Sandra Bertsch: Founder of Sandra B. Events
Sandra Bertsch is a professional events planner who owns her own business called Sandra B. Events. The firm is a full-service agency that handles events for individuals and corporate clients. Sandra uses her P.R. background to put together successful product launches, conferences, corporate meetings, bridal showers, weddings, graduation parties, and more.
Sandra graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Public Relations. Upon receiving her degree, she found work at a small Public Relations firm in New York City. Due to the business’ size, Sandra was able to get a hands-on look at various aspects of the field. She worked on getting her clients the proper publicity, putting together events, and recruiting new business. She played an integral role in the company’s success.
Eventually, Sandra Bertsch realized that she had truly fallen in love with events planning. She loved the detail-oriented nature of the business, and got a thrill out of seeing an event go from ideas jotted on paper to a celebration for hundreds of people. She decided that she wanted to start her own events planning business. Though she enjoyed New York City, Sandra wanted a more low-key lifestyle. She chose to start this new business in San Francisco.
Due to her positive reputation and impressive results in the field, it wasn’t difficult for Sandra to quickly build up her business. Clients that had worked with her in the past were eager to join forces with her again. Eventually, Sandra B. Events was growing at such an exponential rate that she had to take on two full-time employees to help her manage her duties.
College students frequently contact Sandra and other aspiring events planners who want to learn more about her career and the field. Many times, someone will ask Sandra about the traits necessary to find success in this industry. Sandra explains that the following characteristics are required to become an events planner:
Time management skills
Putting together an event comes down to working well on a deadline. If your event is happening in three weeks, you have to ensure that all of the pieces that will make this event flawless are secured in advance of this date. For those who aren’t deadline oriented, or who get flustered when a deadline looms, this field isn’t the right choice. A competent events planner is able to budget his or her time and plan accordingly to get every task completed before the party, conference, or festival happens.
When you’re an events planner, you’re working directly with clients to put on a memorable day. Part of the success of the event comes down to catering to the customer’s wishes. While you may not feel that a live band or an outdoor venue is appropriate for this particular gathering, if this is what the client wants, then you must make it happen. In order to find success in the industry, you have to have the ability to put your own opinions aside in order to meet the client’s requests.
Sandra Bertsch states that your customers will come to you with questions about venues, food, and entertainment. They want to know whom they should hire, where they should host their event, and what they should serve that day. You have to know the best vendors in town. You must have relationships with local businesses in order to secure discounts. When a client asks you for information about renting photo booths for their son’s bar mitzvah, you must know where you can get photo booths, what it will cost, and what sort of setup is required. The customer looks to you to provide the resources necessary to make the event come together, and you have to deliver.
Sandra Bertsch: Committed to Creativity
As an events planner, you’ll throw dozens of weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, and retirement celebrations each year. The key is to make each event different from the last one. Add personal touches to each day to make it special for that client, and incorporate the customer’s personal tastes into the party.
The most successful events planners are social by nature. When you’re planning parties, festivals, and conferences, you must feel comfortable attending these events in order to make sure that they’re operating flawlessly. If crowds or groups of strangers overwhelm you, then this is probably not the best career choice for you. Additionally, events planners work with a diverse range of clients. You must feel equally as comfortable dealing with high-powered executives as you do partnering with families and their young children. The ability to communicate effectively with your customers is key when it comes to throwing an enjoyable celebration.
Sandra Bertsch explains that this is one of the most important parts of putting together a successful event. Whether it’s an anniversary party or a product launch, the day is going to have many different pieces. You’ll need to handle food, entertainment, the venue, and the guest list. If you’re constantly misplacing documents and forgetting to return phone calls, chances are that one of these important elements will get forgotten during the chaos of the planning process.
An events planner must rely on notebooks, spreadsheets, and other tools to keep organized. They must always have access to the names and contact information of their clients, their vendors, and the management personnel that run the venue where the party or celebration will take place. They must also have the ability to keep track of important dates, thus ensuring that caterers are booked on time, down payments are issued, and other deadlines are met.
These traits help to ensure that relations with clients are smooth, and the finished product is one that everyone can feel proud of.
Sandra Bertsch got her start working with a Public Relations agency in New York City. During this time, she got to learn the finer points of the field, and became particularly knowledgeable about events planning. From there, she was able to move on and start her own business, Sandra B. Events. Sandra, along with two full-time employees, handles graduation parties, weddings, anniversary celebrations, conferences, product launches, and more for a diverse client base. Sandra Bertsch notes that a successful events planner is organized, knowledgeable about different types of events, social, creative, and possesses strong time management skills.
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