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Meet Cece Liekar-Campanini of The League Lady in Plano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cece Liekar-Campanini.

Cece comes from communications and non-profit background, providing marketing efforts as a volunteer, including seven years promoting fundraisers for the Junior League. She happened to join the JLCC one year after Facebook became more than just a college campus-based network. Cece launched pages for each event and created content to advertise ticket sales and attendance. In 2009 the organization, consisting of more than 900 women, selected Cece as the volunteer of the year and the Volunteer Center of North Texas presented her with the Lone Star Salute Award.

In the Fall of 2012, she volunteered for the Plano Balloon Festival for the first time and it was an eye-opening experience to work an event with more 100,000 people attending. The Facebook page that year had less than 5,000 followers. Cece has since developed their page to 56,000 followers and an award-winning social media site.

In 2014 Cece became Chief Storyteller of a new company branded around her existing Twitter handle: @TheLeagueLady. That summer she completed the Social Media and Digital Communication program at Southern Methodist University to obtain a navigation update for the ever-changing digital landscape within the industry.

Over the past few years, Cece has been a busy lady taking pictures, writing blogs, making videos, and tweeting all the while. In 2015 Cece added the City of Richardson to her client portfolio to manage the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival and Cottonwood Art Festival events. This year Cece worked with the Executive Director of the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival to launch the first ever Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival. Cece has also provided on-site coverage for the Dallas Area Train Show, Huffhines Art Trails, The Plano Rotary Club Blues, Brews & ‘Que, and Super Glow Texas. The Spectacular Senior Follies signed a contract in December 2017 for services through September 2018 to promote their annual show featured on stage inside The Eisemann Center.

Prior to The League Lady, Cece worked for S.C. Johnson Wax Worldwide Communications, American Heart Association Go Red For Women, and a few law firms. In 2003 Cece opened a new restaurant, Park Cities Bakery & Deli in Highland Park that also provided catering to SMU and local businesses. Now Cece prefers to cook for friends and family, including her husband and their four children.

Over the years Cece has served on the Board of Directors for Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center, Saigling Elementary PTA, and on the Board of Governors for Gleneagles Country Club.

Cece’s philosophy remains steadfast, that she is only as good as the success of your event. Storytelling is a great gift that binds our humanity and an intrinsic part of our culture and society. Cece and her team know how to visualize the big picture and can tell the whole story in small, but connected pieces. This is proven by the many awards her clients have received for their social media sites.

Has it been a smooth road?
Challenges, very interesting question. I’ve been building a new company and hire contractors and freelance staff so the biggest challenge is growth. When I reach a certain number of clients within our portfolio I’ll have to hire employees to work part-time and/or full-time. Change is good and I welcome this challenge that will likely present itself in 2018.

Also, I have a non-profit background and try to carve out time to help local agencies. This year I spent time with the Executive Director of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and reviewed their social sites. It is valuable for leaders to have a snapshot of their channels and the traffic that they generate, or should be generating. Some groups need only simple changes to refresh their platforms. Others require a push to launch additional accounts to have more visibility within the community. And a few are sitting idle until someone comes along to tell them it’s time to participate in the conversations that are already happening. It is a rewarding experience to be asked to share and collaborate with these companies with hopes that I can, even in a small way, improve their position and help them grow.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The League Lady, LLC story. Tell us more about the business.
The past two years we have been selective of the types of events that we take on as clients because we want to make sure that the partnership is a natural fit. Organic content should be published live or with only the slightest delay and therefore requires being given carte blanche on all social sites. The trust clients bestow is a credit to the reputation we’ve established for our high standards of professionalism. There isn’t time to have every post reviewed by the client during a weekend music festival that has six stages rocking. I have to learn their voice, speak their language, and tell their story in real-time with many blessings of good faith.

Many clients don’t actually understand what I’m going to do until I’ve worked their event for the first time. And then my team shows up and starts putting up non-stop content with constant engagement. Suddenly the vibe turns into momentum and the volume of videos and pictures that we’re sharing with the public becomes impressive. Do I monitor everything closely? Yes. I’m watching and responding and carefully gauging the ebb and flow. I worked 56 hours at one three day festival this year. It is absolutely imperative that all pictures are put up within hours on the first day of the festival and within 24 hours of the remaining days. There is a tiny window of opportunity and I won’t sleep or relax until I know the goals have been achieved.

This summer I was asked to present to guests at the Texas Festivals & Events Association Convention & Trade Show held in Fort Worth and additionally provide live on-site coverage for the 4-day event. The agenda included the annual marketing awards and my clients won the following categories.
Full list of winners: https://www.tfea.org/p.aspx?pID=resources/2017-kaliff-marketing-award-winners&

The City of Richardson submitted marketing entries to the International Festivals & Events Association and we were all so proud that they were awarded the following for channels that The League Lady manages.
More info about the awards: http://cottonwoodartfest.blogspot.com/2017/10/richardson-presented-13-awards-for-cottonwood-art-festival.html

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
2017 has involved an extended reach as we managed our first out-of-state client event, the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival. Within 30 days we published more than 700 photos, 200 tweets, and 40 videos that received 21,000 views.

In November we finalized a contract with the Spectacular Senior Follies to take over their social sites for most of 2018 and provide on-site coverage of the event held inside The Eisemann Center. This will be the first time I’ll have two events on the same weekend since it is also the same time as the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. Thankfully, I’ve had a few years to meet and train an outstanding team of professional individuals.

We are currently negotiating with the New Jersey Renaissance Faire for their 2018 event that is spread out over 15 acres surrounding Lake Liberty. This event will entail me attending solo and using their team of folks to capture the live content. I’m excited about training others and sharing what I’ve learned so they can carry it forward to help their event succeed and grow.

This industry is risky because many events are at the mercy of Mother Nature. An outdoor venue is a beautiful experience here in the Lone Star State when the temperatures are cool and there isn’t a cloud in sight. We all know that rarely happens during the festival season. Also, the festival industry becomes saturated in areas because groups think it must be easy to do an art show, book a band, or design a trade show. Folks would be shocked to learn the statistics behind the scenes that reveal how many people spent how many hours, within so many months, using a very structured budget, to produce a 48-hour event.

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