We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelly Danz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shelly, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Don’t sweat the small stuff! As Founder/Chief Party Officer of Atlanta Party Connection. I produce four shows a year to help families plan celebrations for weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza and the Atlanta Bar & Bat Mitzvah EXPO are known for being celebratory and fun, where attendees are made to feel appreciated and special. The vendors are there to meet families or brides/grooms and their tribes, find out what their vision is and how they can make it happen. These are not business cards behind a card table events. They have great energy and create important connections. But one thing I’ve learned through my career is this: Something unexpected will happen at ANY event. Before one expo, with 500 people waiting to get in and dozens of vendors eager to show off their capabilities, the power went out at the venue! The show must go on, however! I directed team members to work with hotel staff on identifying the source of the issue, got power redirected, set up entertainment for waiting attendees, and got things moving again. After that event I got what I felt was the biggest compliment. A vendor said that they loved that I kept a smile on my face the whole time. Why not? I’m about creating beautiful memories for people, so even when something might threaten a smooth experience, I keep moving forward and take everybody with me! It’s the same advice I give to brides and grooms or bar mitzvah families. Be in the moment. You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you react to it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I didn’t plan to be a business owner, but I guess it was meant to be! I’ve been able to channel my love of helping others and planning events into a business that creates important moments for families and couples. I love my job! I earned a degree in public relations, but through some early work experiences, I discovered my passion for planning events specifically. Through a job creating events for a non-profit organization, I launched an expo designed to help parents planning their children’s bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. They were very popular! As they became more well known, I became a go-to resource for families looking for their ideal caterer or DJ or photographer. I realized there was a need for more information and event-planning tools, so I expanded the expo into a more all-encompassing resource with a website and directory of preferred, proven vendors. Atlanta Party Connection was born. From there, I grew APC to include Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta, now known as Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza, to serve couples planning their weddings. We create an environment in which every bride and groom feels special and appreciated. These shows aren’t for vendors to do hard sells. They come to show off their most creative, over-the-top ideas and help attendees define their wedding vision. They’re filled with inspiration, clever ideas, and prizes attendees are excited to win. That’s what sets these shows apart. They’re all about finding out what YOU want so you can select the ideal vendor team to make it happen. I’m so proud to have helped so many metro Atlanta families create beautiful moments that become lasting memories of the biggest moments of their lives.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Because of the year we’ve had, I haven’t been out too much lately. But I feel so lucky that I get to promote such wonderful places and people – all throughout metro Atlanta – through my shows. I’ll also mention that I love my home of 26 years, Alpharetta. It’s been fascinating to see the city transform and grow. I especially love going to Avalon where you can do so much in one place. The Alpharetta CVB has done a tremendous job making it a true destination.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I want to dedicate this shoutout to all the special event vendors and venues that have weathered the past year with such creativity, grace and determination. What they’re doing to help people celebrate during such a challenging time is beyond admirable. I’m inspired by them daily. Second, I want to send a shoutout to my family, who supports me in everything I do! Third, I want to give my team a big shoutout. I don’t do this alone! I have some fabulous people behind the scenes helping me produce my shows and websites, and thinking outside the box. Dalia Faupel writes all my content and communications, Lora Sommer handles public relations, and Elliott Strauss designs my websites.

Website: https://www.atlantapartyconnection.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atlantaweddingextravaganza/ and https://www.instagram.com/atlantamitzvahconnection/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shelly-danz-50a2493a/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BridalExtravaganzaAtlanta/ and https://www.facebook.com/atlantamitzvahconnection/

Image Credits
Made You Look Photography, Life on Film Photography and Janet Howard Studio

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.