Planning and setting up for events is definitely not as easy as it may seem. When that day rolls around, after months of planning, you need to make sure everything is exactly how the client wants it. Whether it is a Bar Mitzvah, a Sweet 16 or a Corporate Company Holiday Party, there is always so much to do when the day of the event arrives. Stefanie Bartell-Zednick, who also happens to be my aunt, is the owner of SBZ Events, a full-service event planning and production company. I have had the opportunity to work some of these events with her and have learned so much about event planning and how to make sure everything runs smoothly.
- Arrive VERY Early. Stefanie does a lot of the preparing before the day of the event. Any décor she can arrange before she does. She has a complete layout of what everything is going to look like before she gets there and she also makes sure that everyone involved in the event is on the same page. However, there is always something that doesn’t go as planned, or some problem that comes up that has to be taken care of. When planning an event, you have to make sure you leave yourself a lot of time for any unexpected issues that may arise. For example, if an event starts between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., I am usually there between noon and 12:30 p.m.
- Have a Timeline. Although things will come up; you want to have a rough timeline for how much time you want spent on each project. If you don’t watch the time, you might get caught up in it all and run out of time.
- Don’t Ask Unnecessary Questions. In the beginning, I would go up to Stefanie for every little problem I had. When setting up for the event, the person who is running it all is going to have a lot of things going on. You can’t be going to them with every little problem you have. Either ask someone else or figure it out yourself. If it’s a stylistic question definitely ask, but don’t ask where the tape is. Learn to be a problem solver and work through it.
- Relax, Breathe, Don’t Stress. Depending on the size of the event, the hours leading up to the event can be very stressful. With so much going on, you can get very overwhelmed. The hour before the event starts is always the craziest. All of the final details have to come together and everything is being checked to make sure it’s up to standards. I once did a corporate event in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We were holding the party in one room that didn’t was open to the public until 6:30 and our event started at 8. We only had an hour and a half to pull it all together and it was the most stressful hour and a half of my life. People will yell at you, and you will be all over the place, but do your best to relax and breathe because it will all turn out great.
- Bring two pairs of shoes. I learned the hard way that working in the same pair for shoes for 12 hours is a terrible decision. Always wear sneakers to work and then different shoes for when the event starts. Otherwise your feet will be numb by the end of the night!
Working for Stefanie has taught me so much about event planning. It is definitely a stressful job but when you see the finished project it is definitely worth it.
To view pictures of events or to learn more about SBZ events, visit http://www.sbzevents.com.
By: Katherine Bartell
Katherine Bartell is a sophomore with a Communication Interest major with a Spanish minor. She is the Finance and Fundraising Director for PRSSA-UD, and a member for the Harrington Theatre Arts Company. She is a PR enthusiast and can’t go a day without a cup of coffee!