6 Questions for Event Planning Expert Shannon Lach

1. What ignited the spark in you to start your own business?

I say in the book that at a young age I knew I had a problem with authority! It might be the wrong answer, but it is the honest one. I always felt that my opinions and ideas were never taken seriously because of my age, sex and physical appearance. Being an event planner has been a dream since I was 17 and I always knew I would open my own business. Sometimes tragedy, risk and dreams all come together at the same time to create something beautiful – my beautiful was my business, PEAR.

 2. What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business in the event planning industry?
  1. Have the right answer to… “why do you want to be an event planner”
  2. Get experience in any way you can
  3. Don’t be a gossip – become a leader, not a follower
3. What are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful event planner?
  1. Problem solving skills
  2. Confidence
  3. Kindness/Sincerity
4. How do you generate new ideas?

I just wake up.  I take inspiration from all points of life. I am not a researcher like many business owners.  I pride myself on knowing the caliber of experience and excellence I would expect from an event planner and execute it with my clients. I learn each and every event I do – throughout the entire process.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. A lot of it is trial and error, but most ideas work. I find that if I look at what other people are doing, I do just that…what they are doing.  My clients hire me to host an event unlike any other. I may pull ideas from social media or Pinterest 1% of the time, but a collaborative meeting with my team and the client is really what drives my ideas.  It is all about editing. Never do the same thing twice and you will survive in this industry!

5. What are the top trends for 2014 holiday events?

Dinner Parties. Hiring a private chef to come to your house to prepare a 5 course meal for your loved ones and friends. Then you get to host and enjoy at the same time!

6. What precautions do you take at events around the holidays to prevent the spread of germs?

The largest concern for germs is with the food – making sure you hire a capable and respectable caterer to handle and prep the food. I also make sure that all dishes for sharing have proper serving utensils and most often suggest a single serving portion to the client. Our staff is always washing their hands when in contact with various items, including food and cards, or any item possibly carried frequently by other hands. If everyone practices proper etiquette it should not be an issue.

Feeling inspired? For a step-by-step guide on how to build an event planning company that thrives, see Lach’s new book on the subject here published this fall by Self-Counsel Press.  

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