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Partnership is key to success for Q&A Events

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By Jessie Wagoner

When Q&A Events, a professional event production company located in Atlanta, Georgia, was named 2016 Supplier of the Year by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, it was in recognition of nearly two decades of exceeding client expectations.

The company owes much of its success to partnerships, said co-owner Suzanne Baugh. Baugh and her wife, Colleen Wogan, launched the firm in 1999, ultimately combining on their unique skills to set Q&A Events apart from other event management companies.

“Colleen came into the business in 2008,” Baugh said. “She came from a food and beverage background which has proved extremely beneficial for our company.”

Marketing and production are Baugh’s areas of expertise, so the addition of the food and beverage and front of house management experience has allowed the company to cover ground that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Generally, event companies focus on one area or the other. The unique combination has opened doors and allowed the company to expand services.

“We are really able to leverage both of our talents,” Baugh said. “We are able to cover a lot of ground for our clients and create continuity throughout the program as a whole.”

Q&A Events began working with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce seven years ago, serving as the event manager for their annual conference. Over the years, the partnership has expanded with Q&A Events acting as the Event & Production Management Company for the annual NGLCC National Awards Dinner.

Baugh says that working with NGLCC has been a successful collaboration and she is hopeful that relationship will only grow stronger in the future. In working with NGLCC Baugh says introductions have been made that have led to additional business for Q&A Events.

“Absolutely that partnership has opened doors,” Baugh said. “Not just from the increased business with the NGLCC, but it has also given us the opportunity to be in the room and show our abilities and skills first hand to people we might not necessarily have attended one of our events.”

Q&A events is a certified LGBTBE-owned business. The recognition has allowed the company to meet new businesses and showcase their talents to a broader audience.

“It has opened doors for us to have a conversation,” Baugh said. “Certainly it is great when corporate partners look at LGBT-owned businesses for supplier opportunities. We have been fortunate to have had the opportunities. However, at the end of the day, what keeps our clients returning is the fact that we provide quality services. It is exciting to see how the number of certified LGBT-owned businesses has grown and how many corporations are taking advantage of the talent that is available to them.”

Q&A Events strives to not only meet client expectations but exceed them. That is done through clear communication to ensures that Q&A Events understands the intricacies of the specific business as well as the event objectives. Baugh says that she prefers to immerse herself in the client’s business so they are viewed as more of a team rather than two separate entities.

“We want to make sure we exceed their objectives,” Baugh said. “Clients can always look at us as an extension of their team and know that we understand what their objectives are and that we are working towards those goals, just as their internal team is.”

From live televised events to fashion shows to annual conferences, Q&A Events has produced it all. Baugh says that each event is exciting and leaves an impact on her. A recent mobile museum tour was especially memorable. The US Business Leadership Network partnered with Q&A Events for America’s Disability Rights Museum on Wheels, which has been touring the country over the past two years.

“The Museum on Wheels is an historical walk through the challenges that the disabilities community have faced over the years and what led up to the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Baugh said. “It has been such an amazing experience for us as the event management company. As we take it in and out of these markets, we get to experience the impact that program has had on the communities it has visited. We are excited to have worked with USBLN and the curators of the museum to bring this around the country.”

Being a part of impactful events and making a difference is a high priority for Baugh and the business.

“We are fortunate to work with organizations that do good for others,” she said. “It is extremely rewarding to be a part of those efforts.”

Business Equality Pride (BEQPride) is the first publication from the BEQ family of national print and digital magazines exclusively addressing the needs of LGBTQ small-to-medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals.