With the reality of the current economic climate, it is understandable why we are all so concerned about spending money. People have been affected at all socio-economic levels, both personally and in their businesses and organizations. The private party industry has certainly been affected; many people are either afraid to spend, they can’t spend, or they don’t want to look like they are spending. But even in difficult times, the happiest occasions arise and we want to celebrate! As a provider of a luxury item, Live Music for Parties, I recognize the importance of generating new ideas and creating products that will be sensitive to the current economic conditions. I have always maintained that music is the primary element that creates the fun and the motion throughout an event** and should always be prioritized in the event budget. I have preached that while of course we need to be mindful of our overall spending, we should allocate a generous portion to the musical elements, since the music is what brings us, carries us, propels us, keeps the energy going throughout the entire evening! While it is natural to look for places to cut, and to be mindful about “showing too much,” once the party is actually happening, the concerns fall away and all you want is to have the best time possible. Always!
Something interesting happened this week that prompted me to write this article, and validated my point of view. I was putting the finishing touches on a timeline for a Charity Ball Gala at the Waldorf=Astoria where my orchestra would be performing. It is an annual event for a well known health organization, and this is the 8th year that we are involved. When my client called many months ago to give me this year’s date and to solidify the contract, she said that they needed to downsize this year; there had been many budget cuts and they did not want to look too “festive.” She asked that I bring a few less performers, choose attire that leans toward conservative, and keep things a little more “low-key”. I made the necessary adjustments and we went forward.
Last week we had a meeting to prepare the flow of the evening, and at one point she said, “Now, at the end of dinner, I want you to really rock! I want you to bring out those fabulous singers and really make a big splash!” I said, “Really? That is not what you said a few months ago! I am looking at my notes from our conversation in April where you asked me to downplay everything…” And she told me no, she realized it was important to make a great presentation and show people a really good time, because that is what they would remember. After all, it is a party, and there is something to celebrate. The “fun” and the “magic” is not the place to hold back. Wow.
My thoughts exactly!
At the event and “in the moment” I am sure I would have spontaneously “revved up” and offered the best performance possible, since that is my inclination and is the natural flow. But perhaps we would have not been fully prepared with all of our tools; the right wardrobe, sufficient personnel. I was pleased that my client realized ahead of time that even though she had been concerned and anxious, the party is really the time to “bring it all”. When you think about it, there are certain times in our lives when we really want to “bring it all,” and I believe that our celebrations are one of those special times.
We did the event this past weekend, and I woke up this morning to an email from our client. Here it is.
Thank you!!! You are your orchestra were nothing less than spectacular last night!! The best ever! I know we have placed limitations on you in the past, but you were amazing when allowed to do what you obviously do so well. The energy in the room was phenomenal. Thanks for making us all look so good.
Thanks once again for a wonderful evening…on to 2010! Helene”