Managing our team all the way through the production of a program, our Project Director Jenna Mesic is giving you insight into the long process between idea and execution.
When did you start at DPEM? On July 15, 2012, I came on board at DPEM as the Project Director.
How did you get started in the event industry originally? My career in events actually started when I was in high school. I worked for a friend’s family reunion planning company and that is what started my passion for events. I grew to love the industry in college where I begin to create & execute large events. After college I immediately moved to Las Vegas where I produced over 900 weddings & events in 5 years, expanding my knowledge base and love for the industry.
What has been the biggest challenge that you have overcome as a producer, and what was your solution? One of the biggest challenges I have faced in the industry was when I had to convert a horse arena in Novato into a beautiful wedding venue. The plans were going great until the week of the event when it started to rain cats & dogs! The barn was protected, but the acreage surrounding the property was at least ankle deep in mud. Working with construction crews and cement layers, as the rain begin to slow, we created an entirely new driveway up to this barn. At first we were not sure if we needed to go as far as creating a driveway, but I knew it was needed when I personally fell knee deep in a wet mud pile. Then it had to be done! (Yes, I had to buy all new clothes for the day.)
What was the most luxurious or glamorous event you have produced? While In Las Vegas with The Ritz-Carlton, I produced a $1million wedding at the hotel. To this day, it was the most luxurious event I have ever produced. The client was from LA and had over 700 guests at this black tie affair. The 12,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton was entirely re-carpeted per the client’s request, the flowers were draped en-masses from hand made chandeliers scattered around the room, the cake was a breathtaking 8 stories tall, and every guest had handmade napkins encrusted with small diamonds. It was extravagant to say the least.
What is the most unusual request you have ever had? One of the more unusual requests I have ever received was when a client asked for live centerpieces. The client wanted live animals from fish to hamsters as the centerpiece of their event. Sadly, for them, the venue would not allow it to be done.
As a client working with a new event planner, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to prepare them for the adventure? Get to know your event planner because relationships are very important, and you want to be sure you are going to enjoy working with someone in all different scenarios and through potential complications.
What has been your proudest moment as an event producer? Honestly, getting through any event where I know it could not have gone better and the client thank you at the end is always my proudest moment.
How would you describe your event producing style? I would like to describe my producing style as a mix of detail orientated and enjoyable. I want clients to know that I love what I do, and am committed to their event’s success because I am invested in the outcome for the both of us. I can also say that I am tough when need be, I look at the big picture and I like to foresee things before they happen.
What do you see as an upcoming trend for this year? As the market is looking hopeful for 2013, I believe we will see some incentive trips resurfacing in some wonderful locations around the world. People want to encourage their staff, which is always a great recognition tool. Therefore, I see businesses hosting family orientated events for the whole company. Lastly, I see technology as the ever growing trend in conferences. With so many business conferences around the world, the conferences are always competing for the next big show piece.
Where can you be found on your time off from work? Spending time with my husband, at the movies, relaxing at home or wandering the aisles in Target.
What would be your dream event to produce? I love events with a good cause and I have a childhood fascination with Disney, so my dream event to produce would be an event for Make a Wish Foundation at a Disney Park. Not only would I manage the production side, but I would like to be involved with the children at the park as well.
What is your best-kept secret to success? Do you what you love to do and do not choose a career based on money.