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Interviewing Nate Nicholson of Millstone Event Services

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In this episode of the event Collab Podcast, we interviewed Nate Nicholson of Millstone Event Services.

For the last eighteen years, Nate has been learning and growing in the live event production industry. From his humble beginnings as a church lighting technician, he now has the pleasure of servicing his clients as a company owner.

Focusing on a high level of service, Nate specializes as a freelance production manager for small to mid-sized conferences and events, whether in person, online, or both.

In addition to his insatiable passion for continually growing in his profession, Nate has a growing desire to help the next generation of event technology professionals succeed through his mentorship and education.

Here are a few snippets from the episode.

Do you consider yourself a technician or more of an event producer now?

“It's really kind of half and half. I'm kind of pushing toward the event producer side. It's kind of the direction I'm trying to go as I'm taking new jobs and focusing on what jobs to take. Those are the ones that take priority for me. I don't think I'll ever get out of doing the pushing the buttons or, you know, slide in the faders, just because I feel like every project manager, production manager should have a working knowledge of the equipment that's on their show.”

How did the pandemic change you and your business?

2020 was a huge game-changer for me. But as I look back, it changed things for me and I kind of see it as a blessing in disguise. I had been jumping around from one full-time job to another. I grew out of one position, and would take another one, but had never really been interested in taking something in my own direction. Freelancing seemed kind of scary to me, and so that had never been something I considered. I think, like everybody, we just kind of thought it would blow over the first few weeks and so the three first three months, I wasn't looking hard and kind of took it as an extended vacation and hung out with my family that I really hadn't seen much the last couple of years.

How should people in our industry leverage LinkedIn?

I think there are a couple of different ways you can think about LinkedIn. You've got your salespeople in the industry that are using LinkedIn to connect with meeting planners and they're using it like a lead generation tool, and that's awesome. I think that's one of the wonderful things about LinkedIn. It gives you direct access to potential clientele. But then there's the other side where it's just networking and just connecting to people that are in your industry that you can learn from, from that you find interesting, and I think I leaned into that side of it before.

How have you been able to help the next generation of this industry?

It's something that I'm passionate about. I mean I wouldn't be where I am without guys that have been in the industry taking me under their wing and pointing me in the right direction. And so in a pay it forward kind of attitude, I want to do the same for other people. I don't know that I've specifically brought anybody into the industry, but what I love to do is find the young guys that are just starting and take them aside and just give them some things that I wish somebody had told me when I was a couple of years in and point me in the right direction.

As always, thank you for tuning in to the Event Collab podcast, where we feature people in the event industry and beyond who collaborate to make events and human connections more memorable. Check out our full conversation with Nate here.

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