Author Archives: lisajansennv

About lisajansennv

Special Events, Marketing, Community & Public Relations Professional, Tourism Advocate, and Travel Enthusiast. I blog about event management, public relations, marketing, community relations, customer service, and sponsorship relations.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews About Your Special Event

TypingWhether you love them or hate them, online reviews matter to you and your special events business. As an event producer, you should always pay attention to reviews about your event because they could impact your business if you ignore them. They could also give you a view of your event that you can’t see because you are too wrapped up in the details and planning of the event. Sometimes the closer we are to things, the harder it is to see what is really happening, especially with special events.

Keep in mind when you are responding to reviews, you need to respond with care. Even responding with good intentions can make a bad review situation worse. One of the challenges with online reviews is that once it is out there, you can’t take it back, so always respond with respect and be polite.

Why Respond to Online Reviews?

There are two main reasons to respond to online reviews. The first reason, they are your customers and you want to keep them as a customer so you need to acknowledge the issues and let them know you care. The second reason, other potential customers read online reviews and then decide to choose your business or keep shopping around. Online reviews can impact your business because people tend to blindly believe everything they read in reviews.


Tips for Responding to Bad Reviews

Don’t ignore! Read the review and digest the information. Don’t rush to respond before you do your research. Check out the validity of the complaint and the credibility of the person writing the review. You want to respond appropriately by acknowledging the problem they had, but it is important to know as much as possible about the situation before responding.

Respond in a prompt and polite manner. When I respond to reviews I always think about how I would feel if I was the customer in this situation. I also try to figure out if there is something I can do to change the reviewer’s mind. One of my favorite things about responding to reviews is that you have the chance to make an angry customer come back and like you. You have a second opportunity to make a good impression. It is fun and challenging to turn these situations around, so it feels really good when you can take an angry customer and somehow make the situation better and they become one of your fans.

Some people just want to be heard. I’ve had people call me to vent about a ton of different things throughout my event planning career. One of the biggest complaints I’ve had from some of the larger events I’ve produced is the lack of parking. There is never enough parking, that is the way it goes when you have tens of thousands of people going to an event at one time. My favorite way to handle these complaints is to first listen and make sure I completely understand their complaint and pay attention to the details. I sympathize with them because I understand where they are coming from. Then I try to tell them what we’ve done to make parking less of a problem and what we want to do to solve the problem. I also give them advice on adapting to the problem. I’ve had people call me to rip my head-off about parking problems and then at the end of the phone call they thank me for listening and for the insider tips. The most important thing is to listen. We also received these types of reviews online, so I would do my best to respond the same way as I would over the phone.

No canned responses! There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to write a review and then have someone respond like a robot saying “Please email our office at wedontreallycareaboutyourcomplaint@wearelame.com so we can learn more” and then you see that same copy and paste response on all of their reviews. Nobody wants to talk to a robot, so they probably won’t bother emailing you, but they will tell everyone how bad your company sucks in their eyes, and at that point you won’t have the opportunity to respond publicly to their complaint.

Not all reviews deserve a response. It is hard to believe, but there are a lot of crappy people out there that completely make up stories and write bad fake reviews. If you see a review that is fake you should report it or flag it on the review site. Then the site moderators will have the opportunity to analyze the review and work with you to delete it if it is a fake review.

 

Special Event Yelp Review

It is hard for an event to come back from an incident where a car drives through the crowd and the driver is shot by police. It doesn’t seem fair to write a review of an event after an incident like that.

 

Hide your crazy, or don’t. There is also the case of the crazy reviewer that makes no sense or is completely belligerent. If they violate the terms of the review site with threats, personal attacks, or filthy language, definitely report them so the site administrator can analyze and remove the review. If the review is so crazy it doesn’t deserve a response and other potential customers reading the review will see that it has crazy written all over it, do not validate the review with a response. My favorite example of this was when we had a guest at the hotel I worked at that wrote a scathing review about our housekeeping employees because they only left one bottle of shampoo and conditioner on the counter for the guest. The guest went on to share they were staying for two nights and complained that there should be at least five bottles of each available to her per night. Now any normal person would see that this negative review has crazy all over it and would take it with a grain of salt, or skip past that review altogether. And if the customer isn’t smart enough to read that review and see the crazy, you probably don’t want them as a customer.

