Megan Buzzetta is no stranger to the meetings and events industry. She started her company Global Planners, Inc. in 2000 and now has grown to 30 employees. Global Planners specializes in full-service and ancillary corporate meeting and conference planning services, but when the economy collapsed in 2010 it was Buzz Registration, a slice of the business, that kept them afloat. 

“Buzz was really a lifeline when the economy crashed,” says Megan Buzzetta, president and CEO. “Technology really changed the business. I remember a time when we had seven fax machines going and we had to enter registrations,” laughs the spirited Buzzetta, who oversees a mostly female staff headquartered in Hamilton that works on both Global Planners and Buzz (their office is consistently named one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBIZ). “Now there are two distinct roles: the meeting planner and the registration role,” she says. 

Buzz Registration lets planners outsource registration, a task that she says many planners dread. “Most planners like logistics and client relations … registration is often a pain point for them,” Buzzetta says. That’s where Buzz comes in, serving as the registration team. “We build the websites and serve as behind-the-scenes support, and registrants don’t even know that they’re going through a third party,” she says.

“You can use us when you need us,” explains Buzzetta. “Maybe that’s just one event annually or maybe you want us to serve as your registration department on an ongoing basis. It’s different for each client.” 

Buzzetta knows the value of making clients happy. As someone who entered the business planning conferences for a financial firm, she likes creating something out of nothing, but credits her team with the company’s success. “I think I hire really well. Our leadership has been here for more than 10 years,” she says. 

This mother of two isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty either. “I like that we’re addressing a problem for planners,” Buzzetta says. “The registration process is a little bit like the dirty dishes of the dinner party, but that’s ok. We’re here to handle it.” 

Passionate entrepreneurs and ESP Presents co-founders Matt Woodburn and Sarah Neukom collaborate to craft experiential events. 

ILM+E: What are your backgrounds in the industry and how did you come to establish your production firm?

 

As general manager of the new 130-room AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown, Ryan Schmied enjoys a fast-track life by making sure everything at the stunning boutique-style property is running smoothly.

Formerly a refrigerator production factory, warehouse and most recently a TGI Fridays near the Van Andel Arena, the 19th-century space in which the chic AC is located has quite a history.

 

Gail Davis, founder and president of Dallas-based GDA Speakers, was working in corporate training for EDS when the phone rang. “One of my mentors called me and said, ‘There’s a position in the events department, and I think you should do it. It would be so easy for a working mom,’” says Davis, before adding wryly, “It was clearly someone who had never planned events.”