hardships and pressures didn’t break the industry; instead, they forced it to bend and adjust and show just how resilient and resourceful it is. One specific hospitality business located in Detroit is a shining example of just how creative and strong our industry is. Detroit Shipping Company, a 3-year-old food hall and beer garden in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood, took pivoting to new heights throughout the entire pandemic to ensure they could still serve their community. I was lucky enough to chat with Detroit Shipping Company’s operators

earlier this month, and they shared with me some of the ways the pandemic taught them to open their eyes to new ways of handling business. First, let’s get to know the venue itself. Detroit Shipping Company is essentially a food hall made out of shipping containers that currently hosts six diverse food vendors, along with the main bar and, during the summer, an outdoor Booze Bus (which may just be the best name ever for a food truck bar). Before the pandemic, you would enter the food hall and order directly from whichever restaurant you chose, sit wherever you wanted, and go up freely for more food and drinks whenever you pleased. They also hosted live music and rented the space out for weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, and much more. In addition to their indoor space, they had a 10,000 square foot parking lot that at the time was used for, well, parking. Of course, as March 2020 rolled around, and it became clear that they would not be able to conduct business as usual, they struggled at first to find their footing. How could a venue known for crowds and open seating operate during a pandemic? Jonathan Hartzell, a Detroit Shipping Company founder, as well as a partner at Detroit Rising Development, a development and construction group that specializes in the rehabilitation and revitalization of Detroit, told me that he lost a lot of sleep during the few days leading up to the

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What a wild ride 2020 was. From our personal lives to our careers and so much more, 2020 was wrought with disaster after disaster.

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official shutdown of all non-essential businesses. He didn’t want to put his staff and his community at risk. So when the announcement came from the Governor of Michigan on March 14, 2020, that all non-essential businesses were to shut down immediately, his first feeling was relief. He had his answer. But then reality set in. He still had a business to run and restaurants to support. Fast forward to May of 2020. Detroit Shipping Company’s team knew they had to reopen at some capacity but also knew it wouldn’t be easy. Before the pandemic, each restaurant had its own point of sale system and own system for ordering. On May 20, two of the six restaurants reopened with a combined POS system for curbside takeout only. By June 12, they were able to reopen at half capacity for in-house dining. They hired back two front-of-the-house staff and two employees in each kitchen. By July of 2020, four of the six restaurants had reopened using their own POS systems once again, and by August of 2020, five were. And remember that 10,000 square foot parking lot I mentioned earlier? Well, they turned that into a substantial open-air seating area so they could accommodate more guests. Of course, it wasn’t the operating style they had been accustomed to. In order to comply with the state’s rules that limited the flow of customers and social distancing and mask requirements, they restructured their front-of-the-house

operations. Instead of their customers walking up to each restaurant to order what they wanted and then sit where they pleased, they offered table service with a host at the front door who seated guests. They also implemented food runners who would deliver customer orders to the tables. In addition, they used QR codes for menus, and A/B tested a list of adjustments just to find the right fit for their venue. In the end, they were able to have a very successful summer in 2020 because they followed all of the CDC guidelines and were nothing but transparent to their customers. The community appreciated the fact that they were knowledgeable and kept up with precautionary measures that kept them safe. Indeed, it wasn’t all rainbows and fairy tales for Detroit Shipping Company. There were a ton of costs associated with the pivots they made. First, they spent over $35,000 building the open space seating area, then another $30,000 winterizing it. Not to mention the soaring costs of personal protective equipment and the additional labor costs for front-of-the-house staff. But even with all of these extra costs they incurred in 2020, they are beginning to see their return on investment. For example, April of 2021 was on par with their average sales before the pandemic. They also saw their highest revenue day on record for one of their restaurants at the start of 2021. And in March of 2021, they saw a significant uptick in leads for 2022 private event inquiries.


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With all of the stress of pivoting and rearranging their business model, the pandemic did teach them some valuable lessons. They are more in tune with what their community wants and values, and they cherish the fact that they were able to not only stay afloat during a time when most hospitality businesses were drowning but they were able to keep their customers safe while doing it. They take these lessons and continue to pivot their business even today. A few weeks ago, they introduced The Shop at Detroit Shipping Company, a rent-free rotating retail space for black-owned local businesses to help support their community and local entrepreneurs. For more information on Detroit Shipping Company and the businesses they support, you can visit their website or check them out on Instagram and Facebook.


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Lessons from Reopening: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED SO FAR ABOUT PLANNING EVENTS IN 2021 RACHEL MAZZOLA

With the dust of 2020 finally settling and people slowly emerging from their COVID bunkers, we are experiencing our new surroundings for the first time. Those of us in the events and hospitality industry are busy picking up the pieces and preparing to rebuild for what we can expect to be a comeback year for in-person events. While we are still navigating with some uncertainty, we do know one thing for sure: everything about planning events is different now. As event planners and venues explore this new industry terrain together, here’s what we are learning.


Lessons from Reopening

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Corporate and social planners are relying on their local networks to find venues We know the pandemic caused significant disruption to the hospitality industry; restaurants and venues we love will have closed, and lots of venue sales and event managers have had to find new jobs at different venues or shift careers altogether. This disruption has corporate and social planners relying on their networks to find out what venues are open and hosting events and what venues their contacts are now working at, since most want to work with people they know and trust, especially now. In some cases, with their networks turned upside down, these planners utilize DMCs (Destination Management Companies) and CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) to help them navigate in cities where they don’t have an extensive network.

Corporate and social planners still want creativity and innovation from venues If we had to pick a silver lining of the pandemic, it was that we got to see some real creativity and innovation from restaurants and venues. Corporate and social planners are still expecting to see this level of innovation and creativity that got us through some tough times carry us into the future as they plan their events in 2021. Venues that are promoting what makes them stand out are getting attention from event planners, so don’t be afraid to try something new with your food and beverage services, your indoor space, your outdoor space, services, and amenities. Share these ideas and creative opportunities with your clients on social media and your website; you never know what will be a huge hit!

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What is a DMC? It stands for Destination Management Company — a local company that has extensive knowledge about a specific destination and organizes the logistics of meetings and events in that particular location. Planners pay for their services.

What is a CVB? It stands for Convention and Visitors Bureau — a local organization that can help meeting planners conduct venue and vendor selections at no cost. A CVB publishes events calendars, news, and a directory of accommodations, for visitors, meeting planners, and travel agents. Planners do not pay for their services.


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Lessons from Reopening

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Venues are seen as the experts In local protocols and guidelines Event planners — both social and corporate — have a whole new priority of health and safety when it comes to planning their events and are relying heavily on venues to be the experts of local regulations and their own venue’s safety plans. As policies and restrictions change frequently, it’s essential for venues to be transparent and share clear, concise, proven strategies they have implemented in their venues openly with planners prior to booking and throughout the planning. Venues that don’t have fleshed-out plans in place on items like food service or utilizing outdoor space, or are unable to provide updated current capacities, are a deterrent to planners looking to host events in their venues.

Venues and planners are collaborating and having more open conversations Another refreshing change in the industry is a more open and collaborative approach to booking and hosting events. Both venues and planners are being more upfront, honest and realistic with expectations regarding items like safety, sanitation, and budgets. For corporate planners who have to answer to a C-Suite, they are looking for venues that can be transparent in regards to these items so that they can give a complete picture to their management teams and stakeholders. Venues and planners are being more flexible with budgets. Planners are willing to pay a more premium cost (think attendant fees, added costs of pre-plating, or cleaning fees) to balance out the safety factor, as long as they are aware of them upfront. These conversations are being had with more candor than before, and there is an understanding between venues and clients alike, and they are willing and eager to engage in a dialogue.

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Hybrid meetings and events are here to stay Event planners are being sensitive to the fact that as we leave our COVID pods and prepare to mingle with strangers again at events, that there will be different comfort levels throughout their audience, with some still only feeling comfortable joining virtually. Enter the hybrid meeting. As attendees are figuring out their comfort level with events again, we are finding that hybrid events are here to stay. Still, planners are finding ways to keep those virtual attendees engaged and are using restaurants to help. Planners find that adding something tangible for their audience rather than just logging into Zoom enhances the experience. Incorporating something tactical, like snack boxes or deliveries from local restaurants, adds excitement to the typical virtual event.

What is a Hybrid Event? A hybrid meeting or event is one that happens in person but also has a virtual aspect for attendees who wish to participate remotely.

We are already feeling demand for 2022 If your current catchphrase is “Are you talking about event space for 2021 or 2022?” or “Wait, we’re talking about 2021, right?” then you know what I am talking about. As I mentioned, 2021 is our rebuilding year — planners are re-entering the space slowly and focusing on hosting smaller regional meetings and events in 2021. But, when it comes to 2022, buckle up. We’re armed with new knowledge and optimism, and we’re not wasting any time. We are already seeing the demand for larger, in-person events and can’t wait to welcome them back with open arms.


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Navigating the New Normal AN (UN)GUIDED LOOK AT POST-COVID VENUES. LATHA YOUNGREN

Venues across the country are struggling with adapting to the ever-changing CDC guidelines and how to please all types of guests. As vaccinations roll out and people are becoming more social, we can’t forget what we all experienced this last year, and many aren’t yet willing to throw caution to the wind. People are at all different points in their comfort zones of participating in public activities such as dining out or attending events, and venues want to make sure they aren’t alienating anyone. According to an AGC Partners restaurant report released in May 2021, it takes the average person 66 days to form new habits. COVID restrictions have lasted well over 365 days at the time this was written. It will take people quite some time to undo the changes that have been made during the pandemic. As states start lifting indoor mask mandates, there are mixed feelings from restaurant owners and operators. According to an Eater Boston article, “Anthony Caldwell, the chef and owner of 50 Kitchen in Dorchester, says he’s nervous about the lifting of the mask mandate because it allows people who aren’t vaccinated to behave in a way that he doesn’t think is safe.”


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This echoes the sentiment many COVID-cautious people are feeling even if they are fully vaccinated and ready to partake in day-to-day activities and pleasures such as dining out and attending events. On the flip side, hospitality workers are also feeling fatigued by the endless changes and being the rule enforcers. It’s been challenging for them to keep guests compliant with all the requirements, and now that all the rules are being lifted to just go back to pre-COVID ways may seem too sudden. The COVID-cautious section of venues may just be the 2021 version of the non-smoking section. Patty McCartney, Director of Events at the Foundry Kitchen and Tavern, shared how the Sandy Hook, Conn., venue is handling their customers’ needs. The Foundry opened for indoor dining when the state of Connecticut rolled back COVID restrictions in March 2021. Since then, the venue has kept their customers’ concerns in mind, designating spaces for those who wish to continue to follow social distancing and those who feel comfortable dining without restrictions. Find out what McCartney had to say about the issue in our Q&A:


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What are the measures you are taking in the physical space to accommodate for the differences in comfort levels of your guests? We are fully open in our tavern and outdoor patio, meaning at capacity. We are social distancing tables in our dining room and loft space for those who may be still apprehensive about coming out to eat.

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Are you doing anything special when talking to clients about events or with your event packages to highlight post-vaccinated comfort levels? I always ask the client what level of comfort they need. For example, we (staff) wear masks at events; however, we do not require the guests at events to do so unless requested by the client.

