The Hot List: Souza to offer tips and advice

Events & Tents speaker to present lunch program and more

Sasha Souza, owner, Sasha Souza Events, an award-winning event planning company with offices in California, Colorado and Tennessee, will give the lunch presentation at Events & Tents on Saturday, Feb. 9, at The Rental Show 2014. The session, “Attention to Detail: Showcasing Your Art, Craft and Design,” will cover how to improve decorating and design skills, choose what to showcase in portfolios and learn why details are so important to today’s clients.

Souza opened her first design firm in 1995, and since then has expanded her event knowledge and design presence to other projects, including authoring a book, “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design,” as well as being the founding president of Wish Upon a Wedding, a nonprofit organization that grants weddings and vow renewals to those with terminal illness and life-altering situations.

Souza says the best part of her job is that nothing is ever the same. “My days are typically spent answering emails, working on upcoming events and selling new clients, as well as working on Wish Upon a Wedding. I also have quite a few PR interviews, speaking engagements to prepare for and blog posts to write. I’ve found that I need to compartmentalize my day and have appointment times to speak to clients because if I don’t, I’ll never get anything done with all the interruption,” she says.

“Definitely my months during our heavy event season are spent finalizing the event and production. The months outside our season are spent doing meetings, tastings, rental orders and other design work. I spend more time designing in the winter and spring and more time producing in the summer and fall,” she says.

Souza has a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest as well as her own blog. She says while managing social media takes time, it is worth it. “Social media has had a very positive impact on my business because people realize there’s a personality attached to the name and that person has passion and drive and a relatable personality and style,” she says.

When working with rental companies, Souza says she looks for those with a wide range of items. “I like a lot of different things to choose from whether it be chair types, tabletop or linens. The ability to mix and match product while working with only one rental company makes my job much easier. When I have to get things from multiple companies, it becomes harder to make sure the right items go back to the right companies,” she says.

“All in all, I really need a rental company that turns over their orders to me quickly so that I can create my billing for the client. I bill all my clients for anything rented so it’s important to me that I get the order back and make sure that all the items I have on my wish list are available. For me, it doesn’t have to be the biggest companies but instead those with the greatest offering of product mixed with great customer service,” she says.

In addition to the lunch presentation, Souza will present an afternoon session a 3:45 p.m. for Events & Tents, “Color Couture: Transforming Space Into Higher Profits,” which will cover how to use color to upsell clients events creating higher profits, using tabletop design as the key center element to showcase a client’s event design and defining what color means to clients.