Monday, October 24, 2011

Important thought & a little levity...

I wanted to share a Facebook post from the Dalai Lama this morning: "The more adept we become at cultivating an altruistic attitude, the happier we will feel and the more comfortable will be the atmosphere around us. But if our emotions fluctuate wildly and we easily give in to hatred and jealousy, even our friends will avoid us. So even for people with no spiritual beliefs, it is important to have a peaceful mind."
The Dalai Lama and Namkha Rinpoche
It reminded me of my closest brush with the Dalai Lama, here is part of the story. In 2008 my aunt Marguerite was doing a series of events around the country with Namkha Rinpoche, a disciple of the Dalai Lama. They came to Philly and I cooked an elaborate meal for their traveling party. After the meal I said to Namkha, "Hey, Rinpoche, how about a little something for the effort"; he said "They'll be no money, but in the near future you can subscribe to the Dalai Lama's Facebook posts and it will be great knowledge for you" So, I got THAT going for me...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taste & Tour, then BizBash!

Taste & Tour 2010
A very busy and fun couple of days coming up. Today is the great event Taste & Tour of the Countryside which is produced by the Brandywine Valley CVB and Mid-Atlantic Events. It takes place at Drexelbrook Events Center, and I have a few tickets left if anyone would like to go, leave a comment on the blog or email me by 3pm. Jim Cohn, Tore Fiore, Dominic Savino/Gene Blum and their teams do a great job with this event every year. It's an opportunity to taste food from a number of caterers, restaurants, hotels and event facilities. It's also an excellent networking event with many of the most important and connected folks in the hospitality/special event world in attendance.For more info:

Colin Cowie will be appearing at BizBash
Tomorrow I head up to Manhattan for BizBash's Expo & Awards Show, which in the past I have always thought was my favorite national trade show and conference for the event industry. I'm curious to see how it has changed now that it is held at The Javits Center. I have always found more new interesting products and services at this show than anywhere else, and BizBash was my inspiration for the "Fresh" event that I initially proposed and helped launch for Philly ISES in 2006. We wanted to do BizBash Philly but had to settle for one of the owners of BizBash, Richard Aaron, as our keynote speaker. I hope to see Richard tomorrow. If anyone is going, let me know, it would be fun to meet up.
For more info:

Okay, I'm off to round up promotional items and decor for my clients for tonight's shindig, Electric Factory posters and memorabilia, LED candles (no flame, right Sandy O?), linen, and maybe some mini-pumpkins.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great day.

Harry 10/18/11

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Consulting for caterers, assisting event planners.

Since I have not really covered this topic in depth, today's post will be an explanation of my consulting business, and how I may be able to help you with catering and venue selection for special events. I currently represent half a dozen caterers and restaurants that also cater.. I also work with other caterers and event venues on specific project based  assignments.

Electric Factory
The core of my value to event planners is that in representing many different caterers I essentially represent many dozens of venues, and I can be an invaluable resource to provide them with location choices to fit the needs of their events. Since I am paid by the caterers and venues, my service is free for event planners. I maintain a proprietary database of almost 200 venues in the Metro Philadelphia region; I began developing this list about 10 years ago in my Max & Me Catering days, and have added to and refined it ever since.
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Many of the venues in my database are rarely used, not well known, and thus are very exciting when a planner wants to do something different and new. There are many venues in the Philadelphia region that get used over and over again because people are used to going there, and they are good event venues, but may become a bit too familiar and uninspired for the seasoned planner and their event attendees.

Skybox, 2424 Studios
In addition to representing numerous venues, my catering and restaurant clients cover a very wide spectrum of cuisines, price ranges and capabilities. This gives the planner more flexibility in that component of their event. I also help planners put together events with multiple caterers and restaurant participation. My experience with many of the biggest events of this type is useful for planners to draw on for development, planning and operational aspects if they are doing a similar event.

This blog post has been brought to you by Harry Spivak Consulting. Thanks for reading, please share it, especially with those that you think may be able to use my services.