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Building While Flying

May 20, 2021

Live events were one of the biggest casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Daniel Curtis and his teams saw this as an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and find their next path forward.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by the Sasha Group. We’re the small-to-medium-sized business arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding, media, and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Daniel Curtis learned a lot from the COVID-19 pandemic—about entrepreneurship and himself.

Daniel Curtis has his hand in multiple companies, all dealing with events, community building, and entrepreneurship. He’s the Chief Strategy Officer of EMC3, a creative agency specializing in live and virtual event production and speaker management. He’s also a co-founder and CSO of Dependable Forces, a company that provides safety, health, and security services for live events; and he’s theCSO and co-founder of 5%, an event and education company and community for early-stage entrepreneurs. Those last two companies were born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In his conversation with Katie, Daniel describes the best gift the pandemic could have given him: the gift of time. It’s with this time he was able to slow down, focus, and start two new businesses. He addresses the importance of community for entrepreneurs and the need for a safe space to fail and learn without fear of judgment. Most importantly, Daniel discusses the future of events, post-pandemic, and why the “hybrid” virtual and live will be the way to go. If you’re itching to go to events again, this episode is just what you need. 

Other in-flight topics:

  • How the COVID-19 pandemic impacted live events
  • Importance of mentorship and community for entrepreneurs
  • Shifting from live events to virtual events
  • Balancing your role across multiple companies
  • Surrounding yourself with a strong, smart, supportive peer group
  • The future of events, post-pandemic
  • Defining your purpose as an entrepreneur


What event are you looking forward to attending as we come out of pandemic times?