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Meet ILEA Chicago Member - Sanjay Ahuja


Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning?
I grew up in a hospitality household. My father was a general manager
for Starwood Hotels for 38 years. He encouraged us to travel and
spend time learning about the industry. I started working in the kitchen
when I was 16 years old and never looked back.

Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?
I am 6’-8” tall so you cannot miss me when we finally get a chance to
meet and collaborate.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Building relationships with my team and clients. Turning my customers
into friends and meeting and exceeding their expectations. After 20
years in the industry, I still get butterflies in my stomach before we go
live, and nothings beats the satisfaction of producing a seamless

Where did you grow up?
My dad got transferred every few years to take on the responsibility of
a new property. I spend time living in Winnipeg, Calgary, San
Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles.

What is your event gone wrong horror story?
I have got hundreds of stories. Most I would prefer telling over a

What made you interested in participating in ILEA? 
Making the move from Los Angeles to Chicago and joining the Show
Strategy team during the pandemic has been a challenge. I joined
ILEA to develop new relationships, build new vendor partnerships and
discuss the future opportunities of our industry.

Learn more about and connect with Sanjay: