As part of our on-going “5 Minutes With” series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings team at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Whether they work in our Disney Convention Resorts, Theme Park Operations, Event Services, Sales, Entertainment or dozens of other event-support areas, these Cast Members and their teams are responsible for creating magical experiences and unforgettable events for meeting and event industry professionals, and their important attendees and guests, every single day.
Let’s meet Sarah Kaczmarek, Event Consultant at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn at the Walt Disney World Resort:
Tell us about your role.
Being an Event Consultant is the best job in the world! I have the unique opportunity to introduce event planners to the vast creative resources that Disney has to offer. This includes everything from recommending floral centerpieces for an awards banquet to coordinating a custom-written, Broadway-style production to help a CEO inspire her employees and communicate her vision for the future of their organization. In a nutshell, I work with meeting and event planners to bring their event to life in a magical and memorable way.
Can you tell us about a typical day at work?
Each day is different than the last. One of the most important aspects of my role is working with my clients—event planners, conference organizers, etc.—to brainstorm different ways that we can bring their event theme to life. I collaborate with a lot of different Disney partners, such as our catering and floral teams; to create event proposals that help our clients visualize how the different event elements will work together to tell a cohesive and compelling story. I also spend a lot of my time researching the latest event trends to ensure that we are giving our clients the latest and greatest that the industry has to offer.
Another fun part of my job is overseeing the installation of different event elements. For example, recently at one of our convention hotels, we hosted a tailgate party for a client, complete with glowing festoon lights. Part of my job is to manage this process to ensure what is delivered and installed onsite is what the client expected and anticipated.
At the end of the day, we hope our clients will leave their event feeling like the hero, having engaged and inspired their attendees like never before – so I’m happy to do anything that I can to help make that happen.
How do you and your team work with meeting and event planners?
As an Event Consultant, I’m usually brought into the planning process when the event organizer is ready to discuss the different possibilities for their event, such as décor, theme, entertainment, etc. During this discovery process, we ask the event planner lots of questions to ensure that all of the right experts are involved.
My main role is to help the planner understand the possibilities of hosting a meeting or event at Disney. We might discuss possible theme park venues for an awards reception or which unique and unforgettable entertainment options we think your guests would enjoy. In some cases, I serve as the liaison between the client and the creative resources team, who helps to determine every detail of the attendees’ overall experience, including their arrival gifts to VIP experiences. My interaction with every planner is different based on his or her individual needs and wants.
Can you describe one of the most interesting or unique challenges you’ve had to overcome in your role?
Learning everything that’s possible at Walt Disney World Resort is nearly impossible. Our creative options are expanding and changing every day, because we are always adding new options or enhancing existing experiences in our parks and resorts. While this allows for a great deal of creativity, it also means that a huge portion of my job is spent researching what’s possible while collaborating with the subject matter experts. The most rewarding part for me is when I get to be the person to introduce something new and exciting to our meeting planner and event organizers.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I get to make dreams come true, which makes me feel like a real-life Fairy Godmother! I have been lucky enough to work on some of the most elaborate and unique events. My favorite part of my role isn’t necessarily the event itself, but seeing the smiles on the faces of the group as they experience it. I feel so lucky that I get to make unforgettable memories for guests on a daily basis.
What challenges/inspires you every day?
Making magic is why I work at Disney. It’s what I aspire to do every single day and often, my role requires me to find new ways to make magic that are a little different than most other Cast Members experience. It’s not always as easy as securing Fast Passes to ride Space Mountain – it often means finding custom solutions that have never been done before and finding a way to make it work on time and on budget.