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Save the Date® COO Ariana Stecker Speaks at ILEA’s How to Do Business with Non-Profits
December 11, 2018

On November 12, 2018, Save the Date® COO Ariana Stecker spoke at International Live Events Association’s (ILEA) How to Do Business with Non-Profits. She was joined by other leaders in the events and hospitality industry including: David Adler, CEO and Founder of BizBash, David Mack, Business Development Executive of Text-to-Pledge, Steve Paster, Founder of Alpine Creative Group, and Darryl Stupp, General Manager of Tribeca Rooftop.

The panel discussed tips for getting repeat business, working with budgets to make them stretch further, and current trends in the non-profit sector.

Save the Date® and Ariana regularly work with non-profits on their annual fundraising galas. Working with the clients on their event vision, pros and cons of varying event formats, analysis of the right mix of target attendees, analysis of brand communication online and at the event, speakers, awards and honorees, run of show timing to maximize money raised, and outlining the indicators for a successful event. Save the Date® also works on corporate and social events.

As Chief Operating Officer of Save the Date®, Ariana is responsible for all hands-on operational activities and client relations, often acting as the main point of contact for clients, corporate, wedding and non-profit. Her day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing and improving the budget and financial health of the business, providing day-to-day leadership and management to the team of 12 event planners and salespeople and all technology, including CRM and the website. Ariana, in partnership with the CEO, leads the business development and online marketing initiatives as well as advising on new venue development and strategic partnerships.

During Ariana’s time at Save the Date®, she has cut operating expenses by 30%, increased nonprofit gala bookings six-fold, implemented and customized a new CRM system, revamped the website, and regularly reviews and evolves all processes to better align with current business needs.

Prior to joining Save the Date®, Ariana founded Joonbug, a full-scale events production company and website that marries the offline events world with the online digital world. Ariana led all of the event production, working with brands such as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Johnny Walker, and Esquire Magazine. She also focused her energy on expanding and streamlining the business; recruiting, mentoring and leading over 250 full-time and part-time employees to design and implement unique, solutions-driven promotional programs.

When Ariana sold Joonbug in 2008, the company had $25 million in annual revenue. She went on to start her next venture, a wedding planning business called Iris Fields, which was ultimately rolled into Save the Date® in 2013. Iris Fields produced around 50 weddings a year, with average budgets of $200,000 or more, and with over 150 attendees.

Ariana is a frequent industry speaker regularly discussing private, corporate and non-profit event planning, female entrepreneurship, and financial health. She taught a course on “How to Be an Event Planner,” and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Daily News, New York Post, MTV, and Fox 5 as an event planning expert–sharing her experience, giving tips, and commenting on new venue openings in New York City.

Save the Date Would Love to Help with Your Next Event
For 25 years, the Save the Date® team of professional planners have taken our clients’ visions and transformed them into unique and memorable events. We understand the many challenges of planning your annual fundraising gala, corporate seminar or milestone event and are here to bring a fresh perspective and resources. We would love to speak to you today to find out more about your plans and how we can help! There’s no obligation; just call us at 212.333.3283.

About ILEA
ILEA is an association representing creative events profession globally. Their mission is to ensure a thriving and global creative events profession by providing members and stakeholders with: collaborative networking, education and professional development and outward awareness and credibility.

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