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7 Planning Tips From BiZBash Panel

July 30, 2003, 12:00 AM EDT

BiZBash brought together seven corporate and social event planners to dish about their days at the “A Day in the Life of an Event Planner” panel discussion at Metropolitan Pavilion. Attendees got the scoop on a variety of topics from the biggest challenges planners face in today's economy, to entertainment trends, to tips for starting out in the business. Here's what the panelists had to say:

1. “You still have to be creative with an event on a smaller budget,” said Jennifer Savica, vice president of worldwide events at Citigroup Private Bank. To do so, she often cuts the size of the guest list and eliminates gifts in order to use the budget in other areas.

2. “Get as much experience as you can because you never know where it'll lead. Stay out there, stay active and stay alert,” said Joan Horton, Revlon's vice president of corporate events.

3. “Get educated. Learn about PR, marketing and sales...everything that drives this business. Learn about what drives your clients' needs,” said Howard Givner, president of Paint the Town Red.

4. “We look for entertainers who know that they're part of the event—they're not the whole event,” said Tony Napoli, president of Briggs Red Carpet.

5. “Competition is the biggest challenge. Anyone that's been to a wedding or bar mitzvah is now a party planner,” said Marcy Blum, author of Weddings for Dummies.

6. “Think out of the box. Be exposed to culture, art and music to be inspired,” said Fred Seidler, director of sales at Metropolitan Pavilion.

7. At the end of the discussion, when moderator and BiZBash president Richard Aaron asked the panelists what they had learned in their careers that they would like to have known when they started. “I have three things to say to those starting out,” said Avery Bank, director of special event sales at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. “First, what goes in must go out,” she said, pointing out that removing equipment and sets after the event can be harder than bringing it inside the venue. “Second, it's a party, and things will go wrong. Third, wear comfortable shoes.”

Posted 07.30.03

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