100 episodes

If you are an independent business owner in the meeting and event space, this podcast is for you! Your host, Eric Rozenberg has created this show to bring you strategies, tips, and tactics to help your business grow. With more than 20 years in the event industry and planning events for Fortune 100 companies, Eric is prepared to let you in on the insider tactics so you can be successful too!

The Business of Meetings Eric Rozenberg

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 13 Ratings

If you are an independent business owner in the meeting and event space, this podcast is for you! Your host, Eric Rozenberg has created this show to bring you strategies, tips, and tactics to help your business grow. With more than 20 years in the event industry and planning events for Fortune 100 companies, Eric is prepared to let you in on the insider tactics so you can be successful too!

    119: Innovation, Events, and Leadership with Gary Shapiro

    119: Innovation, Events, and Leadership with Gary Shapiro

    Today we have the pleasure of speaking with an amazing leader and a legend in our industry, Gary Shapiro! Gary is President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association- the association that owns the famous Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. He is a New York Times bestselling author and was recently awarded a Legend of Honor. 
    Gary is full of drive and passion! In this episode, he talks about his experiences and shares his fascinating views on the meetings and events industry.
    We hope you enjoy listening to today’s inspiring conversation with Gary Shapiro!
    Gary Shapiro is an acclaimed author, lobbyist, president, and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, which represents over 1,500 consumer technology companies and owns and produces the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ® — The Global Stage for Innovation. 
    A Georgetown Law graduate, Shapiro began his career as an associate at the Squire Sanders law firm. After an extended tenure in law, he began working on Capitol Hill as an assistant to a prominent member of the U.S. Congress. Later in his life, Gary would use this combined law and legal experience to be named one of The Hill’s top lobbyists numerous times throughout his career (2015-2021). As his experience in law and politics progressed, he became more aligned with the world of technology, which eventually brought him into the fold of the Consumer Technology Association in 1982. 
    Taking the role of President and CEO, Shapiro evolved the idea of the workplace over his 40-year-long tenure leading the organization. Directing a staff of 150 employees alongside thousands of industry volunteers, he built a forward-thinking and successful business focused on the further development and integration of technology in all industries of the world. Under his leadership, CTA has won numerous awards for its healthy workplace, family-friendly employment practices, and environmentally friendly exhibition practices. In 2019, CTA earned its sixth consecutive selection as a Washington Post Top Workplace. 
    Shapiro is a New York Times bestselling author whose books include “Ninja Future: Secrets to Success in the New World of Innovation” (HarperCollins, 2019), “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses” (HarperCollins, 2013), and “The Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream” (Beaufort, 2011). Through these books, numerous television appearances, and as a columnist whose more than 1,200 opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, Shapiro has helped direct policymakers and business leaders on the importance of innovation and technology in the U.S. economy. 
    Shapiro consistently stays active in policy, thought leadership, government, and community development alongside his position at CTA. He currently sits on the Northern Virginia Technology Council, CEO Update Roundtable, Council of Manufacturing Associations Board, and more. A subject of regular praise, Shapiro was once called a “mastermind” for his initiative in helping to create the Industry Cooperative for Ozone Layer Protection. His mind for an evolving workplace and consumers while staying environmentally conscious has paved a roadmap for bipartisan law and policymakers to follow in making a more innovative world. 
    Gary Shapiro is happily married and lives in Michigan.
    Gary’s story
    Gary enrolled at Georgetown Law School as the youngest student. He started school with no money and immediately landed a job at Capitol Hill. In his second year, Gary started working for a law firm. He spent his third year working there almost full-time. He loved what the law firm was doing because they focused on the future. He became a summer associate and then an associate. 
    While still a student, Gary worked for a client at the law firm, which he loved and saw as the future of technology.