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Are you asking guests if they are vaccinated?

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Do you have any idea about how long you will keep these practices in place?

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No, we are not; that is a private question.

Through summer and then we’ll re-evaluate.

Any other thoughts regarding COVID and non-COVID sections or ways to split up spaces? Our customers love that we have options for social distancing still available, so that seems to make everyone happy.

Despite widespread availability of the COVID vaccines in the United States and the increased capacity for restaurants and venues, there is a segment of diners that isn’t ready to give up their masks and safety practices. The rest of 2021 will be a time of transition for the hospitality industry and there’s no road map for what’s ahead. Your venue’s best bet is to take a cue from your customers and be flexible as they navigate their new comfort zones.

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Big Day, SMALL WEDDING HOW TRIPLESEAT VENUES ADAPTED TO THE MICROWEDDING TREND AZURE COLLIER


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The coronavirus pandemic stopped a lot of activities in 2020 — dining out, large gatherings, vacations — but it did not have control over love. Some couples who had planned weddings in 2020 postponed them to later dates, hoping that by the new date, their people on their long guest lists would be able to celebrate face to face. Others took advantage of an emerging trend: microweddings. What exactly is a microwedding? It’s basically a scaled-down version of a traditional wedding ceremony and reception. The number of guests varies depending on the capacity restrictions set by the state government and the venue itself. And the packages have been modified for the smaller guest list and could include things such as a small charcuterie plate and cocktails, or livestreaming for the guests who can’t attend in person. Having a microwedding allows couples to have their special day despite the pandemic and restrictions. Couples have also discovered that the smaller celebration gives them more quality time with their guests, provides more for their budget, and enables them to book their top choice for vendors for less money than a traditional wedding. We spoke to two Tripleseat customers about their experiences with microweddings: John Schulz, Reservations Manager at The Santa Ynez Inn in Solvang, Calif., and Allison Gallese, Director of Marketing, Sales & Special Events at Osteria Via Stato restaurant in Chicago. Here’s what they had to say about this new event trend.

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When did you start offering microweddings? Schulz: We have always offered weddings up to 100 guests with most of our weddings falling around 75-80 guests. We have no minimum guest size, just a minimum on our site fee. Gallese: We have always hosted smaller weddings at Osteria Via Stato, where guest counts range from 30 to 235, but we truly started repackaging and promoting microweddings in April and May of last year due to the pandemic.

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What is the capacity for your microweddings? Schulz: Our venue limit for a traditional reception is 100 guests, but the property can do some events up to 140-150 people if a more casual reception is booked. Gallese: We designate microweddings at 50 guests or less.

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What is included in your microwedding packages and how are the packages different from traditional weddings at your venue? Schulz: We do not have any set packages for the hotel. Every wedding that books with us usually does a very similar setup, with ceremony time, cocktail hour, dinner reception followed by dancing and party time, with maybe a cake cutting thrown in the mix. The only thing that changes is our site fee is based on the number of guests with a minimum of $2,000, up to roughly $6,000. Our site fee includes the rental of the space, tables, ceremony chairs, dinner chairs, white linens, glassware, flatware, set up, tear down, and staffing for the event. All other details are done by outside vendors such as the baker, florist, photographer, videographer, DJ, band, and wedding planner. Gallese: We wanted to make these wedding packages as turnkey as possible. When speaking to potential couples, we quickly learned that many of them were now planning a second or third wedding date or pivoting from a large to a small wedding to keep the original date and stay within the Chicago COVID-19 restrictions. Many were sad, disappointed, and just downright exhausted by all of the changing guidelines and capacities, and definitely did not want to start full-on planning for a second time. Our microweddings packages include everything needed for a special day — stationery-like place cards, printed menus and table numbers, a choice of linens, a small wedding cake for cutting purposes and photos, an onsite coordinator, as well as lunch for up to 10 guests delivered to the hotel the day. We also partnered with a florist, CUT Floral, and photographer Eberly Film Lab to include packages that would accommodate a smaller time block or smaller budget, without a minimum required. Once our potential couples discovered how simple it could be to host with us, booking them became very easy.


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Schulz: Since March of 2020, we have done just three weddings that were originally meant to be in the 80 person range that dropped their counts down to 30-40 guests.

Schulz: We have seen a huge uptick in requests for smaller weddings under 50 and over the past year we have booked maybe four weddings that fall under 50 guests for the future. We traditionally only do about 15-20 weddings a year so to have five that fall under 50 vs. our normal average of 75-80 is more than normal.

How many microweddings have you hosted since the beginning of the pandemic?

Gallese: We’ve booked 16, with several more booked through the winter that we had to move due to restrictions tightening again.

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What has the response been from clients? Schulz: The response is usually always the same for our weddings; the clients and their guests love the property and the staff. In response directly to having to drop their guest counts due to restrictions or half their guests unwilling to come to their wedding, it has been sad. Not being able to dance up a storm on the dance floor with all your friends and family, or stand and talk and make jokes at the bar, or walk around and mingle with various guests of your wedding is sad, hard, and frustrating for some groups. The whole point of weddings is not so much the actual ceremony itself, but the time and celebration you get with all your friends and family and not being allowed certain aspects of a traditional wedding event is in one word, sad. Many groups have kept their plans with us but have postponed their weddings while few are ready to start their lives, have children, buy a house and the wedding is the jumping-off point for those families, so postponement was not an option. Gallese: Absolutely wonderful. People are desperate to be together and celebrate during this time. The microweddings are as joyous, even more so than a traditional wedding. Even with masks and social distancing, you can truly feel the love in the room. Our staff has also been thrilled to see weddings come back and are honored to be a part of the special day.

