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Kevin Dennis: “Seeing Light at the End of the Tunnel; Here Are 5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”

People have been postponing events, instead of cancelling. This is good news for us event professionals that have experienced an abrupt pause in business. Rather than panicking about cancelled events, we can now shift our focus to making our client’s event better than event once we can resume business.

As a part of my series about the the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Dennis.

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current international president for WIPA.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

To be honest, I started DJing in 1989 as a way to meet girls, but I quickly realized that I had a passion for event entertainment. I loved interacting with people and making them smile. That passion turned into a career, and I continued growing my business from there.

I officially founded Fantasy Sound Event Services in 1992, and later secured a storefront in 1995 where I expanded my services to videography, A/V, rentals, and more.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I’m a big fan of Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. It taught me that the easy way isn’t always the right way and to never give up. It was an excellent book to help me pivot my business in 2008, and I’m probably due for a re-read to see how it can help me in 2020.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

People have been postponing events, instead of cancelling. This is good news for us event professionals that have experienced an abrupt pause in business. Rather than panicking about cancelled events, we can now shift our focus to making our client’s event better than event once we can resume business.

Our company is still booking new events for the fall and winter. Don’t be afraid to discuss these options with existing or new clients — we’ve hit a point where people are determined to make their event or wedding happen once it’s deemed safe to do so.

Our inquiries, while down, are still coming in. We learned quickly not to dismiss the prospect of new business despite the uncertainty of when we’ll be able to pick up where we left off.

Once this is all over, people are going to want to come together and celebrate, so the events industry will be needed more than ever.

Associations like WIPA are seeing an increase in online education and networking. This has created amazing opportunities for industry pros that want to share their experience and business advice with others. From this, we’ve seen an incredible sense of community grow even stronger.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  • Host virtual get-together so people are still connecting and don’t feel alone.
  • Make it a priority to check in on your friends who may be going through all this alone, especially those who may be having to make difficult decisions regarding their business.
  • Make sure your friends know that you’re available to listen if they need help.
  • Inform people of educational activities you see online. Again, there is an abundance of resources available right now that are easily accessible. Someone else’s experience can change your outlook or help put your mind at ease.
  • Be mindful of your interactions with those who are feeling anxious. Remember that their thoughts are valid. Many people are struggling with losing their jobs, being away from their families, or have sick relatives or friends.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

I’m a big fan of the Calm meditation app. Anytime I feel like I am spiraling, I will do a quick guided meditation and it helps me stay centered. I would recommend this to anyone that’s feeling like they may need to take a step back and remember to breathe.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Every failure is a step to success.”

I’m a big believer that failure is life’s biggest teacher. I’m not afraid to fail because I know that I’m learning how to improve and get better, which will in turn lead to a success.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I work in the special events industry, and at every gathering, I see incredible amounts of waste. It would be amazing if we could create programs to help cut down on that waste and find ways to reuse things. Whether it’s taking the extra florals to local hospice programs, boxing up extra food and taking it to local soup kitchens, etc. I think that the events industry could help solve a lot of problems this way, and the reduction of our carbon footprint would be enormous.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Instagram! @kevinmdennis and @fsesevents

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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