Leslie Swathwood, Owner, Circle City Expos
Leslie Swathwood has worn many event-related hats in life: she and husband Jason are the owners of an event planning business, Elegant Events, Ltd.; were the original founders of an Indianapolis bridal magazine franchise, have successfully produced over 100 consumer events in 3 states over the last 15 years; and currently own Circle City Expos, a consumer event production company based in Carmel, Indiana.
Circle City Expos produces various consumer events: bridal shows, food events, womens expos, and more.
Indianapolis Bride Expo, Indiana LGBT Wedding Expo and Bloomington Bride Expo are events for engaged couples to find the area’s best wedding professionals.
Fantastic Food Fest is Indiana’s largest culinary event featuring fine food, wine, beer, spirits, gadgets, chef demos, cooking classes and more.
Indy Women’s Expo is a celebration of women featuring fun shopping, beauty, décor, health, fitness, food, wine, gifts, presentations, hands-on demos, and prizes.
Leslie & Jason enjoy creating and producing lifestyle events that connect interested consumers with businesses whose products and services fulfill their needs. Their passion for producing top quality events is evident whether you meet them or attend one of their events. Nothing is too large or small to be overlooked by either of them. They work diligently to understand their clients’ diverse businesses so they can create more than just an exhibitor - show producer relationship. Jason and Leslie work hard to be their clients’ marketing partner, offering insight on best practices, ideas on raising awareness & sales, and obtain best return on investment. Many clients seek their input on a variety of topics – everything from sales and marketing to management and operations. As a result, they are fortunate to have many long-standing, loyal clients who have become friends. According to Randy & Joanna Baughn of Randall’s Photography, “Jason and Leslie are consummate professionals -- always innovating and taking their events to new levels, all while showing care and concern for their clients. They are wonderful friends who we are lucky to have as marketing partners.”
One of their greatest joys is when clients have success through their events. One example is Greenwood-based Charlie’s Premium, a local producer of fresh dressings, sauces, & hummus. Through Fantastic Food Fest, Charlie’s Premium not only connected with over 8,400 food-interested consumers who attended the two-day event in January of 2016, but also with buyers at Marsh, Kroger and Market District. Charlie’s Premium partner Derrick Carlisle says, “It wasn’t just a great show for getting contact with the retail customer. It was also great for meeting commercial customers which was fantastic for us.”
Jason and Leslie are often asked how a husband and wife can work together. Jason quickly responds, “It’s definitely not for everyone, but we are fortunate that it works well for us.” Their strengths and weaknesses balance each other as well: Leslie is known to be obsessed with details and Jason always thinks about the big picture.
Many of their clients refer to them as “serial entrepreneurs”, since they keep their eye out for new events to create due to a need in the market.
Leslie has been a member of International Live Events Association (ILEA) Indiana since 2000. She received the prestigious PACE Award for client events, has received Best Industry Contribution Award, and served as chapter President in 2005-2006.
Leslie is an original participant and past presenter in Social Media Dames Unconference, a local event to promote social media usage and information exchange among professionals.
Leslie is a native of Northbrook, Illinois who graduated from Indiana University in 1994. Leslie is also a voice over artist (leslieswathwood.com) who has done local, national and international work.
She and Jason have been active in many organizations over the years and are members at Woodland Country Club, participate in Woodland Christmas Club for needy children, and Leslie is a Sustaining Member of the Junior League of Indianapolis. They have a 10 year old daughter, Claire, and live in Carmel, Indiana. Outside of events, Leslie enjoys playing golf, fine dining and tea, spa time, cheering on the Cubs, Blackhawks and IU, and spending time with family and friends.
Cover photo by Scalini
Cover hair by Kortney Norris
Cover makeup by Ariana Collins for Armani Beauty