Shifting and Changing – A Part of Life

Several years ago (2007-2008) I began to feel a shift, a tugging, a pull away from what I was doing and into a new path.  Our economy was on the decline. My event business at the time, The Laureli Group, Inc., was struggling and I found myself in a place where I had some space.. read more →

Centralize or Diversify?

I am an instructor at San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies, in their Meeting Planning Certificate Program.  Each semester, I teach a six-hour elective course called, “Starting Your Own Business in the Meeting & Events Industry”.  While most of my students are interested in becoming a meeting or event planner, many of them.. read more →

Wake Up Call – Does Your Brand Say What It Should?

Last week I attended the IMEX America Conference ( in Las Vegas, which is one of the largest Meetings, Events and Incentive industry conferences in North America.  There were over 8,000 attendees present looking to make important business connections, meet new potential suppliers, network with one another and/or to take part in educational sessions.  The.. read more →

Perfecting your 30-second Sales Pitch

Have you ever been to a dinner party or networking event and someone asks, “So, what do you do?” I’ve heard recently that asking that question is passé, as we are all so much more than the work we do, right?  Yet, it still gets asked, and we need to be prepared with a response.. read more →

September Means Back to Business for Entrepreneurs

It’s September, which equals cooler days (hopefully), longer nights and back to school! If you’ve long since graduated, September can also be a great time to get back into your business. A long, hot summer can often mean spending time with family, taking vacations and putting your brand on cruise control. But now that we’re.. read more →

Writing a Plan for Your Hospitality Industry Business

When I first went into business for myself in 1999 as a meeting planner, I did what a lot of first-time business owners do and jumped right in without a plan or even a thought to how things were going to look in three months, let alone three years! I was focused on the moment.. read more →

Charging for Picking My Brain

If you’ve read my bio, you know I named my company Pick My Brain because I was constantly fielding phone calls and lunch dates from people asking to do just that. Casual conversations with friends would turn into brainstorming sessions before I even realized what was happening. I am, by nature, generous with my time.. read more →