How to Set Your Thanksgiving Table for a Feast

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all of the wonderful things in life, and especially for the people with whom that life is shared. At Premiere, we’re grateful for our team, our customers, and for our ability to weather this pandemic storm. Despite all of the hardships this year, we have so much to be thankful for, and we want to share a little bit of our knowledge with you to help make your 2020 celebrations a little less stressful.

First, determine how many people will be sharing your Thanksgiving table(s). Make a list of everything you already have to accommodate your guests and note the rental support you’ll need to make the Celebration complete.

Sam Hugh Photography

Tables – This year, consider asking your guests whether they’d like to sit separately from others (due to high-risk factors for COVID), and consider setting an extra 30” round table to ensure socially distanced seating in small spaces! Taking proper precautions shouldn’t prevent family or friends from celebrating this special day.

Monica Alberty Photography

Chairs – Odds are that you have some chairs, but maybe not enough. That neighbor you usually borrow from for game night might be hosting their own Thanksgiving at home this year. Premiere can help with the overflow, or, if aesthetics are important to you, consider renting a full matched-chair set. 

Shelby Bella Photography

Table Linens – Whether you’re renting tables or using your own, odds are you’ll need table linens. We carry many different sizes, colors, and materials to complete your fall look.

Brittany Jean Photography

Linen Napkins – This year, make more of an eco-friendly impact by renting cloth napkins. You’ll  have less trash than with disposable paper napkins, and you don’t even have to wash them. They’ll come to you sanitized and ready to use, and we’ll wash and sanitize them upon return.

Butch Ireland Photography

Dishes, Flatware, and Glassware – Nobody wants to do all the dishes after your full from the biggest meal of the year, and why should you? Odds are you’ve been cooking and baking for hours, so why not relax and spend more time with your family this year? Just scrape your plates, then place them back in the crate and we’ll wash them for you upon return!

Rachel Driskill Photography

Serving Platters, Bowls, and Utensils – If you don’t have all of the serving pieces you need and don’t feel like borrowing, or maybe you live in a small apartment by yourself, but just want to host Friendsgiving without having to buy and find a place to store everything forever, considering renting what you’ll need! We have a huge selection of all different sizes.

And More! – If you’re feeding everyone you know, or helping out at your church or community center with feeding those less fortunate, you might need cooking equipment, chafers and hot boxes to keep your food hot. Premiere has everything you might need to help make it a meal to be grateful for. We even have hand sanitizer dispensers, buffet sneeze guards, trash cans, and more.

Butch Ireland Photography

Don’t forget the kids! – Let’s be honest, when we were little ones, all we wanted was to be grown up enough to sit at the big table, but now that we have a few more years under our belts, all we want to do is get back to that kids table!  Set up a mini-version of the adults table, or keep it simple with butcher paper instead of a table linen, but whatever you do, don’t forget about the kiddos!

Want to recreate the look above? Here’s what we used to create this gorgeous table setting!

Spice Panama Table Linen
White Wash Bennett Wood Charger
Premiere Select Jasmine Salad and Dinner Plates
Camel Iridescent Crush Napkin
Premiere Select Medici Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, and Dinner Knife
Pure 23oz Wine Glass 
Curvature 8oz Stemless Champagne Flute
Amber Olivia 10oz Double Old Fashioned

Need help? Contact a Premiere Events Consultant to discuss your menu and rental needs! We’re happy to provide you with a complimentary rental quote!

We will be closed on November 26th and 27th to celebrate the holiday with our own families, but we will be open on Wednesday the 25th, and again on Monday, the 30th.

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Fall Wedding & Event Inspiration

On a normal Autumn day in the showroom, we’d be assisting multiple customers with selecting their rentals, or answering questions over the phone, but with the ever-looming Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had a little more time to catch our breath. 

As more and more customers feel comfortable coming back into the showroom for appointments, we figured it was a good time to update our Design Inspiration Tables, and why not use this opportunity to showcase a potential event set up complete with social distancing, extra spacing between guests at each table, and some of our favorite newer rental inventory?!

