Name: Dan Sommers
Title: Senior Event Producer
Company: Sensational Host
Q: Can you briefly describe what you do at Sensational Host?
A: Sensational Host is a full-service Catering and Event Planning company. My position as a Senior Event Producer allows me to procure new Corporate and Social events for all styles of Catering and Event needs. I have the opportunity to work with corporate clients, both large and small, assisting them with all aspects of planning their meetings, fundraisers and all other events that they would host. I also have the privilege of working with social clients developing and executing events from showers and mitzvahs to anniversary parties and weddings. I am privileged to have an ever-changing role due to the various diverse needs and requests that my clients have.
Q: What advice would you offer college students or young professionals who may want to work in your field?
A: The best advice I would have for anyone considering the hospitality field is:
- Do your best to learn as many aspects of the industry as possible. This will allow you to have more knowledge about the industry as a whole and will not limit your growth potential.
- Always try to stay ahead of the curve. As in most industries there are the “norms” that most stick to and follow. If you can be the one to push the “norms” you will allow yourself and your company to stand out. Follow industry leaders on social media and keep up on large industry events
- Build solid relationships to strengthen your network and your reputation. Also, networking and getting involved with local organizations is extremely important.
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Philadelphia area? Feel free to name more than one thing.
A: Growing up outside of the Philadelphia area you do not really know what you are missing. Since relocating to South Jersey and living just 15 minutes outside of the City I have really enjoyed all that Philadelphia has to offer. The City is filled with a wide variety of restaurants and bars that allow you to experience an array of different atmospheres and cultures. The museums and historic landmarks that are located throughout Philadelphia set it apart from almost every other city in the country. It has been a very exciting and educational experience getting acclimated with all of the amenities of the Philadelphia market.
Q: What has been your favorite YPN event so far and why?
A: Since joining YPN I have had the opportunity to attend several different events and visit some unique Philadelphia spots. From the New Member Orientation to the tour of Lincoln Financial Field, each event has given me a chance to interact and network with other professionals in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Although each event was fun and informative, the event that stands out to me the most has to be the volunteer event for the MS Society on October 26, 2013. This event allowed us to work in groups assisting families affected by MS. We were invited into their homes and focused on doing work around their houses that the families were unable to do themselves. At the conclusion of the event we were thanked by the family and the gratitude and sincerity in their voices made the experience unforgettable. It was a very rewarding experience seeing the positive impact that we had on their lives.
Q: YPN has a professional development bookshelf. Is there a book that you are currently reading or have read in the past that you would recommend?
A: The book I would recommend to any business professional is Broken Windows, Broken Business: How Small Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards by Michael Levine. This book focuses on how correcting small issues can change a perspective of your business. It stresses the fact that if you do not pay attention to the details, you may be perceived in a negative way.
Q: Tell me about one of your unexpected hobbies, talents or skills that would surprise most YPN members.
A: I really enjoy different community outreach programs. I have had the opportunity to work with various non-profit organizations over the past few years and I find it very fulfilling and rewarding. Whether it was for a local Little League to help raise funds for new uniforms, or helping raise money for different organizations like CHOP, I have always tried to assist in any way that I could. I am a strong believer in Karma and the old saying “you reap what you sow.” Anytime you can give back to the same community that you work in it is a dual benefit as both you and the community grow stronger.