Going Local

By Stephanie Davis Smith, March 23, 2015

Having been born a Southerner, I am intimately familiar with a slew of colloquial eccentricities authentic to the South that make me feel at home. Whether it’s food, culture or personality, I missed them enough that I moved back after a long stint in New York City. My younger sister, on the other hand, defected to Los Angeles 15 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Recently at her wedding, she hired a local taco truck, espresso truck and The Headshot Truck to roll up to her reception venue. It was all incredibly indigenous to her life out West, with nothing Southern in sight. She has become an L.A. local.

Turns out, The Headshot Truck was there to take silly photos of the guests with funny props. While waiting my turn in line, I talked to the owner and discovered this party gig was a new side business for the company, which predominantly drives around to L.A. events to serve as a spot where actors can pop inside for makeup and a nicely lit photo. “How very L.A.!” I thought. Only in a city where headshots are a must would someone invent this hyperlocal mobile business.

At this point, you may ask, “Why is the editor of a meetings magazine writing about actor headshots?” Fair question. I believe covering only conference planning without any context from the outside world would be boring. I like to think what makes this magazine so engaging and interesting is we are inspired by what’s happening on a larger spectrum and relating it back to our industry in a meaningful way. Take Senior Editor Matt Swenson’s piece, “Pumped for Cheap Gas?” It’s national news, but he’s connected the dots on how it affects your job.

Likewise, with many faith-based leaders and speakers needing headshots for conference materials and websites, why shouldn’t they bring in The Headshot Truck for their attendees while also taking fun photos for a social media scene gallery? That, plus other businesses across the country that are leveraging their local flair, landed in our feature “Go Local.”

So while being Southern doesn’t have anything directly to do with my job, hopefully knowing Georgia Grinders peanut butter makes a tasty room drop and The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville hosts private performances for groups allows me to make authentic connections and spark ideas for your planning in these pages.

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