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Posts Tagged ‘KiKi L’Italien’

Lessons and Triumphs Planning #Red4Joplin: Interview with Lindsey Rosenthal

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Everyone gathers in their red at “Show Me” Support for Joplin

In an interview with Lindsey Rosenthal of Events for Good, we discovered the  details of her fund-raising experience for “Show Me” Support for Joplin, a red-tie event she planned in less than 3 weeks for Joplin residents and sisters Kiki L’Italien and Kylee Coffman (former Joplinites now living in D.C.).  I attended the fundraiser at Union Station’s St. Columbus Club to support Lindsey and this cause. Executive Chef Craig Mason was also the featured chef who prepared Spaghetti Red for the taste-off. Hear about Lindsey’s fundraising lessons, triumphs and advice:

[NCC]: What was the most difficult part of fundraising for this event?

  • [Lindsey]: We were so impressed by the number of people who jumped at the chance to help us and offered their sincerest assistance throughout the process. However, because we only had a week to promote the event, and even though we got a great amount of publicity, it is always difficult to pull people away from their normal, day-to-day activities to come to an event on a Monday night. We were lucky that so many people were willing to change their plans or take that time out of their weeks to help us support Joplin.

[NCC]: How were you able to pull off such a huge/successful event in less than a month?

  • [Lindsey]: There was less than two and a half weeks between the time when KiKi and I first met to discuss putting on this event and its occurrence. We both realized the enormity of planning such an event and the amount of work that would be necessary, and we were able to do that because we both have flexible work environments. However, we also realized that our best bet was to delegate and ask for help where we could. We immediately had many members of both the #eventprofs and #assnchat communities jump to offer their services, which was so heartening. I would say that the biggest reason we were able to pull this off is because of the relationships we’ve built and our willingness to help others over time – and those relationships are the reason why our friends and colleagues stepped up, and of course, the fact that the majority of people want to help, but have not yet found a way to do it.

[NCC]: What advice would you give to other event planners in terms of registration, attendance, social media, lessons learned?

  • [Lindsey]: First and foremost, don’t undervalue the time you spend networking and making connections. You just can’t be successful on your own. Another lesson? Learn not only how to accept help, but how to ask for help. As event professionals, we are taught to control the situation and keep weaknesses in the plan to ourselves, but in our own industry, we need to be confident that others will be there when we need them to make an event a success. In terms of registration and attendance, keep in mind that publicity does not equal registrations, or vice versa. They are correlated, but one does not cause the other. Know who your target audience is and what will get them to your event. Strategic thinking is always most important in any planning process.


[NCC]: What online forms of communication did you use to promote #Red4Joplin? Which do you think was most successful and why?

  • [Lindsey]: KiKi and I are both most connected to Twitter, so we probably used that network the most to promote the event, and were most successful just because it was our “home,” and we are most comfortable with it. However, we also used Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, and other online communities. We set up a Facebook page, Facebook event, and a LinkedIn event. Social media can and will help you raise money if you know how to use it. Because of social media, and more specifically, Twitter, I met KiKi, knew more about the situation in Joplin and their needs, and was able to connect with people in the Joplin area and around the country who were just looking for the best way to make an impact. Don’t forget that social media, just like any other kind of media, is just a tool, and you need to learn how to use it best in order to be successful at it.

Lindsey also created a homepage for the event: which included vital details such as the mission, registration through Eventbrite, and contact information.

Lindsey also knew of Executive Chef Craig Mason through social media

[NCC]: You also created a press release for the event, what suggestions do you have for planners who are wanting to create press releases or those without the means of a PR firm?  Are there any sites you reference for a guide on press releases?

  • [Lindsey]: Well, this was a very specific situation that many will not be able to replicate. However, I can suggest a few things that might be able to overlap. Write a press release like a story. Try to find something that people can really feel connected to, which the media can grab hold on, and push that aspect. Using Red4Joplin as an example, we highlighted the fact that KiKi and Kylee were local DC sisters looking to help their hometown of Joplin, that we were using a historic venue for the event, and that several distinguished guests would be making appearances. There are a few websites where you can publish press releases for free (,,, or you can pay less than $100 at so that news organizations can pick it up and you can point important parties to the legitimacy of your event. To read the Red4Joplin press release click here.

[NCC]: If you could change any aspect from the event whether planning, fund-raising or anything else, what would it be and why?

  • [Lindsey]: There were so many inspirational, heartwarming, and just plain amazing things that came out of this planning process that I don’t think I would change anything. Of course any event can be better or worse, but we did our absolute best and we were very pleased with the outcome. Our hope is with the people in Joplin and if nothing else, we can be quite proud of bringing awareness and financial relief to a town which needs to know that the rest of our country is thinking of them and wants to help. My suggestion to others is to do your best, go with the flow and remember the reasons why you are putting on your event in the first place.

Thank you Lindsey! It was great hearing about your experience planning this event in less than three weeks. Thanks for sharing your story of triumph for this event and tips to other planners. You did a superb job planning, gaining interest and rounding up attendance under pressure! If you were unable to attend and are interested in donating, please contact Lindsey Rosenthal, Kiki L’Italien or Kylee Coffman.

Lindsey Rosenthal and Kiki L’Italien with James Campbell of Omni Shoreham Hotel
and J. Clarke Manley of Washington Convention and Sports Authority

[VIDEO]: Event professionals take fundraising to the next level

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This past Monday night, #Eventprofs in DC hosted a fundraiser and tasting cook-off to support those affected by the devastation of a E-5 tornado that struck through Joplin in late May. Event-strategist and fundraiser, Lindsey Rosenthal of Events for Good was inspired to plan the red-tie event when she witnessed her friends, Kiki L’Italien and Kylee Coffman in emotional turmoil after their hometown was destroyed. In three weeks, Lindsey was able to pull-off a successful fundraiser in D.C. All proceeds from benefited Habitat for Humanity in Joplin, Missouri to help the residents rebuild their town.

Executive Chef Craig Mason was there for the action. Watch as Kiki L’Italien and her father choose ingredients for the famous Joplin recipe, Spaghetti Red. Missouri congressman Billy Long and Joplin resident taste-test for the best replica of the Joplin dish.

Interested in learning about Lindsey’s experience planning “Show Me” support for Joplin? Stay tuned for our interview with her later this wee.k

Creating Compelling Meeting Experiences: IACC’s Thought Leader Summit

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Not attending the 2011 International Association of Conference Center’s annual conference in Leesburg, Virginia? This is your invitation to the webcast of the Thought Leaders Summit. IACC hopes you’ll take away a tidal wave of fresh perspectives, vital insights and cutting-edge information for the meetings information!

The diverse panel includes an authority on fully engaged adult learning and conference design; an expert on breakthrough learning; a member of the Steering Committee of the much-anticipated “Project Meeting Architecture;” a designer of furnishings and meeting spaces; a seasoned planner at an IACC conference center and a guru on incorporating social media into the meeting experience. The panel will be facilitated by John Potterton, winner of IACC’s Award of Excellence, Pyramid Award and Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service.

Goal: At the end of the session, meeting planners, event professionals, and conference center representatives awill have new knowledge and understanding to create compelling meeting experiences which engage participants and lead to business transformation.

Don’t miss IACC’s FREE live webcast of the

2011 Thought Leader Summit: “Creating Compelling Meeting Experiences.”

IACC’s Third Annual Thought Leader Summit will be broadcast live to The National Conference Center and webcast around the world from the Kellogg Center at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The theme is “Creating Compelling Meeting Experiences.” The event will focus on brain-compatible learning, creating productive and memorable experiences, and measuring their impact.