recap of the 2012 the special events experience

I was honored (doesn’t everyone say that, but seriously, I mean it) to speak at 2012 The Special Events. Whew. I figured not a lot of people would show up, but a girl can hope, right? Well, I was wrong. The energy was super cool in the room too. You know how there are people who want to heckle you at these big conventions? Happy it didn’t happen, and I didn’t have to show my true L.A. colors.

So here’s a quick recap, from a speaker’s point-of-view:

Things I learned speaking at The Special Events:

  1. Being put in a hotel conference room across from the regular convention can be a good thing. I worried that I wouldn’t get any attendees to my session at all. First I competed with lunch time (12:00 pm presentation) and secondly I had fierce competition (Ivy Robinson was speaking and she is pretty awesome). The chairs were more comfortable and we had tables for laptops.
  2. Always lay the ground rules before speaking. I did go through the table of contents (good idea to let everyone know what will be coming up), I forgot to mention not to record or video record my session. Just so everyone knows, since it was brought up to me several times. I didn’t mean to embarrass the attendee, it really caught me off guard. You should know she profusely apologized afterwards, she was new to conferences.
  3. Cover your blouse when you brush your teeth before your presentation. I’m surprised I had any toothpaste left that was washed down the drain. Apparently my high powered battery operated toothbrush sprayed minty foam all over me.
  4. It’s super exciting to see the maintenance workers have to bring in more chairs for people to sit, as there was standing room only. That’s pretty self explanatory.
  5. Only one person left my presentation early. See above.
  6. A wide room is a better room. The layout was a lot more cozy than the rooms at the convention center. Made for a better presentation and connection with attendees.
  7. Don’t flip through slides so fast. Apparently I irritated a few by whizzing through them. Dully noted.
  8. If you are going to quiz your audience then have the answers on a slide. But wasn’t that fun?
  9. Make sure your posse eats before they come to your session. My girls were there to support me. But they looked hungry the whole time I spoke.
  10. Be yourself and don’t worry. People would be SURPRISED to know how many times I wake up at 2am before I give a presentation. It’s not the worry of presenting, it’s the worry that you won’t get anything out of it.

Loved all the feedback from the attendees that would stop me on the trade show floor. You made my heart swell with pride.

Here’s a few video excerpts from some awesome people we met. (Thanks Kelly McWilliams for videotaping these testimonials):

For more fun, check out our 2012 The Special Events Recap … it’s kinda epic. In our own minds….

ps Leave me a note if you were at the TSE session … let me know what you thought!

happy selling!

the special event 2012 :: my sales session

Next week I will be flying off to beautiful Tampa, Florida to attend The Special Event 2012 and deliver a sales training session:

Selling for Creatives

If you can’t make it to the session, that’s okay. Be sure to find me and say hello. I’ll be the pastey white girl, with no tan. The turtleneck is not because it’s warm here.

So are you coming to TSE2012?

If so, post a comment and include your twitter handle! 

happy selling!

negotiation case studies needed!

I’ll be speaking at Eventology 2011 in three weeks on “Fearless Negotiation Skills”.


I’d love to feature some real case studies on how a potential client negotiated with you. Did it turn out well? Did you walk away? Did you make mistakes that you learned from? The good, the bad and the ugly…. I’ll take it!

You can email your story to saundra hadley. Identity will NOT BE used unless you state otherwise.

I know you wedding professionals have some doozie stories. Don’t worry, I’m sharing one of my own that did not work out.

Thank you so much in advance! The sooner the better, just hit this link and shoot me an email!

Happy Selling! and thanks!



want to hear me speak at eventology 2011 conference?

I am an event engineer (planner) and teach get real sales skills to event professionals. Want to know how that came to be? And no, it was not because I wasn’t booking enough weddings to make money. Trust me, my mortgage is paid from my planning business.

Actually, it was all by chance. Some things were just meant to be.

You know I live in the Midwest (a transplanted Californian who used to hang out at the beach and now looks at cornfields). The Midwest is an interesting location when it comes to national exposure. We are over looked again and again and again by event industry promotions. I get it, it’s not a huge draw.

So when wedding planner, Katasha Butler decided to throw an event professional conference in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2009, I was excited! She asked Liene Stevens, Terrica Skaggs and myself to speak. None of us had a clue on how popular this conference would become!

For years, I had been dying to speak about learning “how to close a sale” to other event peeps. Coming from years of real sales experience and corporate training, I knew that I had something to say. Not fluffy stuff. Real, applicable methods to use … to get to that signed agreement.

Honestly, I figured there would only be like 25 of us there. How wrong.

photog credit: jen lynne photography

The positive outpouring and response I received from the people who attended, shocked me. It’s hard when you “speak/coach” to others. You put yourself OUT THERE and you want people to leave with at least a few nuggets of information that can help them. After all, that is why they are paying to come. How many of us attend workshops and in the middle of the day, you’re thinking to yourself, “Really? This is so boring”. I didn’t want that.

Teaching others is like a drug. It’s exhilarating. I can’t explain it. I love training and have always done it in some capacity in previous jobs. People asked for more from me. They emailed me. They called me. My close friends told me, “You’re on to something here Saundra, don’t let this die out”. Thus the blog was born and speaking requests came in.

Since Eventology 09, I was asked to speak at Eventology 10, and …… have been asked to return for Eventology 11. Super stoked. Because this year we are going to get down and dirty with the subject of “negotiations”.

The official title of my workshop is: Fearless Negotiation Skills

My original title didn’t make the cut, Fearless Negotiating Skills using Minimal Firearms. I got veto’d. Go figure.

I have the pleasure of speaking with ….

  • Get Published! by Becca Brett Leish
  • LawGLOSS: Contracts and Agreements by Eventology Alum NaShara Mitchell, JD
  • Make It Personal: Cultivating and Maximizing Vendor Relationships by Eventology Alum Ali Phillips
  • The Style Plan: Your Image and Your Collateral by Jeannine Kennedy of The Stylish Planner
  • Accounting for Creatives {Not Creative Accounting!} by Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros
  • CONFIDENCE: How to Get What You Want and What You Need in the Wedding Industry by Eventology Alum Linnyette Richardson-Hall

The reason Eventology conferences are so special and unique is that it’s not too big and not too small. People are very real and open and honest. Relationships are built from this conference that extends WAY beyond the two days. It’s very special.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So that’s the real story my dear readers and I have a favor to ask as I sit down to let draft my presentation (it’s all in my head right now as it has been for months).


Please tell me what your challenges are when negotiating?

Are you nervous? Do you feel that you don’t get your point across? Do you get intimidated? You can put a comment below or if you are shy, email me: sh{at}

We all learn from each other. And we never stop learning. Your feedback would mean the world to me to be able to make sure the presentation is as real as possible.

Also, let me know …. are YOU coming to Eventology 2011? Better grab your ticket!

Happy Selling!

Recap of Eventology 10

I attended and was asked to speak at a wonderful, down-to-earth and poignant conference, Eventology 10 this past weekend. A second time speaker, this conference was produced by Katasha Butler with K Sherrie + Company.  My topic was Pricing to Sell: Cultivating your Services

The other fantastic speakers were: Ali Phillips and Linnyette Richardson-Hall who opened the conference. Then we heard from Harmony Walton of the Bridal Bar, Terrica Skaggs with ChicWeddingGeek,  NaShara Mitchell of LawGLOSS, the unbelievably talented, Sasha Souza, and Lara Casey.

In addition to sharing information we had a little time for fun; a Karaoke Party at Gillians hosted by Jennifer Ramirez-Jasiczek with Regal Affair. That is not me singing in Day Two. It’s a stand in.

Until next year…. It was a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones! PLEASE keep in touch!

Happy Selling!