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What Event Planners Won’t Tell You…

February 15, 2011

Years ago I threw a GIANT engagement party for my twice divorced sister, Jody. Why did I do it? I wasn’t her dad, nor was it going to be her first wedding. It was because she was sleeping on my couch for over 7 months and was dating this guy from a town 300 miles away…and I saw an opportunity to get rid of her. Whatever I can do I said to her, and she said we’ll it is his first marriage and his family….Get the point. So I hired a party planner from the Bay Area to handle the situation. John James was his name and he had such flare that I was sure this would be spectacular and the deal would be sealed…and off my couch she would go. I had a dollar figure I gave John James and he said that the figure I came up with would cover it all. When the event came around I showed up at the hotel ready to basically toast and say goodbye to Jody at the same time. I checked into my tiny room (not a problem I said to myself as this is only for one night) then proceeded to track down the event planner to finalized details. I knocked on his hotel room door and he answered it in one of the hotel’s plush robes and invited me into his giant hotel suite…which was all part of what I was paying for.  Needless to say I was pissed and Jody remained on my couch for another 4 months…

In the March 2011 issue of Money magazine there is an article called “10 Things Event Planners Won’t tell You…” I should’ve read this years ago. I’ll give you the highlights so you can beware.

  1. You have more leeway than you think. Because of the economy, deals are to be made.
  2. If I don’t like you, I’ll charge you more. Why anyone would work that closely with someone they don’t like is beyond me…oh the $$$
  3. …But if I like you, I’ll go the extra mile. What does that mean, you’ll take the smaller room?
  4. Read the fine print – no, really! Just get Jody out!
  5. I could actually save you money. Isn’t that the point?
  6. Chemistry is everything. See 2 & 3
  7. The internet is your friend, not mine. Planners don’t like the competition. Nuff said.
  8. I can get you a huge break on a venue – not that you’ll ever see it. Promises, promises.
  9. You’ll want to check my references. One of my mistakes for sure.
  10. If I work for the venue, it means I don’t work for you. Yeah, one more conflict!

I’m guilty of wanting the easy way out when it comes to family. Of course, the easy way with Jody was to just kick her off that couch, but family is family and in our big italian family that’s what we do. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we treat our clients like family too! You can’t sleep on our couch but we can sit there and discuss all things financial. Call us at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. You work hard for your money, let Gunwel work smart to help you keep it. See you soon!

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