We had the good fortune of connecting with Chrissy Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chrissy, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
We plan events that drive business. Our clients have serious business objectives for the events that we produce – lead generation, deal acceleration, customer retention, etc. But in order to achieve those goals, they need create real value to their attendees. So in creating these experiences we are able to help attendees learn, grow, and expand their professional networks. It sounds nerdy, but it truly makes my heart sing to stand in the corner of the room at an event I have planned (or these days, on the other side of a virtual event platform!) and witness all the connections being made, knowing that this might be the inflection point of someone’s career. It might be that they find the solution to a business problem that once successfully implemented, gets them a promotion. Or it might just be sharing a laugh at a photobooth with someone who ends up being their perfect new hire or business partner years down the line. We’re not curing cancer, but we’re making a difference in people’s every day lives by helping provide experiences that help them grow. And, hopefully they’re having some fun while they’re at it because a Dynamo event is never boring!
What should our readers know about your business?
We’re a boutique events agency focused on producing events that drive business – live, hybrid, and virtual. When I say I’m an event planner, people usually assume I’m a wedding planner. And if I clarify that I’m a corporate event planner, folks seem to think of one of two types of corporate events: either 1) a boring hotel meeting or 2) a snazzy, boozy, brand activation with a cool DJ and instagrammable design. At Dynamo, we find ourselves in the niche of small to medium size B2B tech events, and our events combine the snazziness of the latter with the business value of the former. Backing up, I started Dynamo Events in 2016 after having worked in-house in the tech industry in Silicon Valley. Tech has become a really successful niche for us as we’ve gained industry knowledge and credibility. Today, the team is the biggest its ever been, which is still small: 3 event planners and 1 administrative support person. We like to focus on just a few clients and no more than 15-20 events per year. For now, it suits us to be able to focus and go deep with our clients. While the current pandemic has certainly thrown us a curve ball making our business of producing live events illegal (yikes!), the most difficult challenges I’ve experienced as an entrepreneur have been around burnout and leadership. Every successful entrepreneur knows that as scary as delegating and giving up responsibility is, it’s essential for scaling your business. So while things may go wrong in events, I know everything is fixable – one of my mentors Caryl Lyons from Roar Events taught me that long ago. And I know market challenges will come and go too – the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be our last market woe. I know the only real thing always standing between me and running a successful business is me. So, the pressure is on, but it’s also empowering. I’ll keep working on becoming a better leader and investing in my team. In the meantime, I’m so proud of what we have been able to create together and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
For a week long trip to Los Angeles, the itinerary would definitely change person to person because as any Angeleno knows, since this city is HUGE, that means there really is something for everyone. But, if we’re saying that my best friend was visiting, okay that’s Sarah who lives in Asheville, NC and claims that she “hates” LA. I know, I know. I haven’t done my job at convincing her otherwise yet, this is a goal! So let’s say this is the trip where I convince her LA is amazing. For Sarah, I would say we have three essential priorities: food, outdoors, and creativity! For food, I could go on and on but we’ll say we’d hit my favorite little spot in West Adams called Highly Likely cafe – I dream of their avocado toast. As basic as that is, it’s true. For outdoors, we’d hike Soltice Canyon in Malibu – how can you hate on anywhere with canyon and ocean views, right? And for fun, we’d do an outdoor ceramics class down at The Row downtown since Sarah is always down to get crafty. Fun fact: All of these things are available now during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s obviously lots more we could do once everything is open again too, but this just goes to show – LA’s got it goin’ on no matter what.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to my parents who have always been my biggest supporters. Beyond being my loudest cheerleader, my mom Debbie is also a huge creative inspiration, always planning unique events just for fun (anyone who went to one of my childhood birthday parties can attest). Plus, she has owned a jewelry business since I was a baby, so female entrepreneurship was the norm in my household. Meanwhile, my dad Larry was basically my personal Tony Robbins. Growing up, whenever I accomplished something he told me he was proud of me and without fail, always followed up with the question, “But are you proud of yourself?” I always rolled my eyes, “Yeah, yeah, dad.” But looking back, I don’t think a single thing impacted me more in terms of giving me the deep-down confidence I needed to start my own business.
Brian MacStay, Brian MacStay Photography Brandon Sullivan, Sullivan Photography Eric Michael Clarke, eClarke Photo