Burning Man event review

This is a spoof event review on Yelp. When you look at Burning Man reviews they are almost all snarky and written as satire.


What About Good Reviews?

Don’t ignore! Respond to the customer and thank them for their kind words, show your appreciation for their business, and don’t forget to tell them you look forward to serving them again in the future. It is always easier and more cost effective to keep a happy customer than to attract a new customer. People like to be acknowledged even when their review is not a complaint, so don’t be shy and make sure to say thank you.

Share the review with your employees. Show employees some appreciation for earning a great review. Offer extra kudos to any employee that is mentioned by name in the review because it is quite an honor for a customer to appreciate your service so much that they remember your name. Employees really take negative reviews to heart, so sharing the positive reviews is just as important, if not more important. I firmly believe that positive reinforcement and good reviews being shared with employees leads to more positive reviews from customers.

39NPV REview

Find Your Own Best Practices

Develop a strategy for responding to online reviews. Consider what you want to get out of responding to reviews and what your goals are before you get started. Also, determine some guidelines to make sure responses are polite and show respect for the customers. When I was looking for inspiration in handling a particularly bad review a few years ago I found a testimonial online by a restaurant owner. He said that he responded with all of his emotions and complete honesty to the negative reviewer, some very unkind words were exchanged between the parties. The reviewer ended up suing the owner of the restaurant and won. It nearly bankrupted the business owner. If that doesn’t put into perspective how important it is to have a strategy and guidelines for responding to reviews, I don’t know what could make it clearer.

Online Review Pic 1

Embrace Online Reviews

Reviews can impact your business, like it or not, so I suggest you take the online reviews coming your way and embrace them. Look at it as an opportunity. If they offer good constructive criticism, use it to your benefit to make some changes. Take the time to respond. You have the chance to let your customers know that they have been heard and that you care about them. Respond in a polite and respectful way to help protect your reputation and increase customer satisfaction. Most of all, take advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given to engage with your customers by embracing online reviews good and bad!

What are you doing to manage your special event reviews? Let us know in the comments below.


Rotary Club of Reno Launches Biggest Little Bulb Project

White Hot Tulips

Wish List: White Hot Tulips

I am a proud member of the Rotary Club of Reno. Over the last year our club has partnered with a few organizations to taken on the Sculpture Garden in Bicentennial Park as a fellowship project. We have helped with the Sculpture Garden and with nurturing the gardens around the sculptures.

Now that fall is on the horizon we have one thing on our mind flower bulbs for the garden. Below is the press release I wrote for the project. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much response from our press release because of hurricanes, wild fires, and Burning Man. We will probably send another press release when the news cycle slows down.

Baby Boomers

Wish List: Baby Boomer Daffodils

Rotary Club of Reno Launches Biggest Little Bulb Project

The Rotary Club of Reno launched the Biggest Little Bulb Project this week to gather donations for 15,000 spring bulb flowers that will be planted this fall in the Sculpture Garden in Bicentennial Park and along Riverside Drive in downtown Reno.

Merry Go Round Flowers

Wish List: Merry Go Round Bulbs

The Sculpture Garden in Bicentennial Park has become a favorite destination for locals and tourists. The Reno Arts and Culture Commission partnered with Rotary Club of Reno to establish the sculpture garden, which features a rotating outdoor exhibition that is a part of Reno’s growing art scene. The park also features beautiful gardens, maintained by Rotarian volunteers, the city and KTMB. Rotarians have been working hard to nurture the garden and are now working on fall planting.

Fall is the best time to plant bulbs in the Reno-Sparks area and the Rotary Club is getting a jump start on donations for the Biggest Little Bulb Project. The bulbs chosen for the garden will bloom in several stages to encourage people to frequently visit the garden. There will be an early bloom, mid-spring bloom, and late spring bloom at the Sculpture Garden.

Glow Motion Tuilps

Wish List: Glow Motion Tulips

This project is possible thanks to generous Rotarians, local businesses, and community leaders. The goal is to plant 15,000 bulbs this fall, and donations have already been collected for 8,700 bulbs, but more donations are needed. If you or your business would like to contribute to the Biggest Little Bulb Project please contact Lisa Jansen at LisaJ@OneNevada.org.