The South Showroom Consultants Amanda and Chandler teamed up with our Administration & Employee Relations Speciality, Michelle to come up with a beautiful socially distanced design featuring four different table sizes in an ombre autumn-inspired theme, complete with a mockup of a miniature buffet station!

We started with a concept (which evolved throughout the planning):

This set up would utilize three different sized guest tables all at least 6ft apart from each other, with six place settings to show the different amounts of spacing you could place between guests for extra distancing, a sweetheart table for dramatic effect, two cocktail tables, our Wooden Champagne Wall as a backdrop for the sweetheart table, and a miniature 6ft buffet table. The conference table shown in the diagram is a permanent feature of our showroom, although it has gone unused since the local Stay at Home order took effect in March.

We then did what we’d do with any clients coming into the showroom, we brainstormed which items might go with our color palette and set up mock table settings with our showroom samples!

Once we were happy with our rental selections and the overall flow of how the ombre would progress, we checked our inventory to ensure that we had the correct sizes of table linens available to fit our layout. 

Next, we created an overview of the inventory items for each tablescape to assist in organizing the items during the set up so we didn’t have to refer back to a list or multiple photos.

We then pulled inspiration for centerpieces from pinterest and our own website, including our sister store, Party Time Rentals! In case you weren’t aware, we can happily source any of the rentals shown on Party Time’s website for your event here in Austin if there’s something they carry in their inventory that we do not! 

Our Creative Director reviewed our centerpiece inspiration and created a few custom arrangements and re-made a few others from extra materials we had laying around from previous arrangements. We’re all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle here! A few of our centerpieces ended up with a little more spring in their step, than autumn leaves and pumpkins please, but we love how each arrangement really suits the individual table and showcases a range of how our rentals can be used throughout the seasons!

There are truly no rules anymore about color palettes sticking to certain seasons, or which tabletop items you must set your guest tables with. Your design should be a reflection of you and your style, but if traditional place settings are your thing, we can certainly help with that as well!

We completed our table designs with a fake (but delicious) dinner menu created in Canva, mimicking the ombre progression of the tables, as well as a price sheet reflecting each table’s rental selections to assist our customers in making the right decisions for both their style and budget.

We chose to pair our two cocktail tables with neutral linens to complement the progression, and a warm beige/buttery yellow linen for our faux buffet table, complete with plates stacked at the buffet, all food items to be served set behind a plexiglass divider, as you would normally see for a buffet set up during these COVID times we’re living in.

We have many other rental items such as hand sanitizer dispensers, rope and stanchions, easels, and more to assist with celebrating safely during the pandemic, and are happy to work with you to help create a socially distanced layout for your venue. 

We hope to work with you soon to help share in the joy of planning your next event, no matter what or when that feels right for you. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you!

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Ode to the Versatile Tent

Impressive and Inspiring or Fun and Functional , the versatile tent – like tables, chairs and linens – is an adaptable event staple; now, in the COVID event environment, even more so. Tenting answers the question, in the context of fall, 2020 and perhaps spring, 2021 weddings (if social distancing and venue capacity restrictions are still in effect), “What can I do if my venue’s indoor area isn’t sufficient to provide proper social distancing for the number of guests I’ve been planning for?”. A right sized tent, or multiple smaller tents, opens up your options by creatively and attractively incorporating the great outdoors into your wedding plans.


A partially conditioned tent is a particularly welcome event addition when protection from the elements, be they sun and heat in the early fall or light rain and a chill in the air early next spring, is in order. And with Premiere’s standard tent décor packages and custom tent décor selections, your partially tented indoor-outdoor event can be as elegant or as casual as you like.


When the climate is right, Premiere can help create a cozy and comfortable or sophisticated and stylish ceremony setting. Or, by rethinking the entertainment, bar service, lounge area and, if you need it, establishing a “safe zone” for elderly and other at-risk guests, all the indoor venue space can be reserved for properly socially distanced reception seating. Premiere can help by offering digitally created spacing alternatives that maximize the entire available venue area, indoors and outdoors, with tenting and other solutions. From umbrella tables to misting fans, elegant lighting to warmth in fall and early winter, Premiere’s tenting and other outdoor options helps safely expand your venue’s capacity.


Of course, tenting solutions aren’t just for weddings. Whether or not we have “real” sports this fall, televised games, with or without fans in the stands, are best enjoyed in the company of family and friends. A tented tail gate adds an element of “game day” authenticity, while helping provide ample guest spacing and enhancing event safety. From satelite connections to big screen televisions, catering (provided by a preferred Premiere catering professional), lawn games and more, we’ve got the good stuff that entertains your guests and makes you the game day hero.

When you’re ready to move in the tenting direction, we’re here to help. We’ll gladly meet with you, by appointment, in a Premiere showroom, or meet with you virtually via Zoom. If you’d like for our tenting experts to walk the event space with you, we’re happy to do that too. Your Event Rental Consultant will explain terms and conditions of service for on-site work. We look forward to helping you meet your fall, 2020 and spring, 2021 wedding and event rental needs. Supporting safe, responsible celebrations is our goal. Knowledge and proper preparation are the keys. Let’s get the process underway – call, text or email today!

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Future Wedding Forecast: Tips and Trends, Part II

The crystal ball that would enable us to comfortably predict the wedding and event future  is decidedly cloudy. The whole fabric of our society has been disrupted in recent months and weeks, and today we’re plagued with uncertainty and doubt.  But we do know that  Life, including wedding and event life, Will Go On.

Here are some additional thoughts we’d like to share with you about how we expect (and experts predict) that fall, 2020 and spring, 2021 weddings and events will evolve. For starters, today’s environmentally-conscious wedding couples will be more committed than ever to  “eco-friendly” celebrations. For many, this means banning all plastics in favor of recyclable, re-usable event components. Plastics will give way to ‘real’ (properly cleaned and sanitized) china, glassware and flatware – and even paper or stainless straws. Couples will seek out ways to share florals (with other couples, with wedding guests, with area churches and or elder-care facilities, etc.) and food (donations to area food banks or homeless shelters) with their community.  Particularly socially conscious wedding celebrants may direct all or a portion of their gifting requests to a cause or charity that resonates with them. These are noble ways to make the day about more than “you”; to make a real difference and to set an impacting example for friends and family.

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Here are a few details and decor alternatives you can expect to see gracing long-anticipated Fall, 2020 and Spring, 2021 weddings and events. From elaborate chandeliers to “fairy lights” to radio bulbs, statement lighting is a frequently mentioned 2020 – 2021 wedding and event trend. There’s something especially magical about decorative event lighting, and Premiere, along with Premiere Select, has exciting lighting alternatives. If you’re drawn to a sleek, more modern look, lighted cocktail tables and the lighted Premiere water wall are sure to please.

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Circular and geometric arches and arbors, along with “life size” picture frames that make those wedding images truly special, will likely be incorporated into 2020-2021 ceremonies, receptions or both. Hedge walls continue to be a popular event backdrop, especially behind an enhanced sweetheart area (a decked out and expanded sweetheart table replacement). Embellished with the couples monogram or other meaningful symbols, this option pays homage to the celebrants unique style and flair.


Expect to see a replacement of the basic white and ivory palette with pastels, including pale hint-of-greens and barely-there-blues. From umber to mustard to daffodil, all shades of yellow are predicted to find their way into both fall and spring color palettes. In attire to linens to draping and more, Al Aqua, Pantone’s 2021 color of the year, will also be dominant in the coming months.

That’s it for now, but we’ll keep you posted as the holiday season approaches and spring 2021 looms on the horizon. Until then, your Premiere / Premiere Select Event Rental Consultant is here, and happy, to help.

