I started Stylehawk Event Services almost 5 years ago. I was still overseeing events and venue operations for a university athletic department. In that role I was coordinating hundreds of events each year and working with dozens of event promoters. We had a mid- sized facility (5,000 seat arena) and had a good mix of spectator and participant driven events. The majority of promoters were independent small businesses or inexperienced promoters who had a dream event they were pursuing. My university clients highly valued my support in coordinating their events. This was because they were either spread too thin (as many small businesses are) and struggling to meet the operational, programmatic and revenue producing needs of the event… or they were inexperienced in producing an event at that level.
My university clients highly valued my support in coordinating their events. This was because they were either spread too thin (as many small businesses are) and struggling to meet the operational, programmatic and revenue producing needs of the event… or they were inexperienced in producing an event at that level.
In either case, my active support made a difference in the quality of the event execution and in their bottom line revenue goals. The relationships I developed with my clients were incredible. It felt like a partnership and we celebrated successes together. It was and is very fulfilling to see how much these events have grown over the years.
I realized that the level of support we were providing to our rental clients was somewhat unique. Events were coming to our venue partly because we had great facilities but also because they felt supported in a way that allowed them to focus on improving their product. Event promoters had confidence in our ability to execute their event at a level that exceeded expectations. I also knew that the venue I was working at had limited inventory. This meant that we were not able to actively market the facility, even though revenue generated by venue rentals was significant to the department’s operating budget.
I believed then, that with the creation of Stylehawk Event Services I could provide effective event support to independent event promoters and create venue rental revenue opportunities for other small and mid- sized sport event facilities. This would open additional inventory for event promoters and create new revenue opportunities for venues who might not otherwise have the resources to pursue the third party event leads that came their way.
Another realization that inspired the creation of Stylehawk Event Services was geography. I was very good at managing events in my events venue. I knew, that Southern California was an events epicenter. Between San Diego, Orange County, Long Beach and Los Angeles there are hundreds of event spaces and amazing resources and service providers.
I knew, that Southern California was an events epicenter. Between San Diego, Orange County, Long Beach and Los Angeles there are hundreds of event spaces and amazing resources and service providers.
I saw tremendous opportunity by getting “freelance” experience in other venues. In pursuing freelance event experience, my goal was to:
Become a better venue and events manager.
This is an industry based on experience. Working with other people in different facilities created learning opportunities that were applied to improved operations in my “home” venue.
I considered it a networking opportunity.
The events industry is relatively small. Manufacturing situations where people could get to know me and observe my work ethic and competency increased my personal network which provided additional resources and mentorship relationships while also paving the way for future career opportunities.
Create additional income.
I loved working events and I knew there were a lot of event opportunities all around me. It seemed like a waste of location to not gain experience from living in such a place. I was also a public university employee, with a young family, in the middle of a recession. Supplemental income was important to our quality of life.
When Stylehawk began, I had aspirations of it blossoming into an actual events management company- more than just freelance work. I am excited and proud that the vision has become a reality. Stylehawk today is a little different than what I imagined it to be in 2014, but the basic premise has remained consistent. Our purpose is still to simplify the event coordination process and to facilitate a powerful network of small and mid- sized event venues thus eliminating sourcing challenges caused by inventory shortage. We adopted the Statement of Common purpose, Events made simple. Events done right. This is our guiding principle.
Being a small business owner is great…. scary… but exciting. I have started a personal blog to document my experiences as a “startup” company. My transition away from traditional venue management was somewhat inspired by Tim Ferriss’ book, “The 4- Hour Workweek.” I found the book to be an insightful discussion about effective work habits.
It presented a challenge to the status quo that forced me to reconsider my working environment and evaluate why I was doing what I was doing. Was the office culture a result of modern convention that is adhered to out of habit and fear rather than productivity and output? My blog is a little peek behind the curtain and probably more personal than I typically get, but I hope it is interesting. Putting pen to paper is helpful for me as I intend to use the blog as an accountability tool. Check it out and let me know any feedback…