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Inside an Event Firm's Demise

This week's New York magazine provides an interesting glimpse at the final days of Ted Kruckel's event firm, Ted Inc., known for working with lots of big-spending media and fashion clients like Vanity Fair and LVMH and stylish events like Diffa's Dining by Design benefit. Kruckel's diary-style story is filled with both the odd details (one entry begins, "After blow-drying hyacinths till 2:30 AM...") and difficult business realities that many event planners will recognize.

One telling passage: "In the past year or so, we've spent half our time developing programs and events that get killed. The projects that do get green-lighted tend to be cheap and cheerful. What three years ago would have been a $250,000 event now has to be brought in at $150,000. And the fun part is that a big program or event for a smaller budget means more man-hours—not fewer—so we get squeezed on both ends."

As sad as his situation is, the always quotable Kruckel appreciates its irony, like his time spouting Oscar fashion predictions ("Diamonds will be chunkier") while New York State tax workers are visiting to see if he's running a legitimate business.

Posted 03.26.03

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