In our modern world of technology and social media, it’s easy to follow your favorite, famous event planners.
From Mindy Weiss planning elaborate events for the Kardashian family to Colin Cowie’s celebrity A-listers like Oprah and Jennifer Anniston, we’re lucky to get a glimpse into the world of famous event planners and their events.
Before we dive into our top 10 list, let’s discuss how these famous event planners can help you and your event business.
Researching your competitors isn’t a new concept.
We’ve all done it, even if we don’t realize it, because it’s way easier to do with everything online and easily accessible.
Researching your competition can be as simple as checking out a company’s website, social media account, and online reviews to see what services they offer, how many followers they have, and what people are saying about them.
And that is all incredibly important to do; however, light “cyberstalking” isn’t enough to gather the information you really need.
Sizing up the competition isn’t something to take lightly. It involves more in-depth competitive research to get the results you need.
Competitive research is a crucial part of any good marketing plan because it helps you:
- Understand your target market
- Improve your marketing strategies
- Identify market gaps, and allow you to fill them
- Develop a strategic plan for future success
However, to effectively do all of this, you first need to identify your top competitors.
Once you get to know your competition and learn what they do well, you can begin to cherry-pick and”borrow” the best pieces of what has been proven to work for them.
Knowing what makes other companies successful is beneficial for a few reasons:
- Inspiration can lead to innovation with the proper implementation.
- It can help you learn and perfect the art of borrowing.
- Determining the common factor to others’ success can lead to your own.
- It can help establish a more realistic timeline for your business goals.
- Following famous event planning companies and event planners can feel like mentorship.
- If you engage in conversations on LinkedIn groups or comment on posts on social media, it can help extend your reach and highlight your talents.
- Knowledge is power. It’s really that simple. If you want to go to the best Italian restaurant, you do your research. This applies the exact same principle.
- Knowing about, and following successful event planners can give you important tips and tricks of the trade, while also helping to keep you in the loop regarding industry trends.
In addition to those benefits, it can also help you learn the lingo to sell your services, letting your potential clients know the benefits of hiring a professional.
Because — believe it or not — some people think they can handle event planning all on their own.
After all, they have Pinterest and lots of beautiful Pinterest boards with wonderful ideas.
How hard can planning their own wedding be?
Planning their own wedding will save them money, right?
Does hiring an event planner cost more?
Carley Roney, the co-founder of TheKnot.com, was asked, “But isn’t hiring a wedding planner just one more assault on the budget?”
She turned the question around by replying, “You give them a budget, and their job is to make the wedding happen in that budget,” she said. “By not overspending, they can save thousands of dollars.”
She was able to do this, because (as a professional) she knows that the average person will spend well past their budget due to a lack of experience in event planning.
Ms. Roney added: “There are so many overlooked expenses that people don’t calculate as part of their budget.” Consider tipping: 15 percent of a $20,000 catering bill means an additional $3,000. Or, she said, “if you’re holding your wedding at a popular beach site, a difference of one weekend can bring you from high-season rates to off-season rates.”
Not only can it help you learn the lingo to help you sell your services, but it can give you insight into how the pros handle things, like negotiations to help save their clients money.
According to an article written by the NY Times, “You needn’t be a pit bull to get a bargain, she said. “You don’t have to think of it as a formal, tough, adversarial negotiation,” she said. “You just have to frame it as asking a question: ‘What specials or promotions are you currently offering? Can you discount the gown or give me more photos for the same price?’ ”
This type of free advice is good as gold if you know how to spin it.
But this involves doing your homework by getting to know your competition first.
Even though famous event planners might not be your direct competition, it’s important to know about them because you can learn a lot from them and their expert-level strategies.
10 Famous Event Planners You Should Follow
- Colin Cowie Lifestyle
Colin Cowie Lifestyle, located in N.Y.C., L.A., and Las Vegas, has been planning private and corporate events and weddings for over 30 years.
Voted by Vogue as the No. 1 best wedding planner, Colin Cowie has earned the price tag that comes with his events — $25,000 to $25 million. Is it any wonder that, as of 2019, his net worth is $4 million?
Their expertise is so desirable by their discerning clientele that they even offer an exclusive, invitation-only package, called Colin Cowie White.
This package is for clients who need and value ultimate privacy in unpublished locations not readily available on the market.
Who would need such a thing, you ask?
Let’s just say that their client list includes: Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, Elton John, Kim Kardashian, American Express, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Hard Rock Hotels and more.
Image courtesy of www.theworldsbest.events
2. Bassett Events, Inc.
Bassett Events, based in Toronto, specializes in planning high-profile charitable events, weddings, and private parties.
Jennifer Basset, CEO, philanthropist, and celebrated event planner has been leading her small team for over 20 years now.
They design, plan and manage every project from conception to execution, including:
- Vendor contract negotiation
- Event staffing
- Sponsor and media management
- Video production
- Talent procurement
- Sound design
- Catering consultation
- Budget development
- Print & graphic design
- Floral design & installation
- Media relations
- And much more…
They’ve worked for The World Wildlife Fund, Volvo, Special Olympics, Fours Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Toronto Zoo, Jeremy Piven, Sick Kids, Carrie Underwood, John Legend, and many more.
image courtesy of insightssuccess.com
MKG, based in NY and L.A, is the go-to event planning company when big brands are looking to create unforgettable brand experiences, Instagram-worthy environments, and spectacular product launches.
Proudly known as a women-owned and operated creative agency, they specialize in planning immersive, innovative, and unique events.
- Insight research & development
- Brand & campaign strategy
- Live experiences
- Virtual events
- Employee engagement
- Social impact actions
- Project management
- Content production
- Interactive & tech development
- And so much more…
Big-name brands that have entrusted their events to MKG include BarkBox, ShopBop, Google, Audi, and Delta Air Lines.
4. David Tutera
David Tutera is a Celebrity wedding and event planner, based in Los Angeles, who’s been creating “experiences” for over 30 years.
He and his team handle the events from start to finish, including decor, planning, coordination, production, and everything in between.
With notable Clients like Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Williams, David has really made a name for himself.
How has he done this? According to David, “Creating celebrations is NOT a job to me, it’s my passion… I simply love what I do!”
In fact, he loves what he does so much that he even offers a twelve-month mentorship program that includes monthly one-on-one calls with David himself and direct access to him via email.
Do twelve months seem long? Maybe, but David says, “ Everyone deserves to be successful. It takes patience, dedication, hard work, connection, passion, and the willingness to stand OUT! To be You and to be UNIQUE.”
image courtesy of amazon.com
5. A Perfect Event
Named ‘Top Wedding Planner’ by Martha Stewart Weddings, A Perfect Event is a full-service, award-winning, event and design firm based in Chicago.
Debi Lilly’s awards include:
- World’s Top 10 Event Planner by Departures Magazine
- Top wedding planner by Martha Stewart and The Knot
- Top event planner by Global Black Book
- Top event innovator by BizBas
With 20 years of experience, Debi has led her team in perfecting countless events, including weddings, corporate, galas, birthdays, dinners and more.
- Wedding & party planning
- Designing & planning galas and corporate events
- Styling beautiful environments, vignettes and styled photoshoots
- Designing and creating favors, stationary & floral design
- Hosting workshops at the Nantucket Floral Camp
Oh, did I mention that A Perfect Event planned and ran Oprah’s on-air birthday party?
Wonderland, located in London, NYC, and Miami, is known for organizing more upbeat and modern events than that of traditional management companies for more than 15 years.
Services they offer include:
- Brand-forward experiences
- Brand strategy & experiences
- Digital & hybrid experiences
- Creative & event consultancy
- Social media management
- Experiential marketing
- Event design & production
- Social & digital amplification
- Marketing, PR and sponsorship
Because they specialize in events that crave a younger vibe, it’s no surprise that Ariana Grande, MTV, Heineken, H&M, and Nike are on their client list.
7. Rafanelli Events
Located in N.Y.C., Palm Beach, and Boston, Rafanelli Events plans over 100 events a year, specializing in weddings.
In fact, Bryan Rafanelli (Founder, President, and CCO) is one of the top celebrity wedding planners in the world.
He has also been named Top Event Planner by Vogue, InStyle, Bazaar, Martha Stewart Weddings, Bizbash, and The Knot.
- End-to-end event planning
- Private events
- Corporate events
- Non-profit galas
With prominent clients like Barack and Michell Obama, Allison Williams, Matt Damon, and Chelsea Clinton, it’s no surprise that the events come with a price tag that ranges from $250,000 to $1 million.
8. Mindy Weiss
Mindy West Party Consultants, located in New York and Beverly Hills, has been planning events for over three decades.
The price tag of $20,000 to $1 million for her events seems like a bargain considering that clients know her for her calming presence on their wedding day. Anyone who has ever been married, been to a wedding, or watched a movie about a wedding knows that that is priceless.
As one of the most creative minds in the industry, Mindy brings life to the unimaginable with her inventive eye and passion.
Her services include:
- Wedding planning
- Corporate events
- Non-profit events
- Celebrity parties
- Social hosts
- Property management
- Personal shopping
- Home design, including sourcing
- Pet care & services
- Travel reservations & itineraries
With the wide variety of services she offers, and notable clients like Sofia Vergara, Ellen DeGeneres, the Kardashians, it’s no wonder her net worth is $8 million.
image courtesy of Mindyweiss.com
9. Marcy Blum Events
Starting out as a “social secretary”, Marcy Blum of March Blum Events is located in Brooklyn and Palm Beach is an internationally sought-after event planner & entertaining expert with 30 years of experience.
Known for her humour, style, and innovation, Marcy has created events for the likes of The Rockefeller family, Kevin Bacon, and Billy Joel.
Named Top Planner in the World by Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, getting her to plan your events is currently on a referral-only basis.
Her services include:
- Venue Selection and Layout
- All Appointment Scheduling
- Planning Schedule and Timeline
- Vendor Recommendation, Negotiation, and Coordination
- Design and Decor
- Lighting, Staging, and Sound
- Selection and Coordination of Invitations and All Printed Materials
- RSVP Coordination
- Guest Concierge Services
- Ceremony Planning
- Event Run of Show
- On-Site Event Supervision
- Gifting for Guests
- Including Welcome Gifts, Evening Turndown Surprises, and Favors
- Food and Beverage
- Service Staff Training
- Planning and Coordination of All Auxiliary Wedding Events
- Coordination of NDAs, and if Applicable, Press Liaison
What sets her apart and makes her so successful? Her incredible imagination. According to Marcy, “Our events innovate, rather than follow trends.”
image courtesy of the NY Times
10. Lisa Vorce Co.
Lisa Vorce Co. was founded in 2001 by Lisa Vorce, who brought such a depth of experience to creating one-of-a-kind events, that she received accolades from Martha Stewart, BizBash, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, and more.
Known for planning events all over the globe, she earned the bragging rights to masterfully produce iconic celebrations such as the weddings of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen, and Kate Upton & Justin Verlander.
A full-service event design & production company, Lisa and her team handle everything from start to finish. No detail is too small and no task is too big.
Attention to detail, having a strong team and unrelenting passion are some of the strengths these10 famous event planners have in common.
But they didn’t build their famous businesses overnight. And they didn’t do it without making mistakes and learning along the way.
If you’re ready to boost your event business, click here.