EventCamp 2018 Recap: Learning, Inspiration, and Community for More Than 200 Event Professionals


Tripleseat’s EventCamp conference recently brought more than 200 restaurant and hotel sales and event professionals to Boston to learn from experts and colleagues on how to increase sales, stay on top of trends, work smarter using technology and data, and grow their business.

This year’s event, held at City Winery Boston, was the second EventCamp conference. Attendees networked with speakers and peers from across the United States and Canada, and many of them left the conference with the inspiration they need to make their events business better.

Attendees representing Make My Kitchen, a New York City-based kitchen event banquet space, shared their thoughts about the day on their @mykitchenny Instagram account:

Here’s a recap of the day’s events:

Keynote: It’s All About the Guest

Davio’s CEO Steve DiFillippo kicked off the day with his tips for running a successful restaurant by focusing on hospitality and your guests.

“It’s all about hospitality and truly believing in it,” DiFillippo said.

He shared his best tips and some personal anecdotes about connecting with guests and giving them a memorable restaurant experience.

“I enjoyed listening to Steve Defillippo and definitely could sense his passion for what he does,” said one EventCamp attendee.

What Planners Are Really Looking for in a Venue

EventCamp attendees were eager to learn how their venues can attract attention from event planners. They got advice from panel host Lisa Flores, Director of Sales and Marketing at Columbus Hospitality Group, and panelists Courtney Church, Partner at Corinthian Events; Jeanette R. Patenaude, Events Specialist at Ropes & Gray; and Jessica Singh, Senior Planner, Global Meetings & Events at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Tips included posting beautiful photos of your space on your website, including a “dollhouse view” of your space online, thinking about the needs that different clients have (corporate clients vs. more laid-back organizations vs. individuals that are planning events), responding to event planner inquiries quickly to keep planners interested, and offering unique event experiences that attract clients.

Attendees told us, “This was an informative session,” and “We got the most value out of What Planners Are Really Looking for in a Venue.”

How to Use Data to Make Smart Decisions for Your Events Business

Charlee Williamson, Executive Vice President of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, shared how to examine data from Tripleseat reports and other sources. She showed attendees how to use that data to find patterns and trends that will help your events team target the right customers and grow sales.

“I love listening to Charlee Williamson,” said an EventCamp attendee. “She is so knowledgeable and I always leave wanting to hear more from her.”

A Chef’s Perspective on Events

Chefs are a key part of running successful events, which is something Nancy Bean knows very well as Co-Owner/Executive Director of the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival. Bean’s panel of chefs David Blessing of Longwood Venues & Destinations, William Kovel of Catalyst Restaurant, and Jeremy Sewall of Row 34 gave insights into how event professionals can work better with culinary experts, who have a reputation of being “grumpy.” They encouraged event managers to work with them on event menus in advance as much as possible, to not stray from the types of cuisine that the restaurant does best, and to communicate regularly about event details to ensure that courses are served on schedule.

“I would definitely be interested in seeing a chef panel again!” said one EventCamp attendee.

How to Get Results with Email, Social Media, and Other Digital Marketing Tools

I’m the Content Marketing Manager at Tripleseat and I’ve been a professional content creator for more than 20 years, so I was honored to share my knowledge on how event professionals can use email marketing and social media to grow their business. I was joined by fellow panelists Lindsay Higgins, founder of L2L Creative Group, and Jeannine O’Neil, founder of JO Social Branding.

We discussed what marketing tools are essential for event professionals, how to get started with email marketing and social media marketing, how to choose the social networks that are right for your business, and successful restaurant marketing tactics and campaigns.

EventCamp attendees said they walked away with tips and best practices that they could start using right away.“I definitely got a few takeaways,” said one attendee. “I would have loved to have more time with the How to Get Results with Email and Social Media ladies.”

The Rise of the Pop-Up: How to Create an Event Experience

Today’s diners and event attendees are looking for more than interesting cocktails and the latest food trends. They want to have memorable experiences. Alexis Cervasio, founder of the East Boston Oysters pop-up, has mastered the formula of how to surprise and delight with food and festivities. Cervasio told the story of how East Boston Oysters was born, and talked about how to think differently about food and atmosphere, why you should introduce a childlike experience into your events, and what restaurants can do to bring the pop-up experience to their customers.

“The presentation held my attention and helped me get excited about planning events again,” said an EventCamp attendee.

Event professional @ChristaLynnXOX shared this on Twitter:

Events Uncorked: Choosing the Right Wine

The day ended with a wine tasting led by noted wine educator Philippe Newlin, who focused on Bordeaux wines in a James Bond-themed presentation. Newlin discussed the different types of Bordeaux wines and what to pair them with.

“Philippe Newlin was an amazing presenter,” said an EventCamp attendee.

Other observations

Event professionals told Tripleseat that they were grateful to spend time with their peers, share their questions or struggles, and feel a sense of community with fellow attendees.

“It is always nice to hear that you are not alone with your areas for improvement, and perhaps someone else has had the same experience and learned a way to make it work,” shared one attendee.

Attendees from New York City-based Ark Special Events posted an enthusiastic response on their @arkeventsnyc Instagram account

Want to learn more about EventCamp?

You can find photos from EventCamp on Tripleseat’s Facebook page, and by following the #EventCamp2018 hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

Videos of all EventCamp sessions and additional materials are coming soon. Check the EventCamp website in the coming weeks for the recordings.