    • 51 min
    118: Events Marketing and Data with Jonathan Kazarian

    118: Events Marketing and Data with Jonathan Kazarian

    Today, we have the great pleasure of speaking with Jon Kazarian, the Founder, and CEO of Accelevents!
    In this episode, we talk about data, entrepreneurship, marketing, the role of events in marketing, and opportunities for the future of our industry. 
    We hope you enjoy listening to our conversation with Jon Kazarian today!
    Jonathan Kazarian is the Founder & CEO of Accelevents, a leading virtual and hybrid event management platform recently recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the top 200 fastest-growing private companies in America. 
    As CEO, Jon focuses on leading the company’s vision of helping event organizers and marketing professionals transform their events through innovative technology solutions. 
    As an industry thought leader, Jon actively publishes insights on the events landscape and frequently speaks at industry events such as EventMB’s Event Tech Innovation Summit, BizBash Live, and INBOUND. 
    Jon also chairs the board for the Fall Formal fundraiser benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Outside of work, Jon has a passion for anything on-water — sailing, boating, scuba diving, and kiteboarding.
    Jonathan’s journey
    Jonathan started hosting events while in college. After finding out that his seventeen-year-old cousin had been diagnosed with cancer, he decided to host an event at the Boston Aquarium to raise some money to help her. He needed to sell 185 tickets to break even, and he sold 840! Going into that event, Jonathan knew that to raise the most money he could from running an auction and a raffle, he needed to do it digitally. However, he struggled to find an affordable and easy-to-use technical solution. After realizing that there was nothing available to make life easier, he and his team decided to build their own. It worked well! They got great feedback and raised about $65,000.
    Launching a business 
    They realized that they could offer their technology to other similar organizations, so they decided to launch a business around it. Initially, they focused on fundraising. 
    Everything under one roof
    Later, they learned that the organizers wanted to have everything, including ticketing and payment processing, in one place. So they began to focus more on for-profit events like festivals, conferences, and trade shows. They kept on growing and doubling, year after year, but they were still small, and Jonathan was still working full-time at another job. 
    Approaching 2020, Jonathan intended to go into the business full-time, but, unfortunately, the world shut down. They were a bootstrapped business, so when all the events got canceled, they ran out of money.
    Virtual events 
    Jonathan’s father invested $75,000 in the business. That allowed them to pivot and focus on virtual events. Things started to accelerate, and they closed out 2020 at 3.3-million dollars in revenue. That was ten times more than they had done in 2019!
    At that point, they began to focus solely on conferences. Their events ranged from hundreds of people to tens of thousands. 
    They ensured that everyone, including the organizers, exhibitors, and sponsors, was getting value. As a result of them focusing on the other stakeholders as part of the experience, those stakeholders naturally approached Jonathan’s company when it was time to host their events.
    User experience
    The mission of Accelevents is to make life easier for event organizers. Over the past year or so, they doubled down on their main product and focused mainly on the user experience.
    The various elements
    They provide all the technology needed for an organizer to host an online, hybrid, or in-person experience. They provide everything from badge printing to check-in to lead capture for exhibitors in the in-person world to the entire venue for the virtual experience.
    They also have fundraising technology focused on auctions, raffles, fund-to-need, and text-to-give.
    A feedback loop
    They built a powerf

    • 30 min
    117: The Number One Obstacle When Starting Your Business With Magdalena Bonnelly