Big Up Tulips on the Wish List

Wish List: Big Ups Tulips


Surviving the “Post-Truth” Era

A lot has changed in the past year, especially in the media industry and the world of public relations. We were already seeing a downward trend with the public trusting the media, but after the 2016 election we hit a new low. We are now overly familiar with new terms like “fake news” and “alternative facts.” We are living in what feels like the “post-truth” era. This is going to be a challenge for the media industry and everyone working in the world of public relations.

I personally believe this all started with the 24-hour news channels and news becoming a form of entertainment. The public craved the information and enjoyed the news being portrayed in an entertaining style. The problem was that as the channels started to multiply, they went to greater extremes to be entertaining, and they lost their real purpose. The real news, and supporting facts, got lost along the way.

I was at a luncheon a few weeks ago, where local media members discussed best practices for public relations professionals. They also discussed things they hate to see from public relations professionals and strategies that work to get their attention. At one point the conversation turned to the new normal in the world of media, the “post-truth” era. The conversation got me thinking. There are some easy changes that need to be made to get us back to being a society that trusts journalists and the media industry.

  1. Local media will be the leader. To get through this age of distrust between the pubic and the media the local media will need to step up and become the leader. They will need to do this by sharing more local stories, focusing on the facts, having good sources, getting it right every time, and limiting the editorialization of the news. We don’t need to know the anchor’s opinion about how the flood was handled by city officials. We just need to know that the flood was handled and there are future plans for flooding. Local reporters and media personalities are the key to turning this around. We know our local media personalities, we see them around town, so we are more likely to trust them.
  2. Journalists needs to check their sources and stop speculating. Journalists need to make sure they use good sources and that they don’t speculate. When they speculate, people start to perceive a situation is going a certain direction, then that perception becomes a fake reality. I can’t tell you how many times I will watch breaking news and the anchors are just flapping their lips speculating at the situation. They are just trying to fill time and live through the broadcast, but they really don’t know enough of the story to be live for that length of time. They also tend to be wrong when they speculate. The viewers or listeners take their word as fact and the inaccuracies are then spread creating fake news.
  3. The social media lynch mob needs to get their facts straight. I would like to propose a new rule… if it sounds too good, or too crazy, or too bad to be true, look for additional sources before you like or share posts on social media. Also, question the news source posting the information. Are they a real news source or are they questionable?
    PS – Yesterday a UFO landed in Reno and the aliens inside went to the Oscars party. They literally danced and drank so much they caught the dance floor on fire. Feel free to share this blog post. We need the world to know that aliens enjoy the Oscars as much as we do. It must be true… because you read it on the internet.
  4. Let’s stick to the facts. Reporters need to get back to basics. Give us the facts, that is all we want. No need to speculate, editorialize, or let us know your opinion. You are talented and have a very important role in the world. You are the truth tellers and the record keepers. Please make sure only the facts make it into our records. We need good journalists more than ever.

The media industry has lost its credibility. If changes are made in professional practices, we should see improvements in news that is reported and hopefully we will experience a new “trust-era”. I hope local media leaders and reporters will rise to the occasion and take back the news. Let’s hope for less journalism fails in 2017.

Click here to see some of the best news failures.
Warning: This may make you laugh, or cry.

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Photo by: Slightly Warped Website http://slightlywarped.com/television-news-fails/

What do you think about the “post-truth” era? Is there any hope for us? Please comment below.


The Year of the Rooster!

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Photo by: Bobo Boom, Flickr.com

I know it might sound goofy to some people, but I find personal and professional inspiration in horoscopes. They tend to bring words of wisdom into your life at just the right time. Every year I celebrate the Chinese New Year in my own way by reading horoscopes and studying the attributes of the Chinese Zodiac signs to see how they might influence my life for that year. Since I’ve started this practice, the horoscopes have given me great insight and hope for the new year.

On January 28, 2017, we welcomed the Chinese New Year. This ancient system is thought be over 5000 years old. It is based upon a twelve-year lunar cycle. This year is the year of the Fire Rooster and most people are thrilled to see the 2016 year of the Monkey come to an end.

