Listening to the “Girl Next Door”: How event planning is easier when you’ve lived the life

“You wanna walk the walk? You gotta talk the talk.”

How many times have you heard that phrase used in life and in the movies? Over the course of my lifetime, I am sure that I have heard it hundreds of times. As an Event Services Broker (ESB), I realize that this thought is incomplete. What is critical to this line of thinking is the concept of “live the life.” In other words, calling a specific geographical area “home” in order to really get a taste of the community at large.

The “Girl Next Door”
I was raised in N.J. I lived in N.Y.C., married into Rockland and Long Island families only to end up in Westchester. I am the “Girl Next Door” to those I represent and I am hired to help broker events in and around the above listed areas. One story I like to tell is that of a different “Girl Next Door.”  I’ve told it hundreds of times and this will be hundreds plus one!

She was, literally, the “Girl Next Door” to the house in Short Hills, N.J. in which my husband, children and I lived for a decade. She also happened to be a realtor. When it came time to market the house, I called her. Who better to sell the cul de sac area of town than one who had grown up on its streets, eaten dinner in many of the houses still standing on it and who could tell a buyer honestly, if the morning train could be heard from the mountain top. She presented us with top notch research, state of the art marketing and worked to keep our relationship with the buyers a smooth one. In one week’s time, the “Girl Next Door” had opened the front door and closed a contract for top dollar. To this day, I am in awe of her methods—following her daily online—and use her as a mentor for my own business style.

Walking the Walk
As an ESB, I bring to the client/vendor meeting table that same level of research based on small town and big city experiences. I speak of personalities over numbers, as I have eaten in their restaurants and danced to their bands. I sell from the heart as opposed to handbooks. It’s easily done when I have brokered my own events with the same vendors whom I represent in business.

My resource list evolves with the years, allowing me to offer a stamp of approval with regard to top tier talent. The industry itself changes with the speed of dramatic lighting, so social media and more traditional listings are critical in the research phase. Websites are scanned, printed directories are reviewed and programs from conferences are read. Trade shows provide an overview of what is new and improved in the industry.

Finally, knocking on doors for the sake of maintaining ties and quality control over services is of great importance. My own relationships as an ESB are based on trust and respect with a sense of humor. After all, I have to be able to laugh in life or else I would never learn the key to helping clients celebrate it!

You want an ESB to have walked, talked and lived the event planning life. You want to be shown the shortest route to event memories which will last a lifetime.  Invest your time and money wisely in someone with the skills and knowledge of the “Girl Next Door” for your next special event!

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