Are clients continuing to book microweddings? How many do you have booked?

I find that the guests’ budgets for microweddings are too small for our property and our hotel room rates so there isn’t a lot that book with us. Occasionally I'll get a client who reaches back out after a month of researching other venues and realizes that all the inclusions in our site fee are actually not overpriced based on other venues charging per line item. Some couples just don't realize the cost of rentals, linens, staffing rates, bartenders, hours of setup and tear down, and other expenses. Gallese: Absolutely. We are seeing this twofold. Couples are booking microweddings for 2021 and many, with very short notice (under three months). They see the value in our venue being turnkey, are concerned about ongoing restrictions, and do not want the stress and worry (haven't we all had enough this year!). We booked several weddings with out-of-town guests via FaceTime so that they could see the space safely and book quickly. Plus, a few of our larger weddings have now opted to go micro due to the same reasons. We have eight microweddings booked this year and 24 traditional weddings for a total of 32, with more inquiries coming in every day.

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Are microweddings an option that you will continue to offer in the future? Why or why not? Schulz: We will definitely continue to book weddings of all sizes up to our max, based on the details of their event. Each and every wedding is different and if more 30-50 person weddings want to book with us, we are very happy to have them and share in the celebration of their big day and the memories they will make with our staff and property. Gallese: Absolutely. Though we prefer larger events for the financial benefits, we will certainly continue to promote microweddings to fill in our slower months or Sunday dates.

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What do you like about the microwedding trend? Schulz: One thing I love about microweddings is getting to know the clients and their guests more than normal. Some clients become lifelong guests of the hotel and return every year or multiple times a year and many times guests of weddings onsite, end up booking their wedding or a family member's wedding in the future. So we end up as a location that works with different generations within families that we have already worked with. Gallese: I love the intimacy of a microwedding. You can really only have those who are the closest to you when the guest count is capped at 50. You can feel the comfort and ease in the room. Another benefit is that micro weddings allow two-thirds of our restaurant to operate as normal, so we benefit from the events sales, as well as dining sales and don't have to turn away regular customers like we would for a buyout.

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What do your clients like about microweddings? Schulz: I believe the intimacy of microweddings is what turns certain clients onto having a smaller wedding. Being able to have more time with the people you truly love to have around in your life, leads to more joy and less worry during your wedding. There is no worrying about those certain friends or family members that don't get along or talk to each other or about making every person happy when it is all about your big day. Coming up with the menu options is less stressful as again, not having to worry about too many allergies or special dietary restrictions for so many guests. Whether it is said or not, probably the number one reason clients love microweddings is that the budget is much less and you're not spending a down payment amount of money for a house, on your wedding day. Gallese: Simplicity and cost. Also, they are able to direct more of their budget to upgrading wine, food, floral, favors, and more. It's much easier to splurge when you are doing so for 40 guests, vs 300. We have seen unique upgrades such as mini, individual wedding cakes from a couples' favorite bakery and gift boxes with favorite snacks, drinks, and Chicago memorabilia.

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How has Tripleseat helped you manage planning for microweddings? Schulz: Tripleseat, in general, has been an outstanding program in managing all our events. Before Tripleseat, I was creating contracts in Microsoft Word off a pre-set template I made, tracking all events and room blocks on an Excel spreadsheet that I always ran out of time to update for big meetings with management and ownership, and having to collect data from three or four different places to organize into one. A lot of my time was wasted on busy work. I am now able to follow up quicker on leads, print reports in minutes, even seconds with accurate data for all my groups without having to remember to go into three or four different systems. Any other staff can get the same information without having to wait or ask me to get it to them and so not just in microweddings but all our groups, Tripleseat has made managing everything very quick and easy. Gallese: We treat microweddings the same as traditional weddings when planning, so Tripleseat helps keep us on our scheduled tasks, planning details, kitchen and staff communication, and ensuring that the couple has a seamless, memorable day.


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HOTELS ARE GETTING CREATIVE WITH GUEST AMENITIES AND PERKS JENNA GABRIEL

It’s official — the world is getting back to normal and the events industry is starting to see pre-COVID leads and bookings, which is such a great thing to see! If you’re anything like me, you’re already looking for any excuse to plan a small event or trip to get out of the house and enjoy some warmer weather. It’s safe to say that most everything will be a little bit different as we begin navigating the world post-COVID — airports and transportation will look different, all the way to your hotel stay and any activities you’re planning on doing. When the world shut down and travel was halted, hotels and most of the hospitality industry had to think of creative ways to keep their business alive. If you’re an extroverted introvert like me, you may like some of the new and improved hotel features that look like they’re around to stay.

IN-ROOM FITNESS Hotels around the world are getting creative with their fitness partnerships. A lot of large brand hotels are syncing up with popular fitness brands such as Peloton and Mirror to provide in-room fitness options as an additional perk. In addition to this, some hotels have signed on for streaming fitness classes so guests can work out live with an instructor right from their rooms.

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More Than Room Service


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With their fitness areas closed during most of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, a lot of hotels found new ways to give their guests the fitness experience they still wanted, and now it’s looking like it may be a perk that’ll continue to evolve even after the pandemic has been controlled.

IN-ROOM DINING One of the most unique trends we’re seeing with hotels rethinking their rooms is the in-room dining experience. When you think of an in-room dining experience at a hotel, you might imagine booking a room for a night and getting some fancy room service delivered. Maybe there’s a table or desk to sit at, but you’ll probably end up eating off the tray from your bed. That’s what I certainly imagined until I saw what the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis' North Loop was doing.

