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Fresh Faces 2022: Weston Garret Gonzalez

Gonzalez is the owner and creative director of westhaus, a production, design and management company that specializes in events for the entertainment industry.

Weston Gonzalez
Photo: Courtesy of Weston Garrett Gonzalez

Weston Garret Gonzalez, 32, is the owner and creative director of westhaus, a Los Angeles-based production, design and management company that specializes in events for the entertainment industry. Before launching his own company in 2019, he held in-house event roles at the likes of Sony Pictures Television, Starz and Apple TV+.

How he spends his days: "As the owner and creative director of an event production company, no day is the same. I’m hands-on with every single event that goes through the 'haus, and my day is filled with everything from site surveys and production timelines to designing renderings and layouts for creative decks. From a business perspective, westhaus is an LLC and a brand, meaning I’m doing everything from negotiating our insurance policies and running payroll to guiding our social media presence. Lastly, there is the managerial component and as the 'haus continues to grow, I’m responsible for the employees’ and contractors’ daily tasks related to our ongoing client projects.  

I got my professional start in the events industry in 2010 when I started working at Sony Pictures Television as an events intern and spent seven years climbing the corporate ladder. I became the events director, where I served as the right-hand man to the VP of events and oversaw domestic events for the television studio. From there, I spent the next couple of years overseeing events at networks and streamers before deciding to launch westhaus."

Biggest takeaway from the past two years: "I’ve never been a fan of repetition, and prior to the pandemic, I was seeing a lot of uninspired work. I love to push my clients and challenge them to take risks on event components that have become stale, like step-and-repeats. The pandemic forced the industry to shift and think differently in almost every way, taking us into the world of virtual events and at-home experiences. At westhaus, we produced many at-home experiences that helped our clients eventize series and initiatives that would have normally had in-person events. I hope this new way of thinking sticks and we continue to see inventive approaches to all facets of events both physical and virtual."

Impact he wants to have on the industry: "Transparency continues to be at the core of westhaus principles, and I hope my transparency as an event production company creates a shift in how companies award jobs. I spent years hiring production companies and agencies knowing full well that costs were constantly marked up and their 'fees' were arbitrary numbers that were actually inflated by money built into other areas of the budget. Since the beginning, I have charged my clients at cost and our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the budget based on the scope, scale and lead time.

I also want to be transparent about the impact the events industry has on the climate, and am exploring initiatives to join such as the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative."

Advice for his peers: "Know your worth. As an event producer, it’s especially likely that eventually you’ll work with or report to people who don’t recognize your position as one requiring specialized experience. Some people will think that your core value as a member of the team is in knowing the right vendor to call for lighting, or for catering or for security. These people are wrong.

Your work is difficult, and the expectation for perfection is constant—any mistakes are magnified ten-fold because your work product is extremely public. Don’t be surprised if you come across somebody who thinks they can do your job because they helped their friend plan a baby shower. You’re not a 'party planner.' Just keep this in mind, and know your worth."

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This year's "Fresh Faces" feature is sponsored by Glisser, an award-winning meetings and events platform developed by event industry veterans to go beyond basic video and screen-sharing tech to power inspiring, high-participation events of any size.

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