It’s no easy feat pulling off an event as amazing as the BAMIE’s, but this year’s event exceeded expectations thanks to a great team and the great leadership of Alex Capitolo, our BAMIE’s Chair. Our newest contributor, Karen Grayson, had the pleasure of interviewing Alex to learn more about her experience.
Q: Alex, Great Job on the BAMIES, Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at ATT Park. How did that help you in planning this event?
A: I’m a Bay Area native and have been with the San Francisco Giants for about 4 years managing operations/logistics for events at AT&T Park and Pier 48. Prior to this I was with Live Nation supporting Tara Porter and Casey Fitzgerald, our amazing venue sponsors for this event! In my time with Tara and Casey I had the opportunity to work on numerous events at the Masonic Center so that experience made this planning process much easier. Having the opportunity to work in the venue again, on the client side this time, was pretty incredible. In my current role I’ve worked on events of all types and sizes from a 10 person dinner in the Dugout to 3-day conference for 4,500 to a sold out Lady Gaga concert for 40,000+. The myriad of experiences and challenges this variety of events has provided me were paramount in planning the BAMIEs. This was not solely my event though, I just had the pleasure of leading the team.
Q: Describe some of the challenges you encountered and how you overcame them?
A: Many of our challenges surrounded my (what some initially may have called crazy) idea to host this event in a unique venue. When I decided to accept the position of BAMIEs chair, the first goal I set was to make this year different. Given my current and past roles operating special events in venues originally built for other purposes (sports and concerts mostly), I wanted to find the same for this event. I had to convey a vision for this event that our team had never seen before and convince everyone that we could turn that grand vision into reality without compromising our fundraising goals. The solution came through our sponsors. Our team worked tirelessly to find industry members willing to support this event and our cause and we could not be more thankful for our incredible roster of sponsors who made this event a success.
Q: What were some of the high points of the planning process and the event itself
A: As a music lover, I had an absolute blast finding ways to incorporate a music theme without being cheesy. My favorite décor piece? The record menus! I’m using one as a mouse pad now. The greatest part of planning this event though was the team that made it all happen. Our committee, vendors, sponsors, venue, and everyone involved were simply incredible. We knew we wanted to design this event like the Grammy’s and incorporate music into the program but Brian Bouchelle’s idea to enlist the musical talent of our industry members is what took this to the next level. This event is all about featuring the incredible work of our industry leaders, so why not feature their musical talents too? I don’t think one person will forget Neil Adams’s rendition of Piano, excuse me PLANNER, Man. Every detail of this event was so well thought out and connected to our purpose and theme so seeing all of those details come together was the true high point of the night.
Q: We often say in meeting and event planning you have to be a duck. Calm on the top and paddling like heck underneath the surface. Did you have any duck moments on event day?
A: I could not agree more with this statement but am thrilled to honestly answer, no. We had such a great team working on this event and our venue host, Live Nation, provided us with such great support that there really weren’t any major issues. As is the case with every event, there were unexpected adjustments to be made on-site but nothing that caused any real stress or issues. The worst thing was finding a ripped linen that I had to adjust so the hole landed under an ice bucket and out of sight. I’ll take that as my biggest issue any day!
Karen Grayson, CMP