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She's planned everything from high-profile corporate events to glamorous Hollywood premiere parties. Her clients include such prominent companies as ABC, E! Entertainment Television, Fox Sports, Warner Bros, the Washington Post, and countless others. She recently expanded her business two-fold, now running SOCIAL, a company dedicated to planning social events, and Designer8* Event Furniture Rental.
Samantha Sackler of Samantha Sackler Productions (Culver City, CA) touts a resume that runs the gambit when it comes to extensive event planning experience. Read on to find out more about Samantha's line of work and why "no day is ever the same" for this professional planner.
GM: How did you get started as a professional event planner?
SS: I was working in public relations and many of my clients asked me to create events for them. I loved the event side so much that I started my own event production business.
GM: What event planning services do you offer?
SS: We offer complete event production services-design, renderings, menu planning, lighting, production timelines, custom floral designs, choreography, and run of show production.
GM: What types of events do you typically plan?
SS: We specialize in corporate, fashion and entertainment events. We have produced more than 1,000 events across the nation and internationally, and we recently launched a new division of Samantha Sackler Productions with Tammy Morgan Ratner called SOCIAL that is dedicated to social events. We orchestrate unforgettable celebrations packed with personality and imaginative touches.
GM: What sets you apart from other event planners?
SS: I have great respect for other event planners; I think we all learn from one another. I always try and raise the bar with the events I plan - no idea is too big.
GM: What is your favorite part about being a professional event planner?
SS: It is an exciting business and no day is ever the same. I love what I do and enjoy having the ability to create events that transform spaces into new environments.
GM: How does entertainment fit into the events that you plan?
SS: Entertainment can really vary depending on the event and the budget. We have produced events with high-profile DJs, and we have produced events with live music and dance productions. The Great Gatsby Premiere is a great example-the entertainment included a DJ, several performances with a live band, and choreographed dance routines.
GM: If you could work on a specific event type more than you currently do, what would it be and why?
SS: We launched SOCIAL to take our skill set into more social celebrations. We have produced several elaborate weddings and birthday celebrations, and we have had numerous requests to produce more. We are excited to now have the team at SOCIAL dedicated to these personal events.
GM: Why do you use GigMasters for finding entertainment?
SS: We are always looking for and evaluating new vendors. GigMasters is a great resource no matter where we are producing an event in the country. You have to be careful with vendor selection. GigMasters offers vendor reviews and they even provide you with a guarantee if you are not satisfied.
GM: Anything else you would like to share? What else would you like our audience to know about you?
SS: In addition to owning Samantha Sackler Productions, I also own Designer8* Event Furniture Rental. We provide furniture for many high profile events - movie premieres, weddings, The Emmys, The Oscars, and even The White House.
GM: What's the biggest misconception people have about event planners?
SS: I can't really say it is a misconception, but I think if you are a good event planner, you tend to make it look easy and effortless even though it really is not.
GM: What's the one thing you wish people knew before they hired you?
SS: I always want potential clients to know what their budget is before we get started. It is important to know that up front.
GM: What's the biggest mistake people make when planning a big event on their own?
SS: Not being prepared for the unexpected. You have to have a Plan B for weather and any other changes that may occur.
GM: Can you tell a story about a disaster averted?
SS: We planned a movie screening on Liberty Island (the location of the Statue of Liberty) right after 9/11. It was very challenging to load in because we needed to wait for the tides to be right. We were able to work around it, but it was something we had not encountered in our history of producing events.
GM: What's the one piece of advice you'd offer anyone about finding a planner?
SS: Ask to attend an event they are producing or at least be sure to get references from recent projects.
GM: What's one piece of advice you'd offer anyone planning a party on their own? SS: Think outside the box and get inspiration from others. Make use of all the great tools, such as Pinterest, where people share great celebration ideas. And of course, contact us if you would like to hire a planner or rent some great pieces of furniture. - She's not your average event planner. With a hand in nearly every pocket of the industry, Samantha stands as an architect of the arts - from conception to execution, and every stick of furniture in between. She knows what it takes to construct an event of Epic proportions. Just ask the folks behind the hit animated feature (she planned their premiere, too!)
For updates on the latest and greatest events by Samantha Sackler Productions, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. And for some truly stunning portfolio visuals, check her out on Pinterest!