It’s all about the memories and valuing time, which is the modern-day luxury in a world that’s connected nonstop.

Brett Galley

Director of Special Events

Location: New York City & Greenwich CT

Hollywood POP is a cutting edge design & event planning company.  From creation to installation, we bring a full-service experience to private and corporate clientele with a comprehensive selection of design, decor, management and entertainment services. Serving clients both in and out of the United States, we design events in all parts of the world and even those just looking to make a great “escape to celebrate” for the weekend.

Brett Galley is what’s known as a P.S.T (Purveyor of Spectacular Theatrics!).  Raised in New York City and around the world by her journalist/artist mother and explorer father, Brett’s life has never been dull. Following art school, Brett opened her first art gallery with her mother, acclaimed artist Joyce Galley in
Greenwich, CT. As the space became a hot spot for events, they satisfied the demand for full event planning and entertainment booking & production by creating Hollywood Pop Gallery. Brett’s appreciative clients include American Express, Diana Ross, Robert DeNiro, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Bon Jovi,
the Robin Hood Foundation, Save the Children, the New York Yankees, and the
Museum of Modern Art.

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

Being environmentally conscious is something we will continue seeing for years to come. Clients and companies pay more attention to where supplies come from and what carbon footprint they leave. It is buying seasonal, local produce when it comes to catering, or buying flowers from local nurseries.

In the luxury industry, clients are leaning towards unique experiences rather than buying items. It’s all about the memories and valuing time, which is the modern-day luxury in a world that’s connected nonstop. We can see that trend overlapping to the events industry as well, where clients want us to create something unique that will have guests connecting with each other. We book name talent all the time, and usually, it is a band the client loved in their younger years. It’s about connecting to the moment, reminiscing with friends and being present rather than being on your phone. Great entertainment will add that personal touch to any event as most people can relate to a certain song, joke or game.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

When you don’t have a big budget, you want to allocate your money into the things that guests will remember. Those key points are food, beverage and music/ entertainment. When it comes to decor, lighting can make magic not to mention candles. Mirrored surfaces are good to work off of when playing with light, and you can create a great ambiance with small touches. Make sure your event has a beginning, middle and finale and that your event follows a real thread. When working with a small budget, keep the timeline of the event shorter which will keep catering and bar costs down as well as staffing. You want your guests to leave wanting more, rather than wanting to leave. Get creative with your favors – edible is usually the way to go when in doubt.

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?

A dream client and event is someone who trusts your expertise and gives us full creative freedom on all aspects of the event. We love doing destination events so I have to say, a three-day destination event somewhere in Europe would be our preferred event of choice. Doing an event overseas comes with a handful of challenges, but it’s a change we always welcome with open arms. It’s an opportunity for us to really take our client’s breath away while helping with something that for them, could easily be stressful.  We must always schedule an initial client meeting where we learn more about the style and preferences of the client, and how to best reflect who they are and what they would like to achieve after which in a perfect world, we would do our job and client would show up on the event day seeing their vision come to life. Trust is key when it comes to creating something amazing, and the more freedom our team has to express their creativity, the better the event turns out.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you
successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

Very important! Without good vendors, there is no event so nurturing these relationships is very important for us. However, after being in business for many years, we’ve cultivated a long list of vendors for different budget restrictions. If we have a client with a high budget who wants top of the line, creme de la creme, we have our go-to people.  On the other side, we also have vendors that are local small businesses that are better suited for a smaller budget or smaller-scale event. You have to know your client and most importantly, their budget, to know which vendors to use & recommend.

What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to

The most important thing is to hire professionals to get the job done. While the goal is to raise as much money as possible for the cause/ organization, one cannot underestimate the event itself. You have to be willing to allocate a reasonable amount of money for the event, in order to get the best outcome which is raising money. A team of professionals can help you elevate the initial event idea and highlight key aspects and values of the organization in a way that is elegant and subtle. It’s important to create an event that allows your guests to connect to the cause, and that way wanting to donate. It’s all about making people feel connected. An event planner might also end up getting better pricing from vendors due to their longstanding relationships.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Professionally, we just completed the six-month design project for Save the Children’s 100th Global Anniversary which was a wonderful & worthwhile event to be a part of. We have a private destination event in Lisbon, a wedding in London and an awesome 80s Halloween party coming up & a