The best way to describe the Monkey Year is mischievous. People born in the year of the monkey are prone to be witty, intelligent, clever, curious, and practical jokers. The year of the Monkey is often challenging and prone to havoc and disorganization. I don’t think that anyone would argue that 2016 didn’t see its fair share of challenges. It was an all-around crazy year with many upsets and surprises.

Last year was a crazy year for so many people. The stories my friends in the event planning business have been telling me are hilarious, and sometimes down right insane. It was also a Leap Year, so it just seemed like an off-year for most. I know I had an off-year, but I ended up kicking-butt at the end by changing jobs and focusing more on the things that make me happy.

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Photo: pixabay.com

So, out with the old year, and in with the new as we welcome the Rooster Year. I have high hopes for the year of the Rooster. I think it will be a good year for event planners and public relations professionals all around. The Rooster Year will create a climate where people will enjoy unexpected successes and hard work will begin to pay off. Make sure to crow about your accomplishments like a Rooster, good news leads to more good news.

chinese-new-year-2021181_1280

Photo: pixabay.com

The traits of the Rooster Year are tremendously attractive. People born in the Rooster Year are very healthy people. They are usually polite, social, fun, popular with crowds, and enjoy the company of others. They also like to share good news and accomplishments, which makes this a great year for public relations professionals to share good news about their clients. The Rooster Year should also be a fantastic year for event planners because everyone will be feeling the social vibe of the Rooster. This should lead to a lot of successful special events.

I’m predicting that we will all start progressing and that the year will be full of positive events and good news. We will have to work hard, another trait of the Rooster, but we will reap the rewards. We are just dealing with the hangover from the Monkey year right now, and things will start flowing in a positive direction as we head into Spring.

It is time to go out and charge full steam ahead. Just embrace the Rooster traits of commitment, hard work, good manners, be social, and have some fun. It will be a great year!

Click here to discover what the year of the Rooster has in store for you!


Visionary Board Retreat

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39 North Downtown Board of Directors

I recently joined the 39 North Downtown community organization board of directors. We had our first board retreat on Friday at Visionary Reno where we created vision boards. We worked on individual boards and a group board. It was an excellent activity that I highly recommend personally, professionally, and for all your non-profit groups. It is a great tool for building focus and making goals a reality.

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a collection of images that help you clarify and focus on whatever you want to be or make happen in your life. The concept is based on the law of attraction: “like attracts like.” Thinking about something means you invite it in. What you put out to the universe will be attracted to you.

Supplies:

  • A large board for photos and magazine clippings
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks or tape
  • Pens
  • Fun decorations like gems, pearls, ribbon, pictures, etc.
  • Magazines
  • 2-3 hours of dedicated time to focus on creating a vision board

Our board of directors’ visionary experience took place at Visionary Reno. Our exercise leader was Jessica Snyder, owner of Visionary Reno. Jessica started by giving us some ground rules and encouragement. She frequently leads inspirational workshops and team building classes. She puts out so much positive energy you can’t help but be inspired.

Our goal for the day was to create vision boards for our involvement as 39 North board members. We went through magazines and ripped out any pages that meant something to us or resonated with what we wanted to do with our board position. We didn’t have to know why the magazine page meant something to us, we just had to pull it out if it inspired us on our mission.

After pulling out lots of pages, we started cutting out the meaningful parts of the page. We then separated the cut outs for our individual boards and for our group board. As we were crafting our boards we were visiting with each other and discussing what we wanted to achieve. We also got to know each other better through small talk and a little bit of a gossip session. It was a great team building exercise for our group since we are always so rushed when we see each other. The exercise took about two hours.

We each started crafting our own boards. Jessica helped us put together the group board. When we were all done, we each mentioned one highlight from our board and then we went over the group board. It was a great exercise because it got us all moving in the same direction on the same goals. It was a very inspiring afternoon!

I highly recommend using vision boards. No matter what the goal or project is, a vision board can help you visualize what you want to do and keep you focused on your objectives. If you live in the Reno-Sparks area I encourage you to contact Visionary Reno and make an appointment. They hold classes for individuals, nonprofit organizations, work teams, and groups of friends. You will definitely feel inspired!

