Providing Event Strategy & Consulting Services

“Is the traditional gala format dead?”

“Is a live auction a good source of additional event revenue for my organization?”

“How do I convert event guests into mission donors?”

You have event questions, but your daily To Do list is already a mile long. I can help.

Dollars Raised
Iced Coffees Consumed
Guests Hosted
Events Planned


When you hire The Side Lobby, you get me, Sarah Cissna, CSEP. Every client receives my personal attention in addition to the support of our robust network of vendor partners and temporary event staff.


I have more than 20 years experience with events and productions including seven years on full-time staff at area arts organizations prior to starting TSL in 2013. I know the obstacles you need to overcome and will be your ally and advocate while accomplishing your event goals.


You're talking to a true DMV local, born and raised in Fairfax before moving to Capitol Hill in 2002. I understand the Washington region: its culture, people, venues, and uniqueness.

What our clients say

" I know I've said this out loud but it's worth repeating ... thank you for the splendid job you did this weekend. There is no way the Fair could have run as smoothly as it did without you. "

Beth Campbell
Washington Antiquarian Book Fair

" Thank you so much for everything – all the feedback we are hearing is that the entire evening was lovely and seamless and fun and that it all looked gorgeous. We couldn’t have pulled it off without you! " 

Amy Gardner
Shakespeare Theatre Company

" Pleasure, as always, to work with you. You have a great demeanor compared to some of our other event producers so it’s always nice when you’re in the museum with us. "

Chris Frame
National Building Museum

" I have never felt such a comfort by hiring someone to run with a project as we have with you. You committed 150% to this project and it was evident that you went above and beyond. Thank you, thank you. "

Robert Pullen
Nouveau Productions

My passion for productions began back in college in the world of theatre in the side lobby of Phi Beta Kappa Hall at the College of William & Mary. In that hall I realized you can accomplish big goals, even without the staff and budget most think you need to make it happen. 

That led me to the world of event production with a specialty in the nonprofit and arts industries, where I have spent more than 17 years proving my theory that a solid strategy, clear goal, and a ton of grit can make big things possible. (And you can do it all in a good pair of jeans and fun boots.)

No matter the size of your current staff, or lack thereof, The Side Lobby is your partner in creating and executing impactful events as part of your overall marketing strategy. I look forward to working with you!

– Sarah Cissna, CSEP

Ready to take your event to the next level?
Get in touch today!