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Future Wedding Forecast: Tips and Trends, Part I

hopePredicting Fall, 2020 and Spring, 2021 wedding and event trends requires making bold assumptions and careful preparations for a Post-COVID 19 shutdown world.  Let’s proceed with the hope and belief that, in the coming months, when the curve is once again flattened and new COVID cases are on the decline, we are free and willing  to hold weddings, parties and special events. Let’s also surmise that gathering-size restrictions that would affect most weddings and events have been lifted. If the 500 person gathering limit remains in place (in many counties) or returns (in counties where the 100 person limit was recently enacted), masking and social distancing protocols discussed in last week’s (Celebrate Safely and Sanely) posts, when carefully and responsibly followed, should be sufficient to protect wedding professionals, event holders and wedding / event guests.

These assumptions, along with what we’re hearing and seeing, suggest two divergent wedding approaches are likely over the next 12 – 18 months – the micro and the macro wedding. Some couples will opt for smaller, more intimate micro affairs. Small doesn’t necessarily mean simpler or even less expensive. Weddings of the micro-variety provide interesting eclectic, creative, one-of-a-kind celebratory opportunities. Customization, a Premiere / Premiere Select specialty, can help make any micro-event truly unique and extra-special. Customized and personalized touches, in linens, dance floors, draping and décor to name a few appealing alternatives are more affordable, and just as impacting on a smaller scale.


When life has handed them lemons, other wedding couples have set a precedent for the future and have made lemonade.  We’re seeing innovative, quirky, and  totally  “outside-the-box” weddings in and around Austin, including “Drive-By” Weddings (, Drive-In Weddings (cassie@bridesbest and a series of “Short and Sweet Vegas Weddings” (

Macro-wedding couples, whose spring and summer 2020 wedding and event plans were derailed by COVID, may opt for larger, more elaborate affairs when COVID fears begin to ease, and we learn more about reliable COVID prevention strategies and effective treatment, in 2021. Macro weddings may morph from a typical guest count, somewhere around 150, to a revised count, especially when confidence in long-distance travel is restored, of 200, 250 or even more. Elegant or casual, macro-weddings will require space-maximization planning. Please refer to the safe and sane social distancing protocols described in recent posts.

Our research also suggests that some couples, particularly if venue rental is available by the day (rather than limited to a few hours), may host “serial” or “sequential” weddings. Some guests would be invited for a pre-ceremony brunch, others for an afternoon cocktail party. An early evening ceremony would be followed by a smaller-than-usual reception reserved for family and close friends. This approach gives the “wedding day” a whole new meaning.  Absent increased venue charges, and with careful planning, the expense can be kept in line with that of a typically elaborate pre-Covid reception.

What we do know for certain, and what we’ve learned over these past four months, is that, when change is occurring at the speed of light, even changes in the very fabric of our society, we all will find a way. Weddings may not look like they once did, or perhaps they will, but remember, Love Will Always Find a Way !

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Celebrate Your Special Day the Safe (and Sane) Way, Part II

In Part I of this Safe and Sane series, we addressed gathering size restrictions and social distancing. Today’s post elaborates on properly socially distanced space-planning options, creative ways to embrace responsible masking and convenient options for “portable” hand sanitizing stations. Let’s Lean In (defined as make an effort; work hard at; show determination and perserverence and experience fully or respond to wholeheartedly) to these three key factors that will enable us to host, and our guests to  enjoy, Safe and Sane Celebrations.

For socially distanced seating, arrangements featuring larger tables (66” or 72” round  rather than the standard 60” round size) can help. These more spacious options allow for the comfortable seating of 6 (the recommended seating limit) non-family-unit guests. Smaller 48” rounds are perfect for family units, and mixing table sizes adds interest and dimension to any wedding or event setting. An event planner or Premiere Events / Premiere Select event rental professional can help create a COVID-friendly layout, just as we did before COVID was a consideration and will after COVID is but a memory.

