Beyond The Sell
In order to be successful in the event planning industry you have to juggle several elements all at the same time. How do you unwind after spending so many hours a day planning memorable moments for clients?
It took a little time but I have developed techniques to help me relax. I have worked in multiple sectors of the event production industry for the past twenty years and yes the production process can be demanding, brutal, and stressful at any given time. During events I am simultaneously texting, answering calls, checking emails and making sure that all production elements run smoothly without any complications. I remember early-on in my career, their were many nights that I was unable to sleep as the impending production and hopes to exceed client expectations kept me awake. This industry definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. However, as the years passed I learned how to achieve my own personal sense of balance. Being creative will always be a part of my unwinding process. I like traveling to exotic locations, reading, playing music weekly, and when I get the occasional free weekend, you can find me at the nearest body of water with a fishing rod. Most importantly I am a husband and a father so watching my family thrive and spending time with them over dinner is one of my favorite moments during the day. I have a core value system based on good ethics which were instilled in me by my parents at an early age. They taught me the importance of productivity by encouraging me to go to bed early and to get up early to indulge in moments of reflection prior to beginning my day. I always get up around 4:00 am each day and spend that valuable time alone centering myself from a spiritual, physical, and mental standpoint prior to engaging in phone calls, emails, and fulfilling client requests. This practice has served me well and led to many brilliant moments and productive days while allowing me the space needed to persevere through the inevitable ebbs and flow of this industry.
Your career background is very creative, you are a talented instrumentalist and you also spent several years working in event operations prior to joining the team at Visual Comet? What do you like most about event coordination and working in sales management at Visual Comet? Do the elements from your past career choices help you to be more productive at Visual Comet?
Visual Comet isn’t a “workplace” to me. It is my second home. The Visual Comet team, the caliber of our products, and services, makes being here everyday an easy choice. I truly believe that spending time in a space that you love with people that value your talent leads to success for both your clients and the entire team. My role allows me to do things that I enjoy, interact with people from diverse backgrounds, be creative, and bring happiness to the lives of others. I also like to believe that I am an atypical sales manager. My initial thoughts isn’t to sell a product to a client but to help them visualize how our services at Visual Comet will enhance their production. My musical background comes in handy as I think in sequential order, which helps clients propose a plan of action that is creative and keeps the energy of the production moving forward until the end. I have a “think bigger” personality and surprise my clients at times with my often grandiose concepts. If they are willing to go to a level of boundless creativity, I am ready to go along with the entire Visual Comet team as my partners.
Clients are inspired by a variety of stimuli. What was the most outrageous requests that you ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill the requests?
Outrageous request, I have encountered a few in my twenty years in this industry. One I fondly remember is the “Randall’s Island Project”. I had a client that took the photo booth concept to the next level before it’s time. They requested multiple photo stations to be staggered throughout the island with the goal of uploading real time images during the event to the main stage screen. In the world of smartphones and social media this seems like an easy feat, doesn’t it? Well circa 2003, that certainly wasn’t the case as we didn’t have the technology to efficiently produce this request. Weak wifi and Bluetooth connections meant that my friends and I would dig 3500 ft of trench and bury the multiple wires underground. Nope, we didn’t have digital photobooths either, so how did we do this? We used four megapixel cameras. Next, we mounted the cameras to an overhead truss, allowing guests to lay down and take photos. I definitely had to practice a lot of patience while being innovative to fulfill this request. But if you can do it once, they say that you can do it again and so we did, for three more consecutive years. The outrageous requests have continued to come over the years and I welcome the challenges, lessons, and client satisfaction that comes along with them.
What do you most enjoy about working at Visual Comet every day?
I think it’s important to align yourself with like-minded individuals. Our team at Visual Comet all possess the same goal at the end of the day which is a “never give up” spirit and not stopping until our clients desires are fulfilled. It’s and honor to build a foundation with a team knowing that the services are going to be delivered a 100% without fail every single time. This is a rare occurrence in this industry and I don’t take this opportunity for granted. I am sure that Eric gets annoyed by my daily morning check-in calls. But at the end of the day we are all family.