Who’s ready for some event brew? Yes, that’s right, Endless Events is proud to present a brand new podcast. And Event Brew is something like you’ve never seen – or heard – before. As much as we enjoy bringing you the latest technology trends with Event Tech Podcast and the most intriguing conversations with #EventIcons, we felt like something was lacking. But here at Endless, it’s all about solutions. So the team was quick at coming up with a fresh new take on conversations within the event industry, make sure to subscribe now here!
Event Brew is the only place where you can get the scoop on what planners are talking about. If you think about it, when do the most compelling discussions take place? It’s not what happens on stage, but rather what happens when everyone is gathering around a table, no filters. Just good, old fashioned conversations. Every week, we’ll bring you hot new topics being discussed by those who experience the raw industry on a daily basis. Today, we’re introducing you to the gist of what you can expect from now on. Hosted by Will Curran, Nick Borelli, Dustin Westling, and Thuy Diep, we can promise it’ll be one hell of a brew. So grab your coffee and press play, it’s go time!
Event Brew – What’s The Deal?
What’s the best way to let you know what this is all about aside but to ask our hosts? Nick offers a pretty interesting view on how and why Event Brew came about. “My favorite conversations for the 20 years I’ve been in the events industry are not the ones that happen on stage”, he says. “They’re not the ones that happen in any kind of official capacity. They’re the conversations with a bunch of different people sitting around a table talking about what’s real, and what’s their point of view”.
Thuy likes to look at it as an opportunity to “spill the tea with my fellow colleagues” – and we can’t wait to hear all about it! Dustin sees Event Brew as “kind of like the industry debrief”, whereas Will likes to call it “the View for the event industry”. In case you weren’t excited, these just took care of that!
Not Your Typical Podcast
We’re being very serious when we say Event Brew is different. As Nick puts it, “there are so many podcasts with authority figures talking from their specific pulpit. About what is the right thing to do, or what is great information from a factual standpoint. I think that stuff’s awesome, but I think also sometimes I just want editorial. I just want to hear a different point of view than maybe I get to hear otherwise. But mostly from a place of humility”.
Thuy agrees and raises a very valid point. “It’s really about being vulnerable and being real with each other. I think a lot of times when we are putting on our career hats, going to all these events, we have a certain voice. And it needs to maintain a sense of professionalism”, she explains. “I love the fact that we are all agreeing to say, “Here’s how we feel. We may be experts in this topic, we may not. We may feel passionate about something, or, you know what, I have no idea what we are talking about.” But being able to have that sense, and being able to be so real, I think that will hopefully get the audience to say, “Us too. Hey, we’re also in the same boat.”
Event Brew – Meet The Hosts!
We can’t have engaging discussions if we don’t have engaging hosts. Thankfully, Event Brew combines some of the wittiest, most interesting minds in the industry. Get to know the Fantastic Four of Event Brew!
“I started in events when I was 14 years old. My dad was HR at this manufacturing group and they had this 1000-person picnic every year at this venue and my dad had enough clout to get me a job washing dishes”, he recalls. “I said at 14 I was going to do that for this picnic catering company that did like ten or twenty thousand people on a given Saturday. And I eventually worked there full time and started being client-facing, within 6 months. Because I didn’t sound like a complete idiot, which is a lot when you’re 14. Like, that’s really the only barrier”.
“And then I incrementally moved up within F&B over the course of 15 years with no college”, adds Nick. “I never went to college. I had a side hustle where I worked for a marketing agency designing websites. Something I just taught myself, because I’m just into nerdy pursuits, and that was the internet. Before everyone was on it, and it was just hardcore nerds only in the 90s. And over time I eventually merged the two things that I was into, the side hustle, and the job in events. And found a way into what I do now which is marketing consulting for events and event companies”.
“So I probably realized I love events when I was a professional cheerleader doing all the event planning portion of it on the side, helping out with our president”, explains Thuy. “And I thought I wanted to go into public relations. I went to college for it, and then I realized I was doing way too much writing and I loved the actual creating and designing aspect of it. Which then realized, I need to actually go into hospitality conference management”.
“I actually then went to Las Vegas, attended the school. And from there, all of the instructors, the teachers, were event professionals”, she continues. “So my network as a student, I was already being exposed to NACE, ILEA, MPI, and I started getting involved from there. So then that’s when I joined PRA in Las Vegas for three years of my career. Then actually went to Europe for the summer after that, which we’ll go into details, I’m sure, about in the later podcast episode. Then I’m here in L.A. now with the same company, with PRA Business Events.”.
“I’ve spent my entire working adult life in this industry”, Dustin recalls. “So I started as a banquet server while I was in high school, and I always had a fascination for human interaction and how powerful it is when people come together. And from a 15-year-old until now, I still kind of share the same fascination for it and I look at events whether I’m a part of them or not a part of them. I love to take them apart and I love to see how they work and the impact that they have”.
“So I’ve done everything from hotels and convention centers to public attractions and high-end private retreats”, he adds. “I, 10 years ago, bought a very small, local décor company through a weird connection. And it was just good timing and something I thought I could do as a side hustle. And, 10 years later, it’s the company that I run now, which is a design and production firm here in Calgary, in Canada. If I didn’t mention that, I’m the fellow Canadian on the podcast”. Welcome, welcome!
“I started as a DJ. DJ-ing backyard parties in high school. Then we threw massive dance parties with DJs and big productions”, Will explains. “Then I realized 99% of my revenue was not coming from DJ-ing, but prom production. And I like production a lot, so I stopped being a DJ and started focusing on production. Eventually, I realized that AV companies suck and that they really could be done better. So I basically started focusing on AV and event production. Basically from DJ to AV is the background story of mine in one sentence. Feel free to make fun of me for being a DJ”. We don’t think we will – that sounds pretty awesome!
Life Outside Of Events
Now you know how they got their start in the industry. But what else makes our amazing hosts’ eyes shine with passion? Well, for Thuy, it’s all about her physical health. “I’m really into yoga and you know, doing meditation. Breathwork is the goal right now. I don’t know if anyone knows this, I don’t know if I should even say it, but it’s actually a goal of mine to compete in pole fitness”, she says. Plus, if you’re into Netflix and naps, she’s your go-to girl!
Anyone who knows Will knows he is a sucker for technology. If you can’t find him working, you’ll probably spot him in a corner watching the review for Google Home’s new features! Or planning his next trip to an escape room, of course!
Dustin, on the other hand, is all hearts for his new puppy at the moment. Honestly, that’s the most wholesome thing ever. We might come up with a petition for making Chunkers the fifth unofficial host of Event Brew.
Nick really enjoys feeding his Tamagotchi. But every once in a while, he also makes sure to feed and pay attention to his toddlers. Life is all about balance, fellas!
That’s all for the first edition of our brand new podcast, Event Brew! This was just a little taste of all the amazing topics that our cheerful and witty hosts will be covering. Make sure you tune in next week for the first official episode! Be sure to subscribe now and never miss out!