• Meet Ingrid Nagy, Successful by Design

    POSTED August 1, 2018
    Ingrid Nagy reflects on innovation and leadership in a whirlwind year. 

I ngrid Nagy, CSEP, owner and CEO of By Design Collective, says one of the events she’s most proud of took place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, where she and her team drained the hotel’s pool and covered the basin with carpet. They then proceeded to introduce vertical food displays to the world, showing off portable walls covered in delicious bite-size food. “We received so many compliments on that event, but [draining the pool] just happened. It was one of those ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ moments,” says Nagy.

It’s been a long road to the triumphant moment where she wowed the world at the base of that pool. While attending college with plans to become a dietician, she was struck by the realization that for her, “it wasn’t about the food intake and science as much as it was the experience,” Nagy explains. Since then, she’s worked just about every job she could in the food industry, from service staff to the delivery department, learning sales and culinary skills and finally buying the company she had worked for in 2002. Nagy has transformed it with her husband, Cade, into a successful event collective that includes Catering by Design, Decor by Design and Picnics by Design.

This year is especially busy as her term as international president of the International Live Events Association coincides with the annual ILEA Live conference, which is taking place in Nagy’s home base, Denver, from Aug. 16-18. “We have some tours and ancillary activities that will allow people to see Denver and experience the cutting-edge event scene here to get inspiration,” says Nagy.  

When she’s not running an in-demand catering and décor company or planning an international conference, Nagy enjoys spending time with her family, which also includes a son and daughter. “We like taking trips and having experiences as opposed to things,” she says. As one of Denver’s top experience curators, it’s clear that Nagy’s priorities translate into her work. 

Whether a team is still working from home, or has made a phased return to the office, the past few months have seemed monotonous with not as many in-person meetings and events to break up work weeks. Meeting with a group boosts motivation, and Zoom meetings can’t compare when it comes to rallying morale. After months at home, planning small meetings and corporate getaways away from home is a great way to motivate and revitalize a team’s performance–especially when the destination provides all of the benefits that Colorado offers.


As working from home has become the norm since March, so has connecting with coworkers using webcams and Skype. Button downs and sweatpants have become a work-friendly outfit, and Zoom happy hours were the only way to grab a drink with friends. Especially for teams that used to meet in the office every day, a chance to shake up the (new) same old and safely reconnect in person is much needed after months apart. An out-of-state trip could be a memorable way to sync up with coworkers again, as well as do wonders for motivation and productivity upon return.


So far, webcams and Zoom meetings have been an essential part of 2020. While digital options are functional placeholders for meetings, chatting with a coworker over Skype doesn’t always set up a team for success. Human connection is vital to team building, and hosting safe, small meetings is a great way to revitalize teams after months of working from home.