On Thursday, June 18, PartySlate CEO and Co-Founder Julie Roth Novack spoke with leading Las Vegas Event Planner Andrea Eppolito of Andrea Eppolito Events and Experiential Architect Lenny Talarico of Blueprint Studios as part of PartySlate’s Fireside Chat series. They discussed the current state of events in Las Vegas — including the changing limits on gathering in groups and ways the city has already pioneered health and safety in the time of COVID-19 — as well as what events might look like post-pandemic. The duo also shared their inspiring, totally unique, founding stories.
When asked he got started in the events industry, Lenny shared that he’s from Philidelphia with a background in live entertainment, specifically in production. “Then I was living in New York City as a singer-dancer and got a two-week engagement singing backup in ‘Caesar’s Christmas on Ice,” he says. His one-and-only Las Vegas friend introduced him to a producer who was mounting a new show and in a “Godfather” type scene he offered to put Lenny in his show. After years of performing, “I often say that if you look left and you look right and you’re now old enough to be the father of the person you’re performing next to, it’s time to move into production,” says Lenny. So, that’s what he did. He worked at a hotel in special events then at a DMC, before landing at Blueprint Studios — a creative agency specializing in brand development.
Andrea, meanwhile, tells a story of an early realization that she was meant to be an event planner. She shares, “My story actually starts from a place that’s a little bit sad…my father’s cousin passed away very unexpectedly six weeks before his daughter’s Sweet Sixteen celebration and his family decided to go through with the event.” She describes driving to the celebration with her parents and saying to them, “I can’t believer her father died and we’re going to this party.” Her father looked at her in the rearview mirror and said, “You know honey, in life bad things are gonna happen and when they do you need things to look forward to and to look back on…her most recent memories of being with her dad have been in planning this event and this party is the last gift he’s ever gonna give her. These memories matter.” As a typically emotionally-un-evolved 13 year-old, Andrea’s big take-away was deciding to plan her own Sweet Sixteen party. She created a binder for every detail and a friend’s mom, upon seeing it, said, “You should be a wedding planner!” Up until that point, Andrea hadn’t even known there was such a job; she abandoned her plans in criminal law and now runs her eponymous planning firm.
Watch the digital event recording below to hear about chic ways to handle masks at events, ideas for seamless and safe event check-in and more in the pairs’ interesting responses to the following:
- When the crisis first hit, how did you approach working with your clients during this unprecedented pandemic?
- For your clients with events later in 2020 or beyond, how are you working with them in new ways?
- How do you think the first events may be different in the months coming out of social distancing?
- When events do start back up again, what do you think will be different? (especially in the first months)
- How can event professionals prepare their teams and clients? How do you think hotels, caterers and event planners will have to change how they have worked in the past?
- How are you investing in your business and brand during this time of isolation?
- PartySlate launched our #CelebrateSoon campaign to share how they will celebrate once the coronavirus pandemic is over. What are you most looking forward to celebrating soon when this is over?
You can watch the full digital event recording below, or click here to open the recording with YouTube.