IN THE NEWS : Corporate & Incentive Travel
A Fearless Female Founder’s Journey to Success
Many people saw 2018 as the Year of the Woman, be it because of fighting back against injustice and gender inequality, achieving new heights in several industries, or just being the incredible people that they are.
Those in the corporate and incentive travel industry have long championed female leaders, and the industry possesses some amazing influencers.
Our CEO and Co-Founder, Lauren Grech, was listed amongst a select group of the most accomplished females in the business who impact our industry every day.
LLG Events is a self-funded international event planning and design firm striving to incorporate altruism in every aspect of its business. It has garnered industry-wide recognition by coding its own event-planning portal that streamlines the planning process and manages tasks, guest lists, budgets and proposals, establishing the ability to plan a destination event from anywhere in the world.
Lauren started in the business in a very unconventional way. She earned her degree in biology/pre-med at Binghamton University, followed by an M.S. in forensic science at Pace University. Post-graduation, she began a career in research and development (R&D), studying autopsies, running toxicology reports and determining how people died.
“As I was planning my own wedding, I was planning my exit strategy from R&D to start my own business. I told my husband Paul, COO and Co-Founder of LLG Events, one month after we got married that we were going to start our own business, and he was 100 percent on board,” she says.
“We sat at my mom’s kitchen table planning it all out. We agreed that our first step was to go back to the place where we got married and ask to shadow the maitre d’. It was brilliant. I would work 40 hours a week at my day job, and then volunteer every Thursday and Friday evening when they had an event, and every Saturday and Sunday when they had a wedding.”
Lauren admits that it was exhausting, but her and Paul did this for four months until finally they went out on their own, succeeded in their first event, continued the momentum, and expanded into New York City. Today, she is a powerful influence in the industry.
“As CEO, I am responsible for delegating tasks amongst our senior staff, finding and pursuing new business opportunities, curating the strategic direction of the business, and setting budgets for new initiatives and sales,” Lauren says.
“On a day-to-day basis, not only am I responsible to all my clients and their planning tasks, but I have meetings with our creative director to discuss our brand, content strategy and what we’re showcasing to our audiences; and our PR and marketing director to discuss and review press releases, media kits, social media strategy, new business opportunities and speaking engagements.”
Additionally, she is always running from client meeting to client meeting.
“Being a successful woman in any industry requires grit, and lots of it. It takes great courage and humility to continue pushing forward when every opportunity has just collapsed right in front of you,” she says.
“I remember one year when I thought I was about to make $100,000 in sales in just one week, and literally every single contract fell through.”
But she was able to escape the mind-set of failure and kept going. The trick was accepting her shortcomings, learning from mistakes and recognizing when someone was doing it better.
“Being a strong influencer requires constant hard work, determination and sacrifice. And unfortunately, this means choosing your business over anything else — that any spare moment you have, you are focusing on the company,” she says.
“It’s hard work, I’m not going to deny it. But I was determined to be successful, and that is what enabled me to wake up every morning to pursue my dream.”
Looking ahead, Lauren thinks experiential marketing will really take off this year.
“I think we saw exponential growth in 2018, but now that multiple companies have seen the benefits of interactive audience displays, more will continue and quite literally ‘pop up,’” she says.
“I truly love how busy I am, and I thrive when I am constantly doing something. My job exposes me to so many exciting and new opportunities.”