Meet Sheila Fox with Event In Site, LLC

I joined NAWBO in 2015 and am active in a fantastic roundtable. I'm very busy with my client events so I haven't had the opportunity to volunteer for a committee - yet! I try to make it to as many NAWBO events as my busy schedule allows.

Tell us about your business.Sheila Fox

Event In Site, LLC is a Columbus-based event management and consulting company. We partner with state and national associations, non-profit organizations, and businesses who are excited to attract more attendees, are open to innovative ideas, and are willing to try new things. We help them plan events, and manage membership organizations and volunteer committees.

I launched the business 10 years ago, when I was 27, and have been grateful to have repeat business with clients who host annual events. It allows me to build a relationship with the key people in each organization and provide continuity to organizations that have volunteer boards and revolving leadership.

Sheila FoxWhat inspired you to get into your business? 

After I graduated from college I did a year of national service with AmeriCorps. That position led to a meeting planning position with a state trade association. I was planning several large events for the organization in addition to organizing two fundraisers for a non-profit. I kept getting requests from individuals asking me to help them with the logistics of their events. It planted the seed to look into independent meeting planning. I saw a niche in the state trade association market, as there are many Columbus-based associations with a small staff who can't afford or don't need a full-time event planner. That's where I come in. I use my 15+ years in the industry to help find venues, negotiate contracts, and execute the event from start to finish. In the past few years my services have grown to include association management as well.

What are your three best practices or best tips that every NAWBO member needs to hear?

  1. Always be building your network - I have been amazed at how business and personal relationships have helped me with my business and clients. I love to connect people to individuals and resources that can help them in their business and personal lives. When you meet someone and get their business card, jot down how you met them and what they do, so you can refer back to it later.
  2. Always wear your name tag at an event, and if you're hosting an event with name tags, make sure that at least the first name on the name tag is big enough to see from several feet away. It helps so much to break the ice when you don't have to squint to see who is who.
  3. Ask for help when you need it. When I was first starting out, I was not afraid to ask everyone I knew who had their own business for advice and best practices. My father-in-law is an attorney and helped me file my legal paperwork, my brother-in-law helped me get my accounting set up, and lots of family, friends and colleagues offered their support and insights when I asked.

 What does your future look like?Sheila Fox

My business has grown tremendously in the last year  - I'm now the executive director of three organizations. I am very fortunate for that to be happening as well as celebrating 10 years in business. I'm planning to spend the next several months looking at growth and how I can expand the business.

 What do you do in your free time?

I have two girls who are 5 and 2, and they keep me and my husband really busy. I'm in a cooking club with a group of 5 friends.  We're always learning about new cuisines and cultures. I am a runner, and wake up super early once or twice a week to run with fellow moms. I volunteer on a various committees at my church and serve on the board of a meeting professionals organization called PCMA. I love to try new restaurants with my husband and travel to new places. Every January I go to California to visit my best friend by myself to recharge and reconnect with her.

What is your company website?