In this episode, Ashley Owens interviews one of her very first clients, Gracie Jones as they talk about event management companies versus event planners.

Gracie Jones is the owner and founder of an event management company called Opulent Events by Gracie and also owns a retail business, Ten31 by Gracie which is tailored for career women and discuss tips on how to make the most of a networking event. Also in this episode is a backtrack of her journey towards success that inspired her to get into the retail business world.

Let’s talk about the event management company first and how it is unique in the sense that it has its own niche. Opulent Events by Gracie is a team of experts that offers services like in house design production, strategic planning, and consulting services. What we love is they don’t just execute an event but also pair up with clients and become a part of their extended team that other event management companies don’t do. She believes in building strong relationships with a goal to give high-level services at reasonable rates. Unlike hiring an event planner who orchestrates all the moving parts by contracting them out, Gracie believes that working with an event management company is more profitable to businesses.

Everything is done in house with more collaboration, customization and research which makes an event more effective and cost-efficient. But trust me, this was not an easy process. In fact, this is a 10-year business plan which makes her way beyond prepared and always a few steps ahead of everyone.

Now moving to her new business venture which is retail, Ten31 by Gracie was created by Gracie and her husband with the love for women of power. With a wide selection of products from clothes to shoes, it’s purpose is to make business and career women feel good with what they wear and not restricted to what society says they should be wearing. Atta girl! Talk about women empowerment.

Below are key tips that Gracie thinks we should remember on a networking event.

  1. Engage - Go there, work the room. Walk around and introduce yourself.

  2. Listen - Don’t be about yourself. Talking about you, what you do or what you can offer them can come later. Be a listener, be intrigued about the person that you’re talking to because if you do that you’re gonna capture their attention right away.

  3. Be in and out - Don’t linger too long. You don’t want to get too comfortable too soon to people that you’re meeting for the first time, you will want to slowly build that relationship. Most relationships are built in a nice, comfortable pace instead of jumping in right away.

  4. The rule of thumb - You have 24 hours to make a follow up. Find a way to connect with them like coffee, breakfast or lunch and learn a bit more about them. Then now you can be more engaging.

What makes a good networking event? Gracie shares that motion is one of the things that she loves to focus on the most. You have to make sure the space that you have allows people to move and navigate freely. So make sure it’s comfortable for people whether they’re standing or sitting. High top tables, loungey feel and free movement throughout the space are the things to remember on your next networking event.

Find out more about Gracie and the services they offer by visiting their website, Reach out to one of their sales account managers through their sales department by calling them at 215-376-5758.

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