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The CE Group spotlights the Alamo City



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It's about 3 p.m. on a sun-bathed and breezy early-spring day, and San Antonio's Pearl is bustling with activity. As I march up the stairs and toward The CE Group, I recall the names of several recent major events in the Alamo City: Luminaria. The NCAA Women's Final Four. Morgan's Wonderland. Fiesta. Anytime San Antonio entertains guests with first-rate events, one name comes to mind: The CE Group.

Since its inception in 1989 by co-founders Janet Holliday and Lainey Berkus, The CE Group has managed a wide range of clientele, utilizing skills in public relations, marketing, event management, destination management services and venue management.

With San Antonio as its canvas, The CE Group places its signature on events that illustrate the Alamo City. Its event management team crafts unique experiences that captivate audiences. The CE Group's destination, San Antonio, in conjunction with national sports marketing firms, has helped reinvent the fan experience at the NCAA Women's Final Four in San Antonio. Its events and production team has produced large-scale events, including the popular Luminaria, the festive Fiesta Fiesta and the landmark opening of Morgan's Wonderland. And in the ever-changing world of social media, The CE Group provides the necessary skills to keep its public relations clients up-to-date.

In addition, The CE Group has formed a partnership with one of the city's finest live, work and entertainment centers: the Pearl. Located at the former Pearl Brewery near downtown, events at Pearl allow guests of the complex to enjoy the benefits of world-class event management courtesy of The CE Group. Holliday has observed evolving trends in hospitality and has ensured that The CE Group exceeds the status quo.

"The world has gone experiential: interactive, meaningful, relevant," she said. "We're finding that people are shifting and wanting to feel good. And being compelling and engaging is how we've always done our business."

Driven by Results
The CE Group's stellar portfolio of clients reflects its heart-and-soul commitment to seamlessly produce results. The company bases its goals and objectives on its four Ps: position, plan, promote and produce. "This philosophy is about wanting to show a positive team effort," Holliday said. "At our core, we are a team-based agency."

The CE Group identifies target audiences and applies the company's main messaging components. By initially figuring out a company's set position, the company can then execute its intended plan. The CE Group then develops specific timetables and deadlines for creating work that is needed. By establishing these outlines, companies are guaranteed a set agenda and a scope of detailed work. "There is always a need for diversification," Holliday said. "With certain events, you have to make sure your people can really make that something into really something."

As many companies are well aware, promotion is essential to inform the target audience of events and opportunities, and to help strategically enhance the company's profile. With established value-based connections with its clients, The CE Group takes its carefully crafted operational plan and delivers results while maintaining exemplary customer service. "Success to me isn't what I do; it's how I do it," Holliday said. "And that's running a company with great people doing great things."

Modern Times
In addition to establishing meaningful connections with its clients, The CE Group understands that sustainability is important in the ever-changing, trend-conscious world; however, addressing the latest trends will not necessarily increase a company's success. Take for example, one of today's biggest trends: social media.

"Most people are using social media, but don't quite know what they're doing," Holliday said. "This form of media is here to stay and is something that is needed to make a difference. We are about social media driving an audience. If you're trying to generate an audience and increase sales, then social media is the way to do that."

Even with the advent of new technologies, Holliday admits her company knows its roots and has planted them well. The CE Group, which originally started as a group project between Holliday and Berkus, has evolved into an agency that is home to two important cogs in the event management industry: communications and events.

"It was funny because when we started, Lainey thought it was a PR firm, and I thought it was an event firm, and we realized that we could be both," Holliday said. According to Holliday, the reason The CE Group works is the people genuinely love what they do and are passionate about it. And when employees are good at what they love to do, success is clearly defined.

"When we started the company 20 years ago, I didn't think that I would be at this place doing the things that I've done," Holliday said. "But we did what we absolutely loved doing, and turned it into a business."

Shining a Light on San Antonio
And by doing what they love, the dedicated team at The CE Group has given the city of San Antonio some sizzle to accompany its storied history. Their extensive work has helped make San Antonio a popular destination for major events that generate revenue for the community, but more importantly, smiles and great memories.

"I am so proud that we have built all of this with hard work," Holliday said. "I really want to step up and be better. Make sure that you still do what you love to do. By finding what and who you are, you can make a great job and build upon it."

The CE Group Inc. is an event-based marketing firm headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with offices in Austin and Houston. Utilizing strategic and creative ideas, experiences and relevant communications, The CE Group helps companies achieve their marketing goals. They are the "go to" people for some of the biggest and most well-respected organizations that want more than just a great event; they want a relevant brand experience with value that will last long after the event is over. The CE Group is a leader that stands out in the marketplace delivering the total experience in five core services: conference & destination management, event & production management, public relations & marketing, national sports marketing and venue management.