Excuse me for a moment while I take this opportunity to vent! Every time I turn around, there is another event professional labeling themselves as “Celebrity” planner. Now don’t get me wrong, some have rightfully earned that title as they have worked for many years to perfect their craft, build their brand, and take on the tasks of handling the events of celebrity clients that seek their services. There’s no doubt that these planners are the creme de la creme of the event planning industry.
But there are some “planners” that feel that their association with celebrities is enough to legitimize them- NOT! I know that I continuously work to improve my skills and do not feel that I am anywhere near the epitome of my career. I understand that everyone has their own space in this jam-packed industry. I am comfortable with my position. But what upsets me is when others get disillusioned by these titles that some planners want to impose upon themselves. Without incriminating the guilty, I will give you a case study.
Planner 1: Struggled to be a music artist within the record industry. After years of promises by the label, she realized that a prosperous music career was not in her cards. Said planner stays in contact with many of her industry colleagues , so it is easy for her to move about in their world. Upon chance, she decides that becoming a wedding planner looks fun and easy so she embarks on this new career path. Said planner is introduced by a mutual friend to a celebrity couple who is getting married. Couple is impressed by the gloss presented and the fact that planner knows so many of their industry friends, so they hire her. Let me just cut to the chase- the celebrity couple is now starting litigating against the planner for improper planning, withholding of material purchases, and misrepresentation. Meanwhile, planner is touting herself as a celebrity planner on all social networks and within the community; hence, gaining a following of more uninformed people. Her website boasts grainy pictures of the celebrity wedding, but no other client events. The only other photos on the website are stock photos. I will just stop there because this planner could take up my entire post. And unfortunately, there are many more out there just like her.
I was joking with a fellow planner yesterday and told her that I guess that I can label myself as a celebrity planner too, lol. My career began when I was working for a famous record producer as an intern. I used to assist with planning events for his company as well as his residence. This is what eventually led me to starting my own company and event planning as a profession. BUT, I realized that I truly needed to learn the industry, take courses, shadow more experienced planners, and most importantly stay in my lane! I never name my previous employer as I do not want to use his stardom as a way to catapult my business. I also do not want to provide the impression to my prospective clientele that I am someone larger than I really am. Trust me, word of mouth and your portfolio will speak volumes!
The only thing that I can suggest is that if you are looking to acquire the services of an event professional, ask for references and a portfolio of their work. Don’t get sucked in by the labels or name-dropping. There are plenty of talented planners who have never done one celebrity event! I know of some whose work far exceeds some of the well-known planners. I guess that I can end my venting session now, just needed to get that off of my chest. But as always…
Make it Memorable!