Templeton Vendor Gallery

Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and social distancing will likely be with us throughout the year, and perhaps beyond. If you’re of the opinion that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, be creative in designing attractive and interesting reception masks for the wedding couple and wedding party (Premiere’s “sewing department” can help!). Make this element a part of the evening’s décor – and of the fun. Incorporate masking into the motif, or offer a “touchless” mask embellishment station. Wear elegant Gatsby-style gloves for glamour and for protection. Twenty-five years down the road, when you’re celebrating your Silver Wedding Anniversary, you’ll have the best wedding stories ever . . . even if your children do have a hard time understanding the “mask thing”. Here’s a just-out yesterday link to a Texas A & M study that reinforces the efficacy of masking for all.

We’ve always known that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ . . . but now we know that cleanliness is next to healthiness as well. In fact, we’ve probably all heard more about hand-washing and hand-sanitizing in these past 90 days than in our entire Pre-COVID  lives. Many health experts suggest washing hands at least 10 days a day, depending on the work you do, who you’re with, your daily activities and other related factors. Here’s current CDC hand-washing guidance.

But finding the bathroom and waiting in line at a wedding or event can be inconvenient. Washing your hands and then touching “contaminated” surfaces (or other guests) on the way back to your seat can be compromising. Use of portable hand sanitizing stations, such as the one pictured here (available from Premiere) is far simpler, yet effective. Clean hands help save lives and reduce the spread. In addition, individual (personalized) hand sanitizes make a great wedding favor.

Untitled design (1)Here’s the good news for these difficult times. COVID concerns might make wedding planning more complicated. The virus and its spread may complicate your celebration. But COVID can’t stand in the way of true love. Even a Pandemic can’t keep a happy couple, their family and their friends from enjoying every moment of this most special day. You can have the wedding of your dreams, and celebrate safely and responsibly, if you’re thoughtful and properly prepared. Nothing truly important need change for you or your guests – a magical wedding evening, even with masked celebrants and by standers, is just as meaningful and amazing.

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Celebrate Your Special Day the Safe (and Sane) Way Part 1


Is it truly possible, absent a COVID-19 vaccine or effective, reliable treatment to safely celebrate your wedding or host a special event? Is there a sane, reasonable way to gather family and friends, in relatively proximity, without taking unnecessary risks or making unwise compromises? This post, and one that will follow tomorrow, suggests some common-sense do’s and don’t’s for marrying, mixing, and mingling during the COVID-19 era.

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Let’s proceed with the hope and belief that, in the coming months, we will continue to be  free, and more importantly, to be willing to hold and attend weddings, parties and special events. Let’s also surmise that varying gathering-size restrictions and social distancing protocols will be in place. What might you expect, under these conditions, if you’re planning, or helping others plan and execute fall, 2020 or spring, 2021 nuptials? Who should you turn to for guidance and support that will help you and your guests celebrate safely and responsibly? Past the overarching health and safety concerns, will you, or you and your “professional team”, still be able to pull off your dream wedding? Let’s explore each of these concerns in turn.

Gathering-size restrictions and social distancing protocols are the obvious starting point. Though the rules are ever-changing, as this post is written, indoor wedding venues are authorized to operate at 50% capacity. Outdoor capacity is unrestricted (save for the statewide 500 person without mayoral approval limit). For everyone’s protection, observing social distancing protocols is essential – even when you haven’t seen Aunt Gracie since you were 10 or hugged Cousin Charlie since high school or seen your college roommate since graduation. Unless a table is occupied by members of the same “family unit”, remember too that the 6’ spread apart rule is recommended and no more than 6 seats per table are allowed. Have basic PPE (disposable masks and gloves, hand sanitizing stations) available and encourage your guests to use them.

ARA launches 'Clean. Safe. Essential.' training certificate ...Perhaps you engaged your wedding vendor dream team prior to the pandemic. If that’s so, check with your venue, your rental provider, your catering professional and others to ensure that cleaning and sanitizing protocols are in place and being followed. At Premiere, we’ve posted our COVID-19 policy statement on our website. Premiere team members have completed the American Rental Associations’ Clean. Safe. Essential training program. Today, and tomorrow, we want you to know Premiere Event is serious about your safety, and about protecting our team.

If you have questions about the precautions we’re taking, or about the safety features (hand-sanitizing stations, PPE, custom masks, etc.) we can help provide for your special day,  please visit our website for details or contact a member of the Premiere Event Consulting team. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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Take Nothing For Granted

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~ Evan Davis

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I’m guilty! Guilty of the failure to appreciate, sometimes even to notice just how good I’ve had it – how good we’ve all had it.  By comparison to life in the COVID-19 era, most of us, unless we’re Holocaust Survivors or lived through the Great Depression or endured some personal tragedy that left us with broken bodies or broke spirits – have probably been pretty lucky. Lucky to live in the greatest country in the world, to enjoy personal freedom – freedom of movement, freedom to congregate, freedom to go about our business without interference and unfettered by fear. Where I live, I’ve had the luxuries that liberty affords – the blessings of starting a business from nothing, of marrying the partner of my choosing, of having and raising outstanding children and being a part of the lives of our amazing grandchildren. My family I have been blessed with good fortune in abundance – and from time to time . . . maybe even most of the time . . .  I’ve taken it all for granted.

Unless some set of circumstances, like physical trauma or the death of a loved one or a temporary “reversal of fortune” gave me pause, I’ve gone blithely, maybe even a bit smugly, on my merry way, Reveling in my accomplishments – celebrating what I’ve achieved, little as it may be, but impressive to me from whence I came. Life has been good. And it’s still “good”, but oh so very different.

As an Event Professional, my business has been shuttered, its income stream gone dry. Absent events, we have no earnings capacity. None at all. When people can’t congregate, we can’t operate. Except for those who can “work” from home or perform “Minimum Essential Operations” in our facilities, our team has been furloughed.  We’ve no idea when this will end or how it may profoundly affect us, not just in the short term, but for the long haul. What will life and weddings and celebrations and funerals and festivals and fund raising look like – how different will the events world be? Everything we thought we knew is now called into question. Everything we’d come to count on is in limbo.

But here’s what I do know, I’ll never take my good fortune, experienced in any context, for granted again. And I’ll never fail to sit close to my husband and take his hand or hug my children or hold my grandchildren. I’ll treasure every team member and show them proper appreciation for their efforts and their contributions. I’ll value every client and customer and be thankful for every opportunity to meet their needs. I’ll be more gracious and more helpful. I’ll be kinder and gentler. I’ll be ever so much more aware of what’s really important in this journey we call life.

I’ll remember these dark days, but focus on the lessons learned, not the price paid. I’ll believe, fully and completely, that there won’t be a next time, and that if there is, we’ll be better equipped to find another, better way. I’ll consciously and continually count my blessings. I’ll face the future with hope and courage. I’ll embrace optimism and eschew fear. I hope you’ll do the same.

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Embrace the Unexpected

“There’s always going to be circumstances you can’t plan for.
There’s always the unexpected . . . ~ Jason Silva

“It is the individual’s ability to deal with the unexpected that
characterizes the difference between success and failure.”
~ Ross Perot

“We must stop regarding unpleasant or unexpected things as
interruptions of real life. The truth is that interruptions are real
life.” ~ C S. Lewis


When we’re experiencing them, we’re not always cognizant of the impact –
the relevance – of events as they’re unfolding or moments as they’re
passing. Throughout the course history, lives are indelibly changed by
some seemingly random tragedy playing out on a grand scale. Individually,
our lives are equally subject to the unexpected twist of fate or unforeseen
reversal of fortune, for good or for ill. In the blink of an eye, life as we’ve
known it can be altered profoundly.


How, in retrospect, will mankind regard the COVID-19 pandemic and what,
long term, will the event and its aftermath mean for our nation and our
world. What will be the lasting impact for me and my family, for our
business, our team, our clients and our customers? The only thing we
know for certain about the post-COVID world is that it won’t be the same.

I’m working, consciously and deliberately, on embracing the unexpected
and dealing with it proactively – because failure is not an option. While we
can’t predict the specifics of post-COVID life, here’s what we do know –
‘things’ won’t be the same. So we’re starting to prepare now for a future we
cannot clearly see, a new life that is sure to present changes and
challenges we do not yet know.

But here’s what I am sure of: the PPPEEEZ formula presented in Simple
Strategies will have relevance. I’m certain that Positivity and Persistence
will underpin all post- COVID-19 progress. That Principles will be as important as ever in a post-COVID world. I know beyond a shadow of doubt
that we mustn’t forsake our humanity or abandon the code of proper human
conduct that make our world a kinder, gentler place.

I’m convinced that businesses, and the people who own, operate, populate
and patronize them will need Energy to survive and Expertise to pivot in the
weeks and months ahead. I know that we must manage our own Emotions
during these trying times, and be sensitive to the Emotional needs of those
around us.

And I believe, with all my strength and all my heart, that absent Zeal, we
will not be up to the task or ready for the battle. As Emerson said, “Nothing
great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Are you and your family,
your business and your team, your clients and your customers ready for the
change that will inevitably come? Will you boldly go where the future takes
you? Will you embrace uncertainty as a fact of life and utilize the PPPEEEZ
strategies to help make the most of things, even in these trying times? I
hope that I do and that you will too. I’m always ready to continue this
conversation with you . . .

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Dear Industry Friends and Colleagues


Dear Industry Friends and Colleagues,


A month or so ago today, our industry could not possibly have imagined the chaos, confusion and consternation that lay in store for our teams and our companies. Just when you think you’ve seen and lived through it all, from Y2K to 9-11, financial crisis and global depression to seemingly endless Middle-East wars, to Katrina, Harvey, other natural disasters and man-made tragedies worldwide – wait, there’s more. In this 21st century alone, we’ve dealt with HIV/AIDS, Ebola, West Nile Virus, SARS, “Bird” Flu, H1N1, Hantavirus, MERS, Zika, and now, Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19.

Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, the Coronavirus Relief Bill will pass the Senate early this week and be immediately signed by the President. I’m skeptical, though, that small events and hospitality businesses in our community will ever see that illusory “relief”. I fear that some of our friends and colleagues will not be able to “hold out” that long.

So I’m also suggesting that we, as an industry, and as members of NACE, ILEA, MPI, HSMAI, National Restaurant Associations, the Austin DMC Roundtable, AFP and any other industry-related group, take our case for industry relief to the City, County, State and ultimately, to the Nation’s Capitol. Let’s communicate with one another, support one another and commiserate with one another. Let’s share information and perspectives, even among competitors.

Let’s develop a clear and compelling case for an industry “bail out” – surely, no industry was every more deserving of some share of local and state funds earmarked and available for business community support. I don’t know what these specifics look like, but would urge those of you with ties to or influence among our City Council and other local officials to start this ball rolling. At the very least, every organization mentioned here should be part of a letter writing campaign that creates awareness and generates sympathy for our cause.

Above all, let’s stay healthy. Let’s focus on the reality that “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, and believe that we will overcome. Whether it’s hype and hysteria or a true threat- whether we look back at this, as a nation and in countries around the world, and say that “we did too little”, or that “we did too much”, I cannot say. But what I do know is that, working together, we can see this through. We can triumph over this adversity, just as we have over past professional and personal challenges.

If there’s any way in which my team and I can be helpful to you and your business, we’re available to chat by phone or exchange emails. Because we have high-risk family members, Richard and I are on partial, self-imposed “lock down”. So I’ve got time on my hands. I hope you and your family stay healthy and safe. Keep the faith.



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