After working many different kinds of events in New York City, the one thing I will recommend over and over again…hire an event planner. When working with Ron Ben-Israel, I had the pleasure of meeting event planner extraordinaire, Annette Babich of Annette Babich Events. She started her own company and in 2010 started teaching her craft at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Annette took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions to give us a little insight to her work…
What were some of your challenges starting your company? My challenge was that I did not know anything about the wedding industry and had to learn from scratch. Back then we didn’t have the luxury of Googling so I really had to pound the pavement the get things going. My other challenge back then was I was beginning to have kids ( I have 3 sons) and they were young and had to learn to switch on and off from work to mom all day long. It was all worth it.
Can you define the event planners job? We are “jack of all trades” and then some, nothing is beyond our scope.
What advice can you give when your client wants to go over budget? When going over the budget, figure out what is most important to the client, is it food, liquor, music, decor? Monies can be moved around accordingly.
How important are vendor relationships? When I teach my class at NYU, I always say to my students, if you walk away with anything from this class, walk away knowing the importance of vendor relationships.
What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the event industry over the last five years? I think with social media, the access clients have to information is overwhelming. Our Rolodex is no longer a big secret so it’s our job to stay relevant.