by Max Tiu, September 2016
Contrary to popular belief, famous people are not hard to please as long as you deliver quality service and pay close attention to details. After all, celebrities are just like us who simply want their milestones to be celebrated in style. That being said, competent suppliers are needed to make their special events memorable.
As a supplier who has done a few celebrity events, local and international alike, I do not consider myself an expert, rather, just someone who is blessed enough to have experienced working with them. Fortunately, the ones whom I have done work for are sweet, kind and considerate. They were not unreasonable and ruthless brats like how the media portray most of them to be.
One of the incidents I remember vividly is when a bride mentioned in one of our planning sessions that she wanted a certain look for the event styling. The then groom-to-be responded lovingly, “Hon, that is way beyond our budget”. Expecting her to argue her case and get her way, I was pleasantly surprised when she said in a humble manner, “I understand. What if we do this instead… ”, then proceeded to her next option which was less costly. This made me think… the media had painted her image as a rich spoiled brat, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
This brings me to my next realization.
I used to believe that celebrities, especially famous ones, are never concerned with budget constraints. I always thought issues like that are reserved for mere mortals like us. But I guess in times like this, no one is really safe from budget problems.
Another memorable experience I had was when this bride & groom, being über-busy Asian international superstars, arrived a day before their wedding. We had to plan their entire program in one evening. Yes… at that time it was really stressful, but in hindsight, it was a great challenge ! As a supplier, one has to be ready for anything that is thrown his way. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone definitely raises anxiety and generates a stress response. But this results in an enhanced level of concentration and focus, and eventually growth.
Planning a surprise party for a popular teen star wasn’t any easier. In this age of social media, when fans would post and repost photos, information and practically anything about their idols, it is so easy to let the cat out of the bag. So as part of the team, we had to be extra careful not to leak any details on our social media sites, no matter how excited we were about the aforementioned bash. And to a celebrity like her, who is so used to being “surprised”, we had to come up with an elaborate scheme in order to ensure that she doesn’t get wise. In the end, getting her surprised was all worth it !
In a few cases when local TV networks were tasked to direct our reception programs, I learned that their ways were a bit different. Gaps and lulls are usually no-no’s and are deemed as mood killers. But in these cases, one has to wait for the TV directors’ signal to start and end a segment, much like how they tape a “tele-serye” since they had to air the highlights on national television.
The only common denominator among celebrity events is media coverage. For us, private events remain as such, but for celebrities, their private parties are inevitably shared to the public via media coverage. This may seem like a plus factor for most people especially in this publicity crazed era; however, with public admiration comes public scrutiny. People will always have something great and something harsh to say. Supporters will love, bashers will hate! It comes with the territory.
As event suppliers, our job is to make life easier for our clients, whether they are celebrities or not. We are here to help them achieve the perfect celebrations they have envisioned. If we fail to do so, it defeats the purpose of our existence.