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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 Ultimately, I quit my job and built a book of business where clients would come to me, and I could place them at any restaurant; then, that restaurant was required to pay a commission. My company was first founded on a referral- based commission model. As time went on, my clients started asking for additional servic- es, saying, "Thanks so much for booking us at this restaurant, but can you help us with the program/event itself?" Johnson: That was a pivot moment for your business. What does your portfolio look like now? Lange: We work with a lot of Fortune 500 com- panies. We're going to do another pivot within the next 18 months by adding a third service to our organization. Our book of business in- cludes big companies like Amazon and Google all the way down to local law firms in many states. We're a global company now, so we work with restaurants, hotels, and especially event venues all across the world. Johnson: If a technical company is looking to create a user group event, or to bring together customers, and that company creates a pro- gram or mini-conference, when do they need to book with an event manager such as your- self? Lange: The answer to that question is twofold. We would love the opportunity to work with a client like that. The advice that I would have for someone wanting to host an event is it's so important for super technical companies to host those conferences, not in a stale hotel space or your typical board room. That's one thing I admire that Altium does so well: They selecta venue with a beautiful backdrop and scenery at the Loews Coronado Bay, which is a draw in and of itself. Now, you're pairing what a non-industry person would consider dry con- tent—something that is highly technical—with a beautiful experience, which softens the over- all content. Johnson: If I've been asked by my employer to run a program or launch a new annual confer- ence for my customers, you're going to want a checklist of things that you need to know. Walk me through that. Lange: First and foremost, who are you? Who is your client, and what is the profile of the at- tendee? Know your customer; that will drive the geography. Once you identify where your clients are coming from, then you'll have to choose a site. Are a lot of individuals that are coming from the East Coast or West Coast? I know people can travel easily, but a place that's central and easily accessed is a criti- cal component to ensuring that people attend your conference. It should be easy to get to and have accessible international flights. We would obviously need to know your budget— "the big B"—and the number of guests and speakers. Johnson: Let's start to put together the pro- gram. I'm guessing your team is not going to be the ones who create the program from scratch. Lange: No, that's pretty technical. But like this year, we assisted in managing speaker deliv- erables, for example. There are a lot of assets that go into every speaker from biographies to abstracts, headshots, and the presentation it- self, we help manage those relationships, en- sure hotel rooms are booked, etc. So we get in- volved with that piece. DINEvent is especially strong at helping with the logistics.

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