Hi, I am Nelia.

I have 24 years of experience in the event industry.


"It takes a village to plan an event, and I believe that being part of that village should be inspiring, collaborative, and fun."

I have presented at various inclusion disability related conferences, and have sat on our school district’s Inclusion Task Force.

When I am not working, you will find me spending time with my husband Ken and two daughters Sabrina and Alexa, my 3 dogs Flynn (who I adopted at an industry event!), Bowie and Theo. I enjoy reading, happy hours with friends, and traveling.

• I got featured in Pottery Barn’s International Women’s Day campaign!
STYLE Folsom/EDH Magazine

Also visit me at The Culinary Travel Guide and Travel Northern California.

I enjoy helping other women discover their passions and creating resources to help them along the path of living their best lives.. 

I enjoy learning and growing as a professional. I am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), and a CEM (Certified in Exhibition Management).

I believe in being actively involved in my community. I am a member of Cal-TASH (the California state chapter of TASH, the international leader in disability advocacy which advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs). 

I started my Event Management career in 2001, when I jumped right into planning logistics for a large (20k person) trade show, never having even attended a single trade show in my life.

Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into.

When the event came around, I was so overwhelmed on Day 1 of move-In that I hid in a bathroom stall (the only place where I didn't have people constantly asking me questions that I didn't know how to answer), put the toilet seat down, sat down with head in my hands, and told myself myself that I would quit my job right after the event was over.

Here I am, 24 years later, no longer hiding in bathroom stalls.

Since then I've been involved in managing events ranging from 50 to 30,000 attendees, and I provide other event managers the tools and resources that they need to produce successful events. And I absolutely love it.

You may be here because you too have a passion for events, or are looking for someone to partner with on our next event. As the owner of Blue Plaza Events, I help companies and associations produce high-quality tradeshows, conferences, and meetings. I bring 24 years of event management experience to companies such as Informa, Linux Foundation, Gainsight, and Freeman.

The freedom of my work fuels me. I often look forward to Mondays (crazy, I know) because I absolute love what I get to do, especially working with clients, business partners and vendors.


fun facts
about me


I am 100% Portuguese.


My husband calls me the spreadsheet queen. I love them. I also absolutely love diagrams and floorplans. I can stare at them for hours.


I have a fear of carwashes + up until recently, porta potties.


my cute family!


I have a horrible sense of direction and am grateful that the invention of GPS has given me hours of my life back. 


I Used To Be Able To Sleep Until Noon. And Then I Had Kids… I Now Consider 7am “Sleeping In”.


I am an only child


“Nelia is an extraordinary event and meeting planner. She is incredibly detail oriented and has the ability to juggle multiple ongoing tasks and projects. Nelia is always a pleasure to work with in the preplanning and onsite phases. I would not hesitate to include her on my team for future program needs.”   

Katherine Leong

“I had the opportunity to work with Nelia while managing sponsorship & exhibitor fulfillment for a large event. I found myself jumping in and as the scope of the project grew Nelia was a rockstar, setting clear expectations. She's an expert in her field, an incredible resource and one of the best all around humans to work with. Nelia has a proven track record of successfully managing complex pieces of large events and focusing on the big picture all while capturing all of the details. I hope to have the chance to work with Nelia again, she is one of the best and brightest!”   

Jennifer Payne

“I love working with Nelia-- she owns her work and always delivers. She manages her events with great attention to detail and onsite, she always maintains the same sense of calm that she has pre show-- no small feat as onsite logistics can get chaotic. Hands down one of my favorite operations managers to work with at UBM.”   

amy giannini

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