We had the good fortune of connecting with Dawn Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dawn, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
One thing about the special event industry that people might not be aware of – there is a team of magicians working behind the scenes. We do this work because we love it and I’d say most people aren’t in it for the fame, money or applause. It is amazing when a client ‘gets it’ and gives the whole team a kind word or show of gratitude. There is always something that doesn’t go according to the plan and I’ve always said events are living and breathing things – so you better ready to shift with it! We are an industry full of people wanting to produce the very best event possible and so many things are happening in real time that are uncontrollable – because of that, we tend to have a Plan A, B, C….and guests are historically unaware there was anything happening. Every event I can think of has many different vendors (sometimes 10 or more) working in tandem, lifting each other up and then off they go – home or onto the next gig. The hours can be brutal, but we love it. I love to recap the stories of the ‘how we saved the day’ after an event am always amazed at the masterful event magicians in Colorado.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is a happy accident. I have always been in the service, hospitality or event industry and I don’t know if I chose events or vice versa – either way – its where my heart is. I will never forget the first time I read the quote by Rumi, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” So here I am doing it. About VenuHub: Locally-owned and operated, VenuHub.com launched in January of 2019 with the goal of offering a complimentary search platform that efficiently connects event hosts, party planners and couples to a trusted group of venues and private dining spaces in Colorado. Users of the site cast a broad net and reel in available venues based on their date, guest count and criteria. VenuHub’s members all believe in collaboration over competition and when this is embraced – magic really happens. Members are made up of venue sales managers, private dining managers, owners and directors making up a micro community within the event industry across the state. VenuHub started as a place to help client’s find a venue and now has morphed into a professional business organization offering resources, current industry policies, peer to peer brainstorming, virtual monthly meetings and more. Getting here wasn’t an easy road – mostly because of fear and doubt at times – but I am proud to have taken a grass roots group of 9 who gathered a few times a year in 2009 to where it is today in 2020. The team at Ligature Creative is behind the brand, software and site, and I couldn’t have created this without them. Fun Fact: When doing research on available domains, I learned that before you fall in love with a business name – see what is already taken. One of the names under consideration was VenueHub with an ‘e’ in the middle. Not everyone knows this – but the reason it is VenuHub and not VenueHub is about a $45,000 difference!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As we all know, we are in such a brutal time for our restaurants right now – and have lost some of my favorites. So selfishly I’d go back in time and hit up Vesta, Bar Helix, The Market, Lena and Meadowlark Kitchen. Since I can’t do that, I’d say – have a drink on a silver tray at Cooper Lounge at Union Station, Oysters at Jax. Handmade pasta, an Aperol Spritz & Calamari at Il Posto. See a show at Boulder Dinner Theatre – there is so much talent there! A must-do is to eat a Smothered Chile Relleno Burrito from El Taco de Mexico. Little Man Ice Cream – Salted Oreo – is always a treat. We also have amazing museums, concert venues, and local art is always on point at ILA Gallery.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My first shoutout goes to my mom – she is my best friend and an amazing person. I threw my first party when I was 12 – it was a surprise party for her and I really did this on my own. I saved money the year before working at my grandma’s craft shop, I stole my mom’s little black book (and returned it) and copied addresses down for mailed invitations, assigned duties like – picking my mom up from work, bringing the bar set up, pick up the cake, someone needs to bar tend, drive me to get ingredients for appetizers – it was a legit surprise & great party.
Way back in 1999, the team at Morton’s Steakhouse invested a ton of faith in me and their 5-week training program was unparalleled to anything out there. I learned the importance of consistency, communication, drive, and to always strive to deliver an unforgettable experience. I also learned to make every single item on that menu and worked every position within the restaurant as part of the training program. I discovered that cutting a lobster in half is not something I could do again and to always walk the restaurant from the front door to the back door every day when you arrive – you will always notice something that could be done better. I have worked alongside some incredibly talented people over the years – so here are a few folks who have impacted me, trusted me with an opportunity, shared knowledge, lifted me or believed in me: Joe Mirrelson, Kevin Taylor, Larry Bryant, Scott Fickling, Penny Parker, Clay Courter, Denise Taylor, Sherryll Kraizer, Daniel L. Ritchie, and the late, great Randy Weeks. Last but not least – my VenuHub family – these fine humans inspire me to do more, and reach, every single day. Especially my muse, Jennifer Robinson – without her there would be no VenuHub, she pushed me to leap and I’ll be grateful to her forever.
From the Hip Photo