During a time of extremely low occupancy and strict dining restrictions, they decided to use their room vacancies to their advantage and turn their guest rooms into private dining rooms. They started off small by removing the beds from a small handful of rooms and bringing in tables, it was such a unique offering that they sold out in the first weekend. They have since expanded and are now offering 14 private dining rooms, four nights a week. Now we’re seeing many hotels following in their footsteps and creating special experiences for their guests.

IN-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT We’ve all been there; you get back to your hotel room after a long day of business (or fun), and flick on the TV and scroll through trying to find something on their basic cable options. When there’s nothing, you either wander down to borrow a DVD player for a movie, or you rent an ondemand movie. WIth most entertainment limited, some hotels have looked into investing with DIRECTV and other affiliated companies to allow their guests to stream HBO libraries and other movie networks in their room at no additional cost. Allowing more in-room entertainment will continue to keep visitors happy and entertained, especially while movie theaters and other entertainment companies are making a slower return for safety.


More Than Room Service

This is going beyond the room, but it’s definitely worth noting if you’re looking for a bit of an extended stay. We’ve seen most hotels offering extended stay deals, offering discounts, or special enhancements if their guests stay more than a few days with them. What’s more creative than that is a multi-hotel membership like the Freehand Hotels have recently announced. The Freehand Club has locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago and is offering a unique monthly membership for those who are still working remotely and have some flexibility. For a monthly membership fee, you have access to any Freehand hotel and all their usual benefits such as speedy wifi, daily housekeeping, food and beverage discounts, in-room entertainment and streaming services, and a fitness center. So cancel that lease and sign up for a monthly membership and switch up your scenery for the next few months!

USE THESE NEW AMENITIES TO DRIVE SALES These are just a handful of the new, creative features being integrated into hotels around the world. In addition to better safety measures with contactless and keyless technologies, these in-room amenities and entertainment options will surely help make your guests’ stay more comfortable and relaxing. Consider adding something new to help drive more bookings in 2021.

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The Key to SEO Strategy HOW TO USE KEYWORD TOOLS AND RESEARCH TO DRIVE MORE ORGANIC TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE MITCH GREEN By now, restaurants, hotels, and unique venues acknowledge that Search Engine Optimization plays a large factor in scaling your business, but the process of optimization can often be overwhelming. So much technical jargon and conflicting opinions on strategy can leave you stuck in the mud. Our goal with this article is to simplify one of the pillars of SEO strategy for you so that you can get those wheels turning and begin capitalizing on all the opportunities organic search can provide you. That pillar is keyword research. We’re going to help you determine what free tools to use (paid options can be recommended at a later date), and how to begin identifying keywords for website content.


The Key to SEO Strategy

There are dozens of keyword research options out there and all of them have their pros and cons, even the expensive options. Below are the three options that I use and trust the most to provide impactful information, and — most importantly — they’re free.

1. GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER Google Keyword Planner is my preferred tool on this list, as it often has the most accurate information and allows you to filter by specific locations (such as state or city). It also allows you to add in your website URL and will come up with recommendations based on the pages on your site. The only requirement for this tool is that you must create a Google Ads account to access it, but you do not need to spend any money on ads to use it.

2. UBER SUGGEST If you did not want to create a Google Ads account to utilize Google Keyword Planner, then Uber Suggest is the next best thing. The information it provides also tends to be among the most accurate, however, it does not allow you to filter by locations any more specific than country. When it comes to restaurants, caterers, hotels, and event venues, this can be problematic since location-based searches are the most impactful for your business.

3. GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE Google Search Console (GSC) should be used in addition to one of the aforementioned research tools. This tool is more of a microscope into what keywords your website currently shows up for on Google and tells you the specific average position Google shows you in for any given keyword. The tool can also help identify any issues your website might have that can negatively impact how Google views your website. To set up GSC on your site, you often have to install a piece of code onto your website, which is often easy to do through the platform your website is on or with the help of a developer.

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IDENTIFYING KEYWORDS It can be a difficult task to try to put yourself in the minds of others, thinking “If this were me, how would I try to look this up on Google?” But thankfully we don’t have to be perfect and think of every single variation of search. That is where the keyword tools above do the bulk of the work. For businesses that depend on local customers, identifying how people search in or for your specific area is critical. One great trick to help identify these local searches is to use near me, nearby, or near “insert your location” language. These tend to be the most popular types of location-based searches that show up frequently in these tools. A reason that these terms are great to focus on is that they are often easier to achieve a good SEO ranking for. Google does a great job of allowing local businesses to show for location-based searches. Also, if you are a hospitality business with multiple locations in different areas, then it is important to specify those different locations in detail by creating separate pages for each location or at least call out each location with a little detail that is unique to it.

Once you have your list of keywords, the next step is to group that list by the different topics and create different pages for those topics. For example, a restaurant might have keyword topics related to menu, private dining spaces, hours of operation, type of cuisine, etc. For each of these topics, it would be best practice to create an individual web page that provides answers to the keywords.

KEYWORDS ARE THE FIRST STEP IN A SOLID SEO STRATEGY Keyword research can be one of the most intimidating parts of SEO, but if you follow this guide and dedicate a little time to exploring the different variations, then you will be one step ahead of most of your competitors in the area and be prepared to increase your business through organic search.


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Discover and book the perfect venue for your next event at venues.tripleseat.com

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HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM’S NEWEST FEATURES: REELS AND GUIDES RACHEL CALKINS

The world of social media marketing is constantly changing in order to engage new audiences in creative ways. That means that the social media platforms we know and love also have to change to keep up with new ways of marketing.

The powerhouse platform of Instagram is right there in the bunch with social media platforms that add new features to enhance the user experience. And according to the experts analyzing the Instagram algorithm, there is evidence that the accounts who use Instagram’s newest features as they arrive are more likely to reap the benefits of Instagram’s algorithm. With that being said, let's take a look at two of the latest features released over the past six months that you should tap into for your venue’s Instagram.

INSTAGRAM REELS Some may think of 2020 as the year of the coronavirus pandemic, while others also think of it as the year that TikTok took over the social media world. In order to stay competitive with the extremely popular short-form video platform of TikTok, Instagram created Reels. The Reels feed can be found in its own specific location, at the center tab on the bottom of the Instagram homepage. The placement is certainly no mistake, often to the dismay of some long-term users, as it shows that Instagram is trying to push its users to create Reels, maybe even just as much as feed posts and Stories. Now you may be wondering, how do Reels work? Well, first and foremost, a Reel is defined as a short-form video that can be up to 15 or 30 seconds long. Video footage for the reel can be taken within the Instagram camera or

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uploaded to the Reel during creation. Before recording a Reel within Instagram, users can include special features, such as background music from a selection of Instagram-approved songs, filters for a new look, fast- and slow-motion timing effects, and self-timer shooting features. After recording a video clip, users can add the usual Instagram stickers, text, and drawing features like in an Instagram story, as well as a personal voiceover. While the steps are pretty straightforward, it will take a little planning ahead of time in order to make sure the Reel is fit for your audience. A business’ Reel strategy may be different or similar to what it posts on the feed, IGTV, and Stories. As a restaurant, unique venue, hotel, or independent event professional, Reels are certainly a feature that you can look into when promoting your business. Get in front of the camera and talk about what is happening at your venue, take some video footage of new menu items and use a voiceover to describe what’s on the screen, or; show a behind-the-scenes look at your venue and pair it with exciting background music. Prove that you are an industry expert and talk about industry news, event trends, or COVID-related safety protocols in your area. Now that you have digested all of that information, it is time to hear why Reels should be a feature to spend time figuring out. Marketers believe that video is one of the most powerful sources of marketing in order to grab attention and convert sales. Attention spans are continually decreasing, which is why short-form video is a trend to tap into right now. From an Instagram algorithm perspective, experts believe that the platform tends to favor the users and accounts who use its newest features. The world of social media is competitive, and as Reels looks to take on Tik Tok, Instagram will reward accounts that help the efforts by using this new feature.

INSTAGRAM GUIDES Moving on from the fast pace of Reels, is another new feature: Instagram Guides. Instagram Guides is a unique feature to Instagram that is not as comparable on other social media platforms. Once an account creates Guides, they can be found in their own tab on a user’s profile, along with feed posts, Reels, IGTV videos, and tagged photos. Guides serve as a way to share your content and recommendations in the form of exactly what its name sounds like, a guide. There are three different categories of Guides that a user can create: Places, Products, and Posts. Regardless of the category, all Guides follow the same format with a guide title, cover photo, optional guide description, titles for each post within the guide, and optional post descriptions. Once a Guide has been posted, it can also be shared to an Instagram Story or sent through direct messaging.


Level Up Your Social Media Marketing

A Places Guide allows users to share recommended places, and it does so by using the location feature on Instagram. Any place that has its own Instagram location can be used in this type of Guide. When a user goes to create a Places Guide, they can choose from the locations used in their own posts, saved posts, or search a specific location and see any public posts using it. When it comes to the hospitality industry, a Places Guide could certainly come in handy when recommending your restaurant, hotel, or venue through the location feature. It is possible to select multiple posts per location, so you could share posts that your restaurant posted, for example, as well as user-generated content that other accounts posted about you while at your location. If you have multiple Instagram accounts for multiple restaurants in the same restaurant group, be sure to recommend one another by making a Places Guide on each account.

Products Guide A Products Guide lets a user choose products they recommend from the products found in Instagram’s Shop. When a user creates a Products Guide, they are able to search for their favorite brands on Instagram, and then select products from those brands. Products can also be selected from the user’s personal wishlist of products saved from the Shop. The key to note here is that products must be listed in an account’s Instagram Shop in order to be included in someone’s guide. Some businesses may not have their Shop set up, therefore they would not be an option to include in this type of guide. How is this relevant to the hospitality industry? Well, most products in the Shop are consumer goods, and many hospitality businesses, like breweries, for example, tend to include products in the Shop. Common products for breweries may be custom glasses, branded clothing, or beer drinking essentials. Some restaurants even choose to include their full menu as items in the shop. These could then be added into a Products Guide created by the restaurant. Consider including any products posted by your restaurant’s partners as well in a Guide that you create for your restaurant, hotel, or event venue.

Posts Guide A Posts Guide gives users the ability to organize past posts that were posted or saved by the user into the form of a Guide. This type of Guide is a quick and easy way to organize your own content and even be able to reshare it once again in a strategic way. When it comes to creating a Posts Guide, it will often depend on your specific Instagram strategy to decide what to include in this guide. As a restaurant, you likely post many food, beverage, decor, event, or behind-the-scenes photos to your feed. Start here and create a new Posts Guide with posts from each of these categories. You could put all food photos in one Guide, all event setup photos in another, and so on until all the proper categories are represented. While some users may just scroll through your feed, looking at mainly food photos, they could now jump to your food Guide and see all the delicious menu items served at your restaurant in one organized location. Do you show off your staff on Instagram feed? Include them in a Meet the Team Guide, too. There are many creative ways to organize your own posts in order to give followers another experience on your Instagram page. Overall, Guides are a great way to organize your content, share what other organizations you support, and push followers to check out the locations you recommend.

DON’T WAIT — CREATE! As Instagram continues to evolve and push out new features within the next six months, be sure to pay attention to how those in your industry use the new features. New features will only help your business to create new forms of content, all while improving your chances of finding success with the Instagram algorithm.

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Places Guide

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Features

5 Tips to Improve Your Venue’s Email Strategies AUBREY UNGVARSKY

As our inboxes continue to fill with offers from online shopping and takeout orders over the last year, the importance of your venue’s email strategy continues to grow. While you may think that now is the time to ease up sending emails, that is not the case. Of course, we don’t want to bombard our customers with emails every day, but we want to make sure that we stay top of mind. Follow these five tips for your future marketing emails to make sure you stay in the inbox and out of the trash.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


5 Tips to Improve Your Venue’s Email Strategies

Keeping your email copy concise is of the utmost importance. In today’s busy society, your customers don’t have the time or patience to scroll through bulky, text-heavy emails. Get to the point of your email within the first few sentences and try to limit the amount of scrolling it takes to see all of the content. When skimming emails, our eyes tend to stay on the left side of the page and focus on headlines and bullet points.

INCLUDE A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION Having a clear call to action (CTA) will make all the difference as far as your conversions are concerned, and with CTAs, you generally have two simple rules to follow. The first being wording, a few straightforward sentences describing where the button will lead the reader, is all you need. The second rule refers back to tip No. 1 regarding scrolling. Having a CTA button above the fold will increase the likelihood of your audience clicking and hopefully converting!

INCLUDE QUALITY MESSAGING Of course, this isn’t a new tip or trick when it comes to email marketing. However, it can be easy to become too caught up in the items we are promoting that we forget to make sure we are tying the story together in a relatable way for the target audience. This is where personalization can come into play, whether with automation tools or by segmenting your customers into different audiences. Another way to add quality messaging into your emails is to mix it up every once in a while and send a non-promotional email. Providing engaging content without a sales plan, such as recipes, tips and tricks, or thought leadership, can be an easy way to make sure your audience will look forward to hearing from you, knowing that it isn’t always a sales email.

MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF If you’re working with automated systems, utilize them! Create templates for yourself and your team, so you aren’t creating entirely new emails for each campaign. Setting up drip campaigns or nurture programs can save you so much time and energy that you can put towards other marketing efforts.

FOLLOW THE DATA The best way to improve your venue’s email marketing strategies is to look at the data you receive from each sent email. Looking at each email’s open rate and comparing it to one another will help you gauge a couple of things. The first is what type of content is enticing to the audience. The second is which subject lines are most effective. A/B testing (sending out the same email with one subject line to half your list and a second email with a different subject line to half of your list) can be another way to understand what kind of subject lines lead to better-performing emails.

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KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET

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START WITH THESE TIPS AND KEEP AN EYE ON REPORTS Email marketing is not going away any time soon, which means it is essential to follow a set of guidelines like the five above to ensure that your venue’s emails will not get lost among the noise in your customers’ inbox. There is more to your daily work life than tracking email performance, no doubt about that. However, try to make time once a quarter or even once a month to check back on performance.


JONATHAN MORSE PUBLISHER, RINGLEADER OF GENIUS CONCEPTS Jonathan has been involved in the restaurant and hotel business for 30+ years with roles ranging from a busboy at Abadessa’s in Hingham, Mass., to line cook at Atlantic Café in Nantucket, to Floor Manager at Backbay Restaurant Group, to New England Regional Sales Manager for Starwood Hotels. Before starting and becoming CEO of Tripleseat, Jonathan was a VP of Sales for a web startup that delivered business intelligence reporting to the restaurant industry. When not working on making Tripleseat more awesome, Jonathan spends his time with his wife Lisa, twin girls, Eliza and Sophie, and son Owen.

LATHA YOUNGREN PUBLISHER, HEAD OF PROPHECY FULFILLMENT Latha’s (pronounced Lay-ta) interest in hospitality began at a young age, which led her to waitress throughout her high school years in Providence, R.I. After graduating from Barnard College and working in publishing for several years in New York City, she moved to Paris where she tended bar and worked at a magazine. After a brief stint in San Francisco, she made her way back to New York City, where she worked in marketing and events for a variety of companies. She landed at Tripleseat full-time in 2014, where she is the Vice President of Marketing. Latha currently resides in Maplewood, N.J., with her husband and three kids. She enjoys the summer most of all because Rosé All Day is a real thing!

MARK ABAIR CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CZAR OF CREATIVITY Mark’s adventure in design began in high school, after discovering that his love of drawing could lead to a profession in design. Graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art with a B.F.A. in graphic design, he began his career as a footwear designer for Keds, eventually moving into the role of graphic designer, and is currently Senior Graphic Designer at Tripleseat. His designs are driven by creativity and structure, while keeping functionality for the end-user in mind. Mark grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives just west of Boston. He spends his free time seeing live bands and running with friends during season, typically followed by food and drinks. Mark is also known to be the “fun uncle” to six amazing nieces and nephews, ranging from ages 7 to 19, and loves to see them in their various sports and activities.

AZURE COLLIER EDITOR IN CHIEF, AMBASSADOR OF BUZZ Azure is the Director of Brand Marketing at Tripleseat and joined the company in 2017 after working as the Social Media Marketing and Community Manager for email marketing company Constant Contact. She also worked in marketing for higher education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Fitchburg State University. She started her career as a print journalist in the Midwest at the Times of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso, Ind., and at the Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Ind. She received a BA in communications and journalism from Purdue University, and an MS in applied communication from Fitchburg State University, where she completed thesis research on social media and young adults. Azure currently resides with her cats Zoe and Mia in Brooklyn and spends her free time running or walking in her neighborhood park and exploring the sights and food of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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Contributors

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RACHEL CALKINS CONTRIBUTOR, MASTER OF MISCHIEF Rachel graduated from the University of Delaware in June 2019 with a degree in marketing. Previously she was part of the Tripleseat team as a marketing intern and loved her experience so much that she returned to begin her professional career with Tripleseat as a Communications Marketing Specialist. You can find Rachel co-hosting Tripleseat’s podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, and posting all about our amazing Tripleseat customers on Instagram. In her free time, she enjoys watching and playing sports, traveling, cooking, drinking Tito’s and soda on the weekend with friends in Boston, and not-so-secretly stealing gum off everyone's desk.

NICOLE CATATAO CONTRIBUTOR, DUCHESS OF VENUES Nicole has been in the marketing field for more than 12 years. After graduating from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire with a degree in English, she moved to Massachusetts, where she started her career at International Data Group (IDG). While there she managed online marketing campaigns for high-tech clients for seven years. After IDG, she spent four years at MathWorks managing events. Nicole joined the Tripleseat family in 2018 and is currently the Senior Marketing Manager of the Tripleseat Booking Network (VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp powered by Tripleseat). When she isn't connecting event planners with the perfect venue, you can find her dancing in the kitchen to '80s pop music with her husband and two daughters while baking and eating cupcakes.

JENNA GABRIEL CONTRIBUTOR, MASTER CONCEPT ALCHEMIST Jenna worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years before joining the Tripleseat marketing team in 2020 as Hotel Marketing Manager. She got her start helping at her parents’ family-owned restaurant and bar, Wiseguys. She worked for a few different bars and restaurants as a server/bartender throughout Boston while in college until landing a great opportunity as a Marketing Manager (and eventually Senior Director of Marketing & Brand Development) for a restaurant and entertainment group in Boston, where she stayed and grew professionally for 10 years. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, finding adventures, participating in races with her brother or trying new cooking recipes, and hosting small parties.

MITCH GREEN CONTRIBUTOR, SEO WIZARD Mitch is Tripleseat’s Search Engine Marketing Manager and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at school, Mitch discovered a passion for Search Engine Marketing and has been working in the industry ever since. He began his professional career at a marketing agency before moving to the hospitality industry. Mitch has lived in the Atlanta area from a very young age, liking the city for its mild winters and sprawling food scene. He and his wife are joined by two amazing rescue dogs, Koda and Olive. His favorite hobbies include craft beer making and watching pretty much any sport.


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CONTRIBUTOR, ORGANIZER OF RANDOM THOUGHTS AND ERRATIC ACTIVITY Kate has worked in the hospitality industry since she was 15. From bussing tables in high school to bartending in college and grad school, where she majored in fashion marketing and merchandising. After college, she moved on to a career as a private events and marketing manager because she loved hospitality a little more than she loved fashion. Kate started working at the best company on the planet, aka, Tripleseat in 2015. Currently holding the position of Director of Growth & Product Marketing, she loves being able to use her vast knowledge of the industry in a non-restaurant setting. Kate resides on the New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and two crazy (but wonderful) children. In addition to her family and friends, Kate’s loves include bourbon, fashion, old school hip-hop, oysters, IPA, and hockey (enjoyed on their own or all together).

RACHEL “MAZZ” MAZZOLA CONTRIBUTOR, SORCERESS OF FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT Rachel (who goes by Mazz) is the Corporate Events Manager at Tripleseat and a certified meeting professional (CMP). She received her degree in sports, entertainment, and event management from Johnson & Wales University, with hopes to one day plan the Super Bowl. In an unexpected turn of events, she ended up in the exciting world of corporate event planning and never looked back. Mazz has planned events and conferences for companies in the information security, audit, and energy and commodities industries but luckily has landed at Tripleseat, where she is happy to finally be planning events for an industry that aligns with her interests: eating and drinking. If she’s not running to catch a flight or trying to get her seat upgraded, you can find her on a spontaneous weekend trip, enjoying nights out with friends, or being lazy and binging Netflix.

AUBREY UNGVARSKY CONTRIBUTOR, CONVERSATION ARCHITECT, AND CONVERSION WRANGLER Aubrey went to school studying economics and finance on a golf scholarship at the University of Hartford but it wasn’t until a few years after school that she found her love for marketing. Most of her marketing roles have had the best of two worlds to offer: creative freedom to create thought-provoking and lead-generating content while still keeping in touch with her love for analytics and understanding the numbers behind it all. Aubrey switched from financial software to hospitality software in February of this year when joining the best of the best (Tripleseat) and could not be happier! Outside of work you’ll likely find Aubrey outdoors one way or another with her financé and dog Moose or out for dinner and drinks with friends.

Photography Aaron Burden, Albert Hu, Andy Holmes, Aviv Rachmadian, Brooke Lark, Chen Mizrach, Christina@wocintechchat.com, Claudia Wolff, Corinne Kutz, Dan Gold, Elena Kloppenburg, Federico De Luca, freestocks, Georgia de Lotz, Glenn Carstens-Peters, Hannah Busing, Helena Yankovska, Jakob Dalbjörn, Joris Visser, Kari Shea, Katarzyna Pracuch, Khai Nguyen, Luigi Pozzoli, Margaret Jaszowska, Nicole Herrero, Paige Cody, Pat Whelen, Photos by Lanty, Quin Engle, Robert Anderson, Rod Long, Safar Safarov, Sebastian Stam, Shardayyy Photography, ShengGeng Lin, Sincerely Media, Siyuan, Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk, Thought Catalog, Tina Witherspoon, Tom Pumford.

Seated | The Summer 2021 Issue

KATE KENNEDY


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Seated Summer 2021  

We're taking a look at how the hospitality industry is getting back to business in 2021.

Seated Summer 2021  

We're taking a look at how the hospitality industry is getting back to business in 2021.

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