Customer Stories*
December 5, 2013  •  by Jane Carter

SPOTLIGHT: Meatopia 2013

New York Magazine), “spectacular” (Esquire), a “bacchanal of pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck , turkey and quail” (New York Times), and “a glorious city of meat” (Huffington Post),  you know you’re doing something right. Simply and appropriately named, Meatopia brings together world-class chefs, premium quality meat and, of course, hungry guests at Pearl Brewery in San Antonio for a festival of meat, mirth, and the celebration of animals and the way great chefs prepare them. We sat down with Pearl Controller Mesha Millsap to talk about the origins of this carnivore’s dream, her favorite experiences and how she managed to stay above the event organizing stress. _____________________________________________________________ Ticketbud: Tell us a little bit about Meatopia. What exactly is this “meat-lover’s paradise”, how did it get  started & how did Pearl Brewery come to be involved?   MM: Meatopia is an event that was started in New York City and it was founded by TIME magazine food columnist and James Beard Award-winning food writer Josh Ozersky. Josh visited Pearl in 2012, and he partnered with Pearl to bring the event to Texas for the first time. The event is   a celebration of animals and the way great chefs prepare them. The menu featured a variety of types and cuts of meats including pork, beef, chicken, duck, turkey, and quail all prepared over live fire. TB: This is the first year Meatopia has been held in Texas [also held in NYC and London]. Are  there any differences between this Meatopia and the others and how did your team approach  this particular Meatopia?  MM: The biggest differences between Meatopia Texas and the event held in NYC and London is the location. For 8 years, the event in NYC has taken place in a park with no infrastructure. The resources that Pearl has to offer an event like Meatopia gave us a great advantage because we weren’t building everything as they did at the NYC event. 1381694_10151763616933207_778262593_nThe most challenging part of planning an event like Meatopia was sourcing all of the meats for the chefs. We had some chefs that were preparing  unique dishes that required us to work with small producers throughout the country. Our  approach was to make sure that we could deliver the meat first. Then we began working on the  logistical plans for getting everything to Pearl and coordinating the needs of each chef. This  is not an event that people do every day, so our entire team was required to stretch in order to source the equipment that was needed for the event. TB: Meatopia is a unique and exciting culinary event. What were some of your favorite parts of  the event?  MM: One of my favorite parts was seeing the creativity of the chefs. Each chef was challenged to prepare a unique dish for the event, and they all worked hard to deliver. It is amazing to see the  chefs at work, and these were some of the top chefs from Texas and throughout the country. TB: For any event manager, staying organized is the key to staying sane and on top of your  event. From your experiences with a large-scale event like Meatopia, what tips and advice do  you have for staying organized and on task?   MM: Staying organized was definitely key. The best advice I can offer is to have a great team. It is  important toScreen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.31.36 AM recognize that you can’t do it all in a large-scale event, and you have to rely on the team that you have put in place to help out. Delegation is important to keeping you in balance. The other tip I can offer is to accept that things won’t be perfect. You can plan for a very long  time and still have things that happen at the last minute. We had our fair share of surprises and things we hadn’t thought about, but we all anticipated this would be the case and were prepared to be flexible.

TB: Ticketbud constantly strives to provide the best online event management experience possible. How was your experience working with Ticketbud? How did Ticketbud provide value to your team and to Meatopia?

MM: Ticketbud was referred to us, and the cost of the service appealed to us immediately. I initially had my doubts that the service would really do what we needed for only $99, but I was pleasantly surprised. Our event had some challenges, and I found the Ticketbud team to be great at responding to our needs and helping us develop solutions to these challenges. Overall our experience with Ticketbud was great! MeatopiaCollage]]]]> ]]>