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Meet Nichole Wardle of Longwood Venues and Destinations

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nichole Wardle.

Nichole, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been with Longwood for 10 years and have grown with the company from Sales Manager, Senior Sales Manager, Director of Belle Mer, Director of Destination Venues, to now most currently as the Director of Sales and Marketing for all of Longwood serving on the Executive Leadership Team. During my time with the company I have been involved in many exciting projects: scouting new properties, acquiring new properties, building teams, onboarding marketing software and technology, training team’s pre and post construction, creating companywide policy and being responsible for the overall function revenue. The most exciting aspect of my job is being part of the vision of the Longwood brand and our plans for future. We are a constantly evolving company and change at a rapid pace to better serve our clients and be easy to do business with.

Notably, I have been named a top forty business leader under 40 by Providence Business News.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Growing our company to 5 venues has certainly been an adventure and we aren’t stopping there. Is it challenging? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely. For us the challenge of capital improvements, major renovations, adding more events to the bookings, hiring more experienced staff, staying on top of the latest and greatest technology and event trends to name a few are what push us to get better. We constantly looking at our obstacles when it comes to guest experience, efficiency, and ease of doing business.

From here we really reign in on direct customer feedback and take a look at how we can make our process even better. Our goal is to continue to be known as the leader in private events that does not come without evolving, improving, and pushing ourselves.

Longwood Venues and Destinations – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Longwood Venues and Destinations is a leader in luxury private events. Our current collection of venues spans across New England (Belle Mer and Newport Beach House in Newport Rhode Island, Wychmere Beach Club in Cape Cod, Alden Castle in Brookline, and, our flagship property, State Room in downtown Boston. As a company, we do roughly 1,000 private events annually.

What sets us apart: First we start with our venues, be it urban chic State Room with inimitable view of Boston, be it glamorous Belle Mer right on the edge of Narragansett Bay, be it the European history and architecture of Alden Castle or the understated luxury and classic Americana at Wychmere Beach Club. Our locations, their settings, and designs cannot be duplicated. Once a client selects their destination, we get them excited with our culinary program. Being locally owned, we are proud to lead by example in our commitment to support local purveyors and vendors. We also simply believe that local and in season taste the best. This is why our menus are so seasonal. We always favor artisanal, local, and small batch productions.

All of our local culinary offerings are prepared in house & to order, just like at your favorite local restaurant. We don’t prepare food in commissaries or in advance. Each our venue has a fully outfitted kitchen and a talented culinary team. With Chef David Blessing at helm as our Vice President of Culinary Arts and Development, we create ever more intriguing dishes to be eaten with all senses.

Next, comes the planning process: We deliver the WOW not only during the event but also through the entire planning experience. It can get deep and personal with our clients. We listen to their needs & provide them with the best possible experience. We have built our reputation on cultivating sincere relationships.

We recognize that our clients, corporate clients and brides alike, have truly deep reasons to throw a party or host an event. They have causes that really matter. Many of our non-profit clients dedicate their lives to heir causes and through the event they not only want to show their appreciation to their supporters but they want to spread awareness and raise funds. Their goals become our goals.

To us every event needs to inspire, fulfill and bring satisfaction. It is much deeper than just a party.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
So far the proudest moment of my career has been the entire year leading to open a new venue and then being at the launch party watching people in awe of the space and our team. People don’t realize how much planning and how many resources go into making this happen. It is so exciting coming into a new market knowing that we will be hiring local talent, bringing more business to hotels and restaurants in the area, getting to work with entertainment and production companies, florists, photographers, and designers, and now attracting destination meeting planners.

Now I can’t go anywhere without someone being connected to one of our events and boy is that exciting. I have sat next to people on planes, been on vacation by the pool with my children, or even in another country where I have struck up conversation with people who ended up being former brides and grooms, current suppliers of ours, or meeting planners who have been dying to work with us. Conversations like this always leave me with that “pinch me” moment validating everything we have been working on and towards for Longwood.

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