The Raleigh-based, Special Event Company founder and CEO, Sally Webb Berry, accepted the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Honor at the Special Events Gala Awards on February 1.
“This is the highest recognition in my industry. The award elevates my profile, and enhances my leadership capabilities,” said Webb Berry. “This recognition from my peers is truly an honor and has reinforced my company’s mission of providing our clients with the best service and event experiences we can offer.”
Webb Berry is an international lecturer on event management, and an instructor at Duke University’s Event Development Certificate program.
The receiving of the Gala Award was an opportunity for Webb Berry to reflect on her time and talents. “I have worked in the planning industry, at the national and international levels, for over 30 years in many, sizable companies, for a variety of venues, collecting a lifetime of experiences.”
Prior to moving operations from London to the U.S. in 2005, Webb Berry was a founding member and president of International Live Events Association (ILEA) in the U.K.
“The meetings and events field did not exist in the U.K. before 1986,” said Webb Berry. This is important to note because, according to Webb Berry, “my background in P.R. and marketing guided the way this industry was formed, in my context.”
During Webb Berry’s first seven years, the agency grew, and so did the event side of operations.
Webb Berry said she currently has a strong, growing company with 19 full-time employees. “In order to continue growing, we need an international spread of events to get a wider range of contracts,” she said. “If we can do this, our scope of expertise will expand, and we will build credibility.”
Throughout her career, Webb Berry and company have been recognized with more than 40 international awards.
Webb Berry happily shared some insights behind her company’s success: “Events are all about strategic messaging tailored towards how people want others to perceive them…We kind’ve create magic in this communication production process!”
Webb Berry continued, “Working events is like being on drugs. You get a high when you produce an event, see its outcome and how it affects attendees.”
Regarding her personal success in the industry, Webb Berry advises, “one should measure the job they do not by the money they make, but by the excellent customer service they provide.”
“The laborious agony of doing this kind of work meets the reward of outstanding people who are developed as a result of excellent comradery,” concluded Webb Berry.
The Gala Awards, now in its 32nd year, was held during The Special Event Show in New Orleans, La., an industry conference and trade show.