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Meet Karen May of Venues of North Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen May.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Karen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been planning events since I was 16 while working at the then Scottsdale Country Club, and have continued working in every sector of the event industry. But venues are my passion and transforming them into magical spaces is my gift.

After years in the event industry, I founded Venues of North Scottsdale, a premier event production provider and exclusive venue rental agency based in Scottsdale, AZ, offering access to privately owned airplane hangars, equestrian ranches, and amphitheaters for hosting private and corporate events to groups from 300 to 2,000 from across the United States.

As corporations are looking to engage their audiences with breathtaking or branded events, the team at Venues of North Scottsdale provides concept-to-execution consultation and production, managing every detail of the guest’s experience. I am proud to have been the recipient of many esteemed industry recognitions such as 2016 Trendsetter for Meeting Today Magazine, Meeting Planner International’s “Meeting Planner of the Month” and “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Arizona Chapter. May maintains membership in the local chapters of MPI, ADME, SITE, HIP, ISES, PCMA, ESCA and AZSAE, and am the current Job Bank Chair and Past President of the Arizona chapter of HSMAI.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have always taken direction well but was not always enamored with the direction I was being given. When you worked in the event industry and corporate venues for years you’ve seen a lot of ballrooms. I wanted to “disrupt” the industry norm and seek out venues that offer clients an experience like no other. I want them talking about the event long after it’s over.

I am committed to providing the most unique and memorable event experience possible for our clients and the real challenge is always how to outdo what we’ve done before. The only real struggle is to get companies to think out of the box when it comes to hosting a special event.

Business culture is becoming less formal, and so are many of the meetings that support business goals. Participants are now looking for meetings to be more of an experience than just ballroom buffets and cocktail receptions in the expo hall. Add a rise in venue marketplaces designed to make it easier to find a nontraditional space for group events, and you have the underpinnings of a rapidly growing trend toward taking meetings out of hotels and convention centers and into a destination’s more unique venues.

That’s what we do.

What were you like growing up?
The event business became a passion for me at 16 working at the Scottsdale Country Club. I have always been a creative and driven person who sets the bar high on all levels. I enjoy hard work and am passionate about seeing the results of the labor.

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