    117: The Number One Obstacle When Starting Your Business With Magdalena Bonnelly

    Today we have the great pleasure of speaking with Magdalena Bonnelly, the Founder and President of Event Strategies! Magdalena has worked all over the world, including in corporate America. She has also volunteered in the industry. She has a wonderful story of entrepreneurship, decision-making, and re-inventing herself to share! 
    We hope you enjoy listening to today’s inspiring conversation with Magdalena Bonnelly!
    Magdalena Bonnelly, MS, VEMM
    A well-connected negotiator, Magdalena Bonnelly has spent the last 20 years servicing clients from around the globe–Europe, North and South America, and Asia–securing the seamless acquisition of event space, guestrooms, audio/visual equipment, food, and beverage service, and all the other key items that make your conference a success.
    Known for her out-of-the-box thinking in strategic event planning and management, Magdalena was named one of 2021’s Smart Women in Meetings. 
    A queen of strategic partnerships, Magdalena collaborates with her clients, vendors, and suppliers to create meaningful events. Her strategic partnerships prove especially valuable in challenging times like the Covid-19 pandemic or when the client faces unexpected cancellations/postponement of the conference. Magdalena has helped her clients maintain flexibility and event agility, loyally representing her clients’ best interests while negotiating cancellations and event rebookings with suppliers.
    Tough during supplier contract negotiations and resourceful for last-minute event rescues, she knows there’s a solution to every conference concern.
    Magdalena holds a Master of Science in Business Management, a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Economics, an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Travel, Exposition, and Meeting Management, and many widely recognized industry certifications. 
    In her personal time, she enjoys CrossFit, new-age teachings, volunteering with local animal rescues, and likes to try her hand at creative art forms like painting, music, and poetry. Magdalena lives in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, with her husband, toddler daughter, and four rescue dogs. 
    Magdalena’s story
    Magdalena was born and raised in Poland. After graduating from college in 2001, she came to the United States. Initially, her goal was to visit her uncle, go to school, and make some money working as a nanny. Then she met a wonderful family that insisted on her getting an education. So while working full-time, she also went to Richland College in Dallas and earned an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Travel, Exposition, and Meeting Management. Several years later, she got to know organizations like MPI and PCMA and became a student member of MPI. Then she met two ladies from a small boutique hotel in Dallas who offered her the chance to work as an intern in the hotel’s sales office. That afforded her an eighteen-year-long career opportunity in the hotel business. She became a Catering Coordinator, a Small Meetings Manager, and a Convention Sales Manager. Over the years, she worked her way up the career ladder, ending her corporate career as a National Sales Manager for Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation. 
    In the summer of 2019, she began her entrepreneurial journey by starting Events Strategies. 
    Having the support of her husband helped Magdalena navigate her tough career path.
    Overcoming obstacles
    Magdalena was born in communist Poland, where the government owned everything. The strict socialist regime did not allow any opportunities for entrepreneurship, so the first obstacle Magdalena faced was overcoming the conditioning she had had since childhood. It took a lot of work to change her mindset and rid herself of her doubts about becoming an entrepreneur. 
    Her first two customers
    During her first month in business, Magdalena found two customers. She reached out to them because they had already formed a relationship while she progressed through her

    • 33 min
    116: How to Leverage Call Centers with Richard Blank

    116: How to Leverage Call Centers with Richard Blank

    How to Leverage Call Centers with Richard Blank
    Today, we are delighted to be speaking with Richard Blank, the CEO of Costa Rica’s Call Center! 
    Richard has had an amazing journey! In this episode, he talks about call centers, sales, people retention, life, and entrepreneurship. He explains how to leverage call centers to connect better with your customers and grow your business. 
    We hope you enjoy listening to today’s conversation with Richard Blank!
    Richard Blank is the Chief Executive Officer for Costa Rica’s Call Center since 2008. 
    At the beginning of the new millennium, Mr. Blank relocated to Costa Rica to train employees for one of the larger call centers in Central America. 
    By utilizing his motivational public speaking style backed by tactful and appropriate rhetoric, Richard has successfully prepared and managed over 10,000 of the finest telemarketers in the country for the past twenty-one years. 
    In addition, he has earned the reputation of running a school for telemarketing and is often sought after for private training sessions and consultations. 
    Mr. Richard Blank holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Spanish from the University of Arizona and a certificate of language proficiency from the University of Sevilla, Spain. A Keynote speaker for Abington High School 68th National Honors Society induction ceremony. Giving back to Abington Senior High School is very important to Mr. Blank. As such, he endows a scholarship each year for students who plan on majoring in a world language at the university level. 
    Per Gamification, Richard Blank has the largest collection of restored American Pinball machines and antique Rockola Jukeboxes in Central America. 
    Costa Rica’s Call Center (CCC) is a state-of-the-art BPO telemarketing outsourcing company located in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Our main focus has been, and will always be to personally train every Central America call center agent so that we may offer the highest quality of outbound and inbound telemarketing solutions and bilingual customer service to small and medium-sized international companies, and entrepreneurs as well as fortune 500 companies.
    Richard’s journey
    After graduating in 1991 from Abington High School in North East Philadelphia, Richard went to the University of Arizona. He majored in Spanish and Communication and focused on public speaking, non-verbal communication, and micro-expression reading. When he was 27 years old, a friend who had a call center invited him to go there to teach English, and he ended up working there for four years. 
    Starting a call center
    In 2008, Richard decided to start a call center with his wife. They began with one seat and fifty hours. Today, fourteen years later, they are 150 strong. They are very selective and reject more accounts than they accept because Richard wants to ensure that he can fulfill his clients' needs with the accounts that come in, and the agent will be comfortable enough to do the work.
    The agents’ experience
    Richard respects Costa Rican customs, culture, and native tongue. He also respects the bilingualism of his agents. He can mold brand-new agents, and with older agents, he sometimes has to get rid of bad habits. By properly preparing his agents, he feels he can put them all on a level playing field. 
    The culture
    Sometimes, telemarketers and call center agents feel like numbers or robots, and they feel expendable. So before putting them on the phone, Richard gets to know their names and who they are. He also trains them to give them a base foundation to grow.
    Quality calls
    Richard likes his agents to focus on doing quality calls. About 30% of all calls come about through referrals. Much of their business happens because they do an excellent job on the first call. By working smarter rather than harder, they earn those referrals.
    Growing a business by working with call centers
    Growing a business has a lot to do with workfor

