Big Time

Wednesday is my biggest fundraiser of the year. In numbers it looks like this:

10th anniversary of the luncheon

1,177 guests

1 Grammy-award winning diva

5 of said diva’s glam squad

3 event co-chairs

3 youth speakers

3 honorees

1 CEO

1 hour program

$750,000 fundraising goal

I know I am in event crunch mode because I am event planning in my sleep. I get about 4 solid hours then am tossing and turning going over the massive guest spreadsheet. 1,177 guests makes for a big ass Excel sheet.

With event planning there are always unknowns. My job as the event manager is to have a plan for scenarios A through Z. My biggest unknown is our celebrity guest speaker. I’m imagining horrible outcomes with her – she doesn’t show, she shows late, she goes over time, she goes off topic, she says the wrong name of the non-profit. I have never actually spoken with this celebrity and only hope that her publicist passed on our talking points. Despite the outrageous (to me!) sum of money we are paying her, I have had an extremely difficult time getting answers to simple questions like- where are you staying?, when does your plane land?, who is the day of contact?, what will she be saying? I do not understand why there is resistance but then again, I am not a diva’s publicist/pr person/agent. I’m pretty sure that’s a job I would never, ever want. I am really bad at kissing ass.

My co-worker, one that I have worked with for over 4 years and who has been at every luncheon said to me the other day- “I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of how calm you are this year.” She meant that as a compliment and I took it as such. Because despite all the details that make me harried, I feel like I am on top of the game plan. Despite suffering through raging PMS (not convenient, body of mine!), I’ve not lost my cool. I’ve said “no” probably too quickly at times but sometimes someone has to be in charge. And that someone just so happens to be me.

I won’t be around much for the next few days as all my focus and attention will be on executing a seamless, profitable event. And then I will likely collapse in a heap of exhaustion and, hopefully, accomplishment.

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24 thoughts on “Big Time

  1. I remember another event-planning friend of mine saying the same thing about celebrity/high-profile guests, that it was such a risk, and that they were so vague. They usually pull it off, though, being performers and all.
    Best of luck to you, and may the funds roll in!!

  2. You are amaaaazing. I would get some serious hair loss trying to even imagine planning such a huge event!

    Maybe there’s resistance because of probable paparazzi? I’ve always been curious as to how much actors and actresses get paid for speaking at events (though I’m positive it’s more than what I have in my savings account), and whether most of them write their own material…

    Anyway, GOOD LUCK! [Pumps fist in air]. If anyone can do this, you most definitely can!!! 🙂

  3. Go, Sizz, go! You always pull these things off with *such* grace. 🙂 (be sure to reward yourself afterwards!)

  4. As a fellow event planner, I always love hearing more details about what you’ve got going on. And I definitely looked up your celeb–I had to know the source of the drama! We’ve only worked with a speaking bureau once, but I oh-so-feel your pain. It’s SO expensive and there’s so little they tell you and ugh. I’ve sworn them off since and when I get calls from agents pitching me their celebs I have no shame and basically tell them off. “Yes, we’d be interested in your client but we’ll only pay $1000 a day and we’ll work with him directly, NOT go through you since you’re a pain.” I always scare them. haha.

    I know your event will be brilliant!

  5. I’m curious to learn who your superstar guest speaker is after Wednesday. Good luck reaching your goal for this fundraiser. You can totally make it happen. Please get some rest after this event goes down.

  6. You are so money and you don’t even know it.

    Goonies never say die!

    We’re going to need a bigger boat.

    (And herein ends my comment wherein I use movie quotes as encouragement.)

    (That last one was from Jaws.)

    (GOOD LUCK. Have so! much fun.)

  7. Hope your event went super well! Can’t wait to hear how it went!

    I was also thinking that for those little annoying ants, a lot of people swear by using some combo of Borax and sugar. A friend had an exterminator come repetedly and that finally worked. There are lots of online instructions! Best of luck with those darn ants!

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