Celebrations promote joy—so you could say Glow Global Events is in the business of happiness. A certified Minority Woman Business Enterprise (M/WBE) with offices in Los Angeles and New York, Glow offers a full complement of events management services. As longtime Yankees fans, Glow founder Cheryl Gentry and her team couldn’t imagine a better brand activation than a Fiverr-designed ad in Yankee Stadium. So they submitted a firecracker entry to the Fiverr + Yankees #TheGameChanger contest that we couldn’t diffuse. Check out Glow Global Events’ winning entry, then read on to learn a little more about what makes Cheryl tick as an entrepreneur.
Tell us a little about yourself—who you are, where you’re from, and a little more about Glow Global Events.
My name is Cheryl Gentry, and I’m the Founder and CEO of Glow Global Events. I originally hail from Washington, D.C., but now I’m based in New York City. My company Glow Global Events is an award-winning, full-service event agency that specializes in conferences, galas, fashion show production, and experiential events.
Tell us about your brand. What inspired you to start it—and what are your goals for the future?
Planning events was a continuation of the work that I was already doing. I started Glow after finding success planning events for various companies and industries. My event profile grew while I worked at Arista Records. I eventually moved on to work with Girbaud, Boss, and Beverly Hills Polo Club. I found myself working overtime to plan album release parties and Fashion Week runway shows. I’ve always been enamored with event planning. I love every minute of it, and I knew this had to be my business.
I’m inspired by people. Seeing people connect and celebrate. When people meet face-to-face, connections are established in a way that technology can never replicate. To look a new business opportunity in the eye and close the deal with a handshake simply cannot be replaced.
Looking forward, I want Glow Global Events to continue growing and become one of the top 25 event planning agencies in the United States.
How do you use freelancers to make your business ideas a reality?
Freelancers are absolutely essential for event planning. Though I have an incredibly talented team working with me, we need reinforcement for event days. I typically hire freelancers to assist with various event day activities. I also hire freelancers for our day-to-day operations; in data entry tasks, such as formatting complex Excel documents and PowerPoint presentations, as well as blog and social media content.
Any favorite Fiverr sellers you like to work with?
I have two that I consider an extension of my team. With little notice, I can contact them for a wide range of projects, and they deliver high-quality work without exception.
What inspired you to enter #TheGameChanger and how did you go about putting together your video submission?
I’ve used Fiverr since its inception, and I’ve witnessed the platform’s continued evolution as well as the steadily increasing quality of the freelancers. I decided to enter the contest because I believe in this platform… and I thought it would be exciting to see my company’s name in lights at Yankee Stadium. Plus, the contest introduced several entrepreneurs to a much wider audience.
What motivates you as an entrepreneur?
It’s simple, I’ve always wanted to change the way people experience events.
I’m motivated by the transformative power of events and helping bring those events to fruition. As I said in my video, there’s no better way to influence people’s thoughts, actions, or feelings than through an event. I truly believe that, and it informs everything I do. At Glow Global Events, we have the opportunity to connect people and become a part of their lives, whether it’s a simple business meeting or a big-ticket fundraiser.
Why do you do what you do?
I love events! The energy, the planning, the details, the creativity, the people I meet—it’s addictive. I view life as a series of events. We all experience birthdays, weddings, conferences, and so many other occasions. Events impact all our lives.
What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs just beginning their business journey?
- Prepare yourself.
As a young child and the First Chair flutist in the DC Youth Orchestra, I had to “fight” for my seat, as other flutists challenged me weekly for a chance to take my place. It taught me to practice, practice, practice. I keep this thought present in all aspects of my business. You must work hard consistently and never stop learning.
- Stick with it.
This means there must be a real effort in the quest to achieve your goals. Find your purpose and persevere. If you fail 10 times, you’ll succeed on the 11th time. Be determined and stick to finding the answers even though the questions may change along the way.
- Cut the clutter and find your zen.
You will have naysayers and doubters along the way, so many you may even doubt yourself. Meditating allows me to focus and provides clarity. Practicing stillness keeps me grounded. If you don’t meditate, try screaming. Yes, that’s right, sometimes I scream. When no one is around, a good, loud scream is a great stress reliever.
- Maintain your passion.
Training, talent and the most elusive component, good timing, are essential, but they are not enough. You need true passion for what you are doing.
- Find a mentor.
Mentors believe in you. They will challenge you and question you, but they will always support you.
- Take the time to ensure your contracts are in order.
From pricing proposals to confidentiality agreements, take every step necessary to protect your intellectual property. And, depending on your business, hire a great bookkeeper. He or she will keep you in compliance and run any necessary reports for your accountant.
- Manage your finances.
Hire an accountant who understands the ins and outs of your business.
If you handle these things from the start, you’ll be in great shape.
Have any questions for Cheryl about starting a business? Ask her in the comments below—and then follow along as she takes over our Instagram account for the day!