    • 41 min
    115: How to Reduce Financial Risks with Liz Holtby

    115: How to Reduce Financial Risks with Liz Holtby

    Today, we have the great pleasure of speaking with Liz Holtby! Liz is a giver! She is the Vice President of Operations for Meeting Escrow.  Liz has some important information to share about financial risk management and incentive travel. In this episode, she tells her story, talks about the services she provides and the value of incentive travel, and shares some great insights!   We hope you enjoy listening to today’s informative conversation with Liz Holtby!
    Liz started her career in Toronto with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (now CPA), planning meetings for their Executive Office and Board of Directors. Since then, she has worked with various marketing, as well as Meeting and Incentive Travel companies in an operations-related capacity. Her roles have included human resources, finance, operations, administration, and technology. Primarily, she ensures that the operations team has the support required to deliver programs on time and within the budget. 
    Currently, daily, Liz manages financial risk for a variety of organizations. She handles client event budgets by managing funds in segregated domestic and foreign currency trust accounts. 
    Liz is passionate about education and mentorship and helps cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Business Events Industry through her teaching positions at Durham and Centennial Colleges. She is also a member of their Program Advisory Committees. 
    She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program with a Bachelor of Applied Arts. She is TICO certified and is the 2022 President for SITE Canada (Society of Incentive Travel Executives).
    Liz’s story
    Liz graduated from university in Toronto with a degree in commerce and a specialty in hospitality and tourism. She took one inspiring course in meetings and event management, given by Duff Shaw, an icon in the industry. Liz wanted to follow in his footsteps as a teacher and inspire others as he had inspired her. That led her down the path of incentive travel, meetings, and conferences. 
    In 2008, Liz left the industry because of the recession. She worked for a marketing company for about three years and then got back into the incentive travel industry. She joined Meeting Escrow in 2018.
    Joining Meeting Escrow
    Joining Meeting Escrow was an opportunity for Liz to marry the MICE industry with the finance side and risk management.
    Creative people 
    Most people in the industry are part of the industry because they are creative people who care about the details. 
    What does Meeting Escrow do?
    Meeting Escrow provides a variety of different financial solutions. During a crisis, their clients become concerned about the advance deposits they pay to their vendors. The deposits get put into an Escrow trust account where the beneficiary is both the client and the vendor. The account is mandated by an Escrow agreement signed by both parties. The agreement outlines when the deposits were put into the Escrow trust account and when they get paid out. That is very helpful for both clients and vendors because a client could go bankrupt as easily as a vendor could, and if that happens, the funds go to the other party.
    Secure Vendor Payment Program
    Meeting Escrow also has a Secure Vendor Payment program. They have twenty different currencies of trust accounts for when money sits in Escrow or a trust. They work with clients who have programs in various countries around the world. When they take in money from clients, they exchange it immediately. Then it sits in the foreign currency trust account, so there is no currency fluctuation.
    Incentive travel
    Incentive travel is all about providing people with experiential moments that they cannot do by themselves. Right now, incentive travel is more important than ever because it gets people away from their screens and helps them connect with people in different countries. It helps bring back a sense of community, camaraderie, and m

    • 32 min
    114: Acquisition Entrepreneurship with Walker Deibel

    114: Acquisition Entrepreneurship with Walker Deibel

    We have the great pleasure of speaking with Walker Deibel today! Walker is a fantastic individual and the number one name in acquisition entrepreneurship! He created the Acquisition Lab and wrote the book Buy Then Build. 

    Walker is an entrepreneur, teacher, and father. In this inspiring episode, he tells his story and talks about what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur. He also gets into the benefits of acquisition entrepreneurship and discusses whether it is better to acquire an existing business or start from scratch.
    We hope you enjoy listening to today’s memorable and encouraging conversation with Walker Deibel! 
    Walker Deibel is a serial acquisition entrepreneur, bestselling author, and M&A advisor.

    Walker acquired seven companies over ten years and co-founded several startups. His bestselling book, Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game, was released to critical acclaim, including being recognized by Forbes as “one of the top 7 books all entrepreneurs must read.” It is currently used in many universities. 

    His book and the educational company of the same name share his experiences and frameworks to help entrepreneurs learn why buying an existing company is often a better route for entrepreneurs, and how to do it. Their flagship program, the Acquisition Lab, offers buy-side M&A services for first-time financial buyers in a do-it-with-you service; providing information, coaching, tools, and community.
    Walker is a partner at Quiet Light where he helps online-based businesses exit. He is a Certified M&A Advisor, Certified M&A Professional, former SEC licensed stockbroker, and recipient of the Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year, awarded by the private market Alliance of M&A Advisors. He was recognized as a lower-middle-market thought leader by Axial, and his writing has been featured in Inc, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company, & Harvard Business Review.
    Walker is currently the owner of the premiere aluminum railing manufacturer in Missouri and a portfolio of online-based businesses. Historically, he has owned and operated in many industries, including manufacturing, fulfillment, software, education, and eCommerce. 
    Walker is an Emmy-nominated producer. He worked on almost a dozen films with premieres at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, and Toronto International Film Festival.
    He holds an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, where he received the Declaration of Accomplishment in Entrepreneurship from the Skandalaris Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is a Pipeline Entrepreneurs fellow and an adjunct professor at Olin, where he launched the acquisition entrepreneurship class for the MBA program.
    He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and their three children.
    Walker’s backstory
    Walker grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Everyone on his dad’s side of the family had a small business. On his mom’s side, everyone was artistic and creative. So Walker developed a creative interest early on but always felt the need to be economically sustainable. 
    Walker was an English Literature major in school. He became a stockbroker immediately after graduating in 1995, right at the end of the tech boom when the transition from the old economy to the new digital economy was happening.  
    Walker got laid off during the tech bust along with 6,000 other people. He was full of ideas, so he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to learn from people doing their own thing in business and ended up getting a foothold in film.
    Learning from failure
    After moving back to St. Louis to get an MBA, he launched a startup with some MBA classmates. Unfortunately, it did not work out, but he learned from the experience. It also helped him get to where he is today.
    The first thing
    Walker learned that the first thing you need to do as an entrepreneur is to

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

TenGoldenRules.com ,

Great Guests, well done!

Great guests, well produced podcast in an interview format.

EllisM ,

Meeting Maven

Eric is a genius in the meetings and event space, and also happens to be an extremely entertaining guy to listen to. This podcast is a home run!


Worth your time

Eric is a great business mind and his podcast is great for everyone in the meeting and event industry.

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