If you can’t make it down to Visionary Reno, you can try to make a vision board at home.

First you will need to find a place at your house that is an inspiring setting. When you go to Visionary Reno you walk into a beautifully decorated room stocked with everything you could possibly need. Visionary Reno is clean, it has all the supplies you could dream of, and if you like…it also has a bar where you can buy drinks. Try to replicate this inspiring setting in your home. Find a nice quiet place with no distractions. Look for a clean working space that inspires you and allows you to focus on creating your vision board.

Next, you will want to start working on what you would like to get out of this experience. You want to work on visualizing a goal or focusing on what you want to feel. It doesn’t have to be anything big, small goals work too. Don’t just focus on materialism, focus on how you want to feel and how you want to live.

Start the exercise by looking through magazines and visualizing and focusing on what you want and what you want to feel. You can’t mess this up. Anything can go on your vision board. As you look through the magazines start ripping out pages that mean something to you or that you identify with. Even if you don’t know why you like the page, or why it resonates, just rip it out.

After you’ve got a nice pile of magazine pages, and you feel good about what you’ve found, start clipping out the meaningful pieces. Clip out pictures, phrases, anything that will help you create the vision that will inspire you. Then start laying these pieces out on your board and gluing them in place.

It was funny to watch our board members do this part of the exercise because two of us are event planners and very Type A personalities. We put everything in order all organized and then started gluing. Other members just glued the pieces as they went and built it as a puzzle in real-time. It was funny to see the group dynamics and personalities showing up in such a small gesture.

Once you finish your board look back over it and go over all your pieces. It is really inspiring! You can’t help but feel you are on your way to reaching your goals.

After you are all done make sure you put your board in a place where you will see it often. This will help you stay motivated on your achievable goals. Use this as a daily affirmation to keep focus on your goals and you will see results in no time.  If you can see it, you can achieve it!

I have placed my vision board on the book case near the front door at my house. I look at it every time I leave the house and every time I come home. I take pride in the board and I feel like my goals and objectives are obtainable. I already feel like this exercise has inspired me and that I’m ready to put more energy towards my goals.

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Vision Board 1-27-17

Here are some tidbits from my vision board…

  • An extraordinary year – Make this an extraordinary year. There are changes on the horizon and lots of opportunity. Make the most of this for 39 North.
  • Gardens that inspire – We are planting seeds right now that will make the community better for years to come. We just need to water these seeds and watch them grow
  • You’ve Got A Great Team – The 39 North board is enthusiastic and ready to climb mountains. With a great team like this, we will make a difference.
  • Local Designers on Decorative Arts – We want to focus more on art and bring more art to Sparks, NV.
  • Share Some Holiday Happiness – Make 39 North Pole Village the best one yet. Share the event with more people and get more sponsors and Griswold Challenge contestants.
  • Own A Moment In Time – Remember to focus on the present and not get too carried away planning the future. Live in the moment.
  • Business – I’m the new leader for Sparks Business Connection so I need to focus on that and take it to the next level.
  • The Change Maker – Make positive change.
  • Dig A Little Deeper – Keep working even when you think you don’t have anything left.
  • Photo of a present with the letter C – This is to remind me to focus on what a blessing my boyfriend Charlie is and to show him appreciation.
  • Travel – I crave it, and I need more of it.
  • The essentials of life – Don’t lose sight of what is important and what you can’t live without.
  • Tiny Home Big Dreams – My house may not be the biggest right now, but the dreams under its roof are mighty.
  • I’m thankful for… – this is a reminder to show appreciation and count my blessings.
  • Who Wants Happiness? You – ME! Work hard to make things happen. Remember to give myself time and space to be happy and do what I enjoy doing even if it has nothing to do with accomplishing goals or moving to the next level.
  • Simply Beautiful – Making a difference and reaching new heights is a beautiful thing.

I’ve enjoyed the process of creating a vision board. I’m a big fan of this concept and the law of attraction.

If you are already a vision board enthusiast, please comment below about your experiences with vision boards and what is on your vision board. 

For everyone else, I encourage you to go out and make a vision board, heck make five of them! If you’d like to go to Visionary Reno and experience the perfect setting to dream, please check out their website and contact them to sign up for a session.


39 North Pole Village 2016

39 North Pole Village Returned to Sparks December 9 – December 10, 2016

elf-shirts

Volunteer Sweatshirt

39 North Downtown community group presented the 2nd annual 39 North Pole Village on Friday, December 9 and Saturday December 10 at Victorian Square Plaza. I have had a lot of fun with this event because I helped start it last year, and I am helping it grow each year.

The event unofficially started in 2014 with a tiny event where parents brought their kids down to Victorian Square to write letters to Santa and put them in a large mailbox. Then in 2015, we decided to add a light festival and vendors to the event and call it 39 North Pole Village. Interest in the event skyrocketed! It has been very rewarding to see the event grow and I’m proud to be co-chair of the committee that is making this happen for the Sparks community.

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Photo by: Donald Abbott

The second-year of 39 North Pole Village was at least twice as large as the 2015 event. The winter wonderland featured thousands of sparkling lights, holiday shopping booths, great food and holiday cheer. There were free pictures with Santa and a special booth where children could write letters to Santa. The highlight of the event was Engine 39, the newest member of the “Rail City” fleet. Rides are always free, so this is a great option for families that are looking to entertain the little ones.

Another new addition this year was the Veterans Resource Center of America booth run by Shane Whitecloud and crew. This booth was fully stocked with Christmas cards so event attendees could sign a card and have it sent to military folks serving overseas. It was so popular that they ran out of cards and had to find more. It was a great addition to the second annual event and nice to see our community sending holiday wishes to our military serving far from home.
cards-to-military

39 North Pole Village is a truly special holiday celebration. This year we added the Griswold Family Challenge. The event, inspired by Clark Griswold in the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation movie, saw families and businesses compete for the best light display. This is a really fun competition because there is cash on the line. It costs $100 to enter the competition and $50 per entry fee goes into the prize pool. The winner this year was Salon 2000 and they won $350. I’m going to try to get a lot more businesses to compete next year, hopefully the prize money is more than $1,000 in 2017.

griswold-display

This was my Griswold Family Challenge display. I didn’t win, but the kiddos loved my display.

We also had a larger vendor tent in 2016. It was sold out to vendors renting space. The tent is heated so it is very popular at this winter event. The vendors said it was a great event for them and they all went home with quite a bit of extra money in their bank accounts just in time for the holidays. We hope next year to have so many vendors that we need two tents.

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Vendor tent at 39 North Pole Village – Photo by: Donald Abbott

We were happy with how the event turned out this year, but there was one big issue. Mother Nature. On the second day of the event it rained all day and all night, which put some pressure on the power grid and caused some of the light displays to go dark. We are going to need to invest in more electrical supplies and protective boxes since this is an outdoor winter event.

We also had a bit of flooding in the vendor tent because it was raining so hard. Our volunteers and board members jumped into action and we were able to save the light displays and reroute the flood waters as best as possible. Having events during the winter is challenging to say the least!

We have big plans for this event. I personally hope that over the next 10 years it continues to grow and eventually it is so big that the displays stay up the whole month of December. It is a lot of work to setup the displays so it is a bummer when you take them down after two days. The event needs to grow so that the displays can be built and left open to the public for the whole month.

We had several new sponsors this year and I’m sure that will also continue to grow next year. With the community’s help, we will grow a new holiday tradition for future generations!

I can’t wait to see what we accomplish with the 2017 event!
crowd-shot

For more information about 39 North Downtown click here.

If you would like to become a sponsor or volunteer for 39 North Pole Village, please email me at LisaJansenNV@gmail.com and I will send you more information.

 


Saying Goodbye to NuggLife

Resigning is never easy. And resigning from a job you love is heartbreaking.

After four-and-a-half years and five event seasons, I decided it was time to try something new and to leave behind my beloved NuggLife. I had reached a new level of burnout after Rib Cook-Off and I was constantly dealing with illness. I was working six to seven days a week and a lot of overtime hours. It was supposed to be my slow season, but when your company sells, life changes. In the last four-and-a-half years I’ve been through two back-to-back company sales, which is extremely challenging. There were so many signs, and I knew it was time to move on and find a job that would offer me a better life balance and normal working hours. So, with a heavy heart and just a smudge of anxiety, I decided it was time to try something new.

I hadn’t started seriously looking when my mother sent me the job listing for the Assistant Vice President of Community Relations at One Nevada Credit Union. I was honestly trying to resign and be unemployed over the holiday season, but this job listing was exactly what I was going to be looking for. It was a perfect opportunity! I applied and after several interviews, I received a great offer. I started working at One Nevada on December 5, 2016.

My new job duties at One Nevada include developing public relations programs, marketing, sponsorship development, and event planning to engage with members and build community awareness about One Nevada Credit Union.

Before leaving the Nugget, I gave four weeks’ notice. My last day was December 3, which was the night we held the inaugural Nugget Christmas Tree Lighting event and kicked off the 12 Nuggets of Christmas charity event. I gave the company a lot of notice because I wanted to make sure this event went well. I am a huge fan of the Nugget. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I received while working there, so I didn’t want to let them down and leave them right before a big event. I worked with a fantastic team and I will always be grateful to them for their support and friendship. It was hard to say goodbye to my coworkers that I absolutely loved and adored. We had so many great memories together!

My Last Week at the Nugget and the Last Supper

My last week of work was crazy. You would never even know I was leaving. I was taking care of business as normal and making sure that we were ready for the tree lighting and the 12 Nuggets of Christmas event.  Even though we were busy, my team found time to have a going away lunch for me, Tim and Adam, who were also leaving at the end of the week. The Marketing Department tradition is that we walk down to Great Basin Brewery together for lunch and we take a group photo. This isn’t just any group photo, it is the Last Supper picture. The people leaving have plates held behind their heads just like halos. We all make a funny pose. I was so bummed to be leaving my coworkers, but I was glad we were able to celebrate together one last time. Below is the picture from our Last Supper of NuggLife.
last-supper-nugget-2016

My Last Day Working at the Nugget

Like any good workaholic, I made sure to put in a whole day for my last day. I started at 9:00 a.m. and I didn’t finish that night until nearly 11:00 p.m.

It was an exciting day because it was event day. I love event day! The excitement, the butterflies, the burst of weird event energy, it is always a good time. I started the day off by going through all the event details. I was responsible for the tree lighting ceremony and also for making sure the 12 Nuggets of Christmas was planned. Everything looked to be in order. The checks were printed for the charities, and everyone knew when and where they were supposed to be each night of the 12 Nuggets of Christmas event.

The tree was magnificent! It was a towering 105 foot tall White Fir from Klamath Falls, Oregon. The tree was a gift from the Marnell Family and the Nugget to the community of Sparks. After a whole week of a sign company using cranes to decorate the tree, we were ready for the lighting. The ceremony began at 5:30 p.m. It started with Reno High School students singing Christmas carols. Mrs. Clause and Engine 39, the 39 North Downtown community train, delivered almost 300 unwrapped toys for local children in need. Then our general manager gave a welcome message, presented Toys for Tots with a $2,000 check, and we had the crowd countdown to light the tree. When the crowd gave the sign, my coworker’s two sons hit the big switch for show, and our Elf Greg hit the power box for real, and with a big pop the tree lit up. It was gorgeous!

The event went well, but if I was planning it again, I would add a big stage and have the general manager and an MC host the event. I would also add a DJ spinning high energy Christmas tunes and a few portable heaters. It was freezing out there!
tree-lighting-2016

After the ceremony and a lot of photos were taken, it was time to have a celebratory drink and then head back to my office to pack up. After I was gone, my coworkers told me that was the cleanest that office had ever been, even in the decade before I worked there.

I’m officially a recovering workaholic. It is a bit odd to go from working so much and in such an intense environment to working a normal schedule in a calm work place. I love my new job, but it is definitely different. I’m adjusting, but sometimes I miss my old coworkers and the high energy felt working in a casino. I’ve been going through files and old pictures trying to get organized and get my life back together at home. I’ve been finding a lot of souvenirs that bring back memories of NuggLife.

In my new role at One Nevada, I will continue to blog about event management, public relations, marketing, customer service, sponsorship relations, and community relations. I will also tell a few stories and share some memories of my crazy days at the Nugget. Now I can tell the really good stories! Stay tuned!


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