Tale: An Event Producer was Born
The first event I ever produced was a funeral when I was 12 years old.
Okay, so without any backstory that seems VERY intense… let me clarify: It was the funeral for a cracked egg. In the 6th grade, our middle school gave an assignment where every student received a hollowed-out egg that we were expected to care for. At the end of two weeks, if the egg had no cracks, you received an A. However, if it had any sort of crack or damage you received an F. There was no in between.
I remember being so excited for this assignment. I couldn’t wait to be an egg dad! I already had a little bed crafted up in my locker for it…. I was going to give it a name…. I crafted miniature wigs made out of yarn…. I even bought a glue gun and sequins (I would figure out the purpose of this later on, but I’m sure I needed it for my egg baby) …. I was set! After the teacher handed me the egg, I proudly walked back to my seat. Thinking of the amazing life I was about to give my new egg child, I must have not noticed it slowly falling out of my hand. Before I knew it, it was too late. My egg was shattered on the floor and my fate as an egg dad was over.
As a straight ‘A’ student, failing was not an option. I had to come up with a plan that would somehow override this pass/fail system our school had been following for years with the project. I knew what I had to do! I had to plan a funeral, but not just any funeral, an ‘A-worthy’ funeral!
Since the assignment itself was two weeks, I had two weeks to prepare (my first crap deadline). I first made a program. This program would serve as the timeline. I scheduled some of my friends to say a few words and even the principal to read a poem. The school choir sang amazing grace and “I’ll be missing you” by Sting. Ridiculous? Yes…. Over the top? Definitely. However, I GOT THE A. In fact, I was the first student ever to receive an A with a cracked egg! The grade was a great reward, but the true take away was the beginning of my love for events. The event planning spirit had officially entered my soul. Watching the laughter and excitement in everyone’s face for the event I planned did something to me (granted it was technically a funeral for a breakfast item). It gave me a sense of purpose, pride, and power by being able to remove people from their reality through a party. In that moment, an event planner was born!
Design Tips & Tricks:
In blogs to come I will elaborate and expand on the below points but wanted to give a few bits of career advice I’ve learned along the way.
1) Don’t be an a**hole
Remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. I cannot emphasize this enough; be nice to your team, be nice to your workers, and be nice to your vendors. All these people have the power to make or break your event. In events, we all need to come together as one cohesive unit to make magic for the client. You are only as strong as your weakest link, therefore motivate each ‘link’ by being kind and showing encouragement.
2) Know your budget and space
There is nothing worse than designing something to later find out it can’t fit into a location, or you don’t have the money for it. Brandis Protenic, our VP of Operations, and I did a guest blog that dives deeper into this topic and the importance of design and operations working side by side.
3) Don’t let the opinions of others stifle your creativity
When I first started my career, I worked for some prominent people in the event world. They designed for celebrities, movie studios, etc. Although they hired me, I was still so intimidated to design for fear of criticism. However, you must remember- design is an art and art is subjective. If someone doesn’t like your design, don’t let it break you. Leave your pride at the door and know that just because someone does not like your design, doesn’t mean you’re a talentless toad (my internal saboteur). If pairing a leopard linen with a sequin sash speaks to you, then by all means, do it… just have a few safer options for the client to see as well. Unfortunately, leopard and sequin is not for everyone!