Chad Kaydo (@ChadKaydo) writes The X Letter, an email and website about experiences, brands, and culture, and hosts Xembly, a cocktails-and-speakers series for creative professionals who are passionate about compelling live experiences.
Chad speaks frequently about event marketing trends. He also consults with brands looking to keep their events fresh and relevant, and advises companies looking to connect with event professionals.
As the first editor in chief of BizBash, Chad helped launch and build the leading magazine and website for the event industry, overseeing BizBash’s print, digital, and social media content until March 2013. He now writes a biweekly column for BizBash.com. He has interviewed the most innovative event marketers, producers, designers, and vendors working today.
Chad also writes about culture, fashion, and travel for various magazines and websites. He earned degrees in journalism and English at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and now lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with a black standard poodle called Rhonda.
We recently asked Chad a few questions:
How do you serve your clients? I have different types of clients now, but since I’ve spent most of my career as a journalist, I usually think of readers first. Hopefully I serve them with relevant, inspiring information and a unique point of view. I try to find smart, talented people and innovative work to share, and then put them in the context of larger trends.
That information goes in the email, website, and trend reports I publish for my own brand, The X Letter; in my column for BizBash; and in my stories for other magazines. I also ask some of those inspiring people to talk at my cocktails-and-event series, Xembly. And all of that work informs the speaking and consulting I do.
Who are your clients? My readers come from across the world of live events and experiences, and—increasingly, to my surprise—from across the world. My speaking and consulting clients are mostly corporate planners or brand strategists, along with some companies looking to connect with event professionals.
What has been one of your biggest business successes to date and why? I was part of the original launch team at BizBash, and seeing it grow to become an industry stalwart was enormously rewarding. I remember calling people during my first summer there, before we launched the site, trying to explain why they should let me come to their parties. Years later, when I’d call and say, “I’m from BizBash,” and people would respond, “Oh, I love BizBash!”—that was cool.
More recently, at my first Xembly event—which I thought would be a gathering of my industry friends—I loved when people I had never met before told me how inspiring they found the talks.
What are you passionate about? The programming of live experiences, and how people interact as individuals inside a group. Also, more simply: good parties. Also modern and contemporary fiction, theater, and film. Cheeseburgers. Bourbon. Fleetwood Mac.
What do you read? For better or worse, Twitter first. Also all kinds of blogs and news sites about culture, business, design, tech, fashion, food, etc. The New York Times, mostly in digital forms. (I love the NYTNow app.) Still some print magazines too. (Fast Company and Wired are great online and in print.) Novels when I get to them. (My book club helps.)
Why should someone follow you on Twitter? I tweet what I’m reading, writing, and thinking about live events and experiences, and how the broader culture influences them. And pictures of my standard poodle, Rhonda.
Who do you like? People who make great, unique, inspiring work and are also genuinely nice people. People who work hard but are generous with their time to help others. People who will sit and have lunch or a drink and tell you how it really is.
A handful of those people: designer David Beahm, planner Marcy Blum, caterer Carla Ruben, trend watcher Irma Zandl, product strategist Farrah Bostic, Melanie Altarescu at Wired, Kim Last at Fast Company.
Also Meryl Streep.
Be sure to check out The X Letter and follow Chad on Twitter!