Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gianna Gaudini, Founder and CEO of Gianna Gaudini, LLC., located in San Francisco, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

With over 20 years of experience creating best-in-class events for the top brands in the world, I'm known for my knack for creating a vision, team, narrative, brand experience, and creative direction, managing operational efficiencies and curating details that tie an event together cohesively. In 2019, while still at Google, I published my Amazon best-selling book, The Art of Event Planning, as a way to share my knowledge of events and secret sauce with the world.

In 2022, I launched my award-winning online event planning course as a way to drive deeper engagement and help event professionals upskill and level up their careers from the comfort of their homes since the course is on-demand and self-paced. Additionally, I offer event strategy consulting, help connect people with the right resources and vendors they need for events via my vast network, and am an advisor to several startups.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a storyteller, author, and strategic corporate event leader + consultant with a passion for building memorable experiences. In addition to running my own LLC and being a course creator and author, I'm currently building the event team and strategy at Airtable as Head of Events. Previously, I was Global Head of Events, Training and Certification, AWS, Global Head of Events for the SoftBank Vision Fund, and a Marketing Events Lead for Google for nine years.

I specialize in building and leading high-performing teams, creating elevated experiences and creating elite events for VIPs, community-building experiences and initiatives, corporate events, brand and reputation, and women’s events and initiatives. I’ve planned intimate events for some of the world’s elite and 30,000-person conferences for Google and Amazon. I also enjoy consulting, teaching, advising and supporting the VC, startup, and events community.

Each day I’m eager to attack the day and make a difference… but not just as a professional event planner. I’m eager to meet my whole life with the same level of commitment and enthusiasm. Whether it be my dedication to my job, my commitment to wellness, or the many hats I wear as a corporate executive, wife, mother, school community member, and friend- I believe we all have the ability to choose to manifest our perfect life. I aim to "squeeze the juice" out of every day and make a difference while enjoying so!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was writing my book, The Art of Event Planning, and then launching my own e-course, which I wrote and recorded in 2022 after surviving the COVID pandemic and learning from the sea-change that followed for the events industry. I believe the quality of my course is second to none, and it has been so rewarding to hear from people who have told me that the course has improved their career and earning potential and, in some cases, even helped them make a career move or get a promotion. I love helping people and supporting others- we all need to lift each other up, so these are gifts that keep on giving.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I personally love thought leadership and brand building, but what I don't love is the amount of time marketing takes! I love marketing in my corporate role, but it's hard to find the hours in a day to market my own business, so because of this, I tend to let it take a backseat when times get busy.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you have two years of savings you can live on before relying on your business to provide this kind of financial security for you. That takes the pressure off so you can be selective with who you work with and do your most creative work by choice.
  2. You get what you give when it comes to being a business owner. It's important to give back and be a thought leader and active community participant, and mentor, and this helps create serendipity and success.
  3. Make sure there is a need for your product or service. Test, interview, and explore before putting all your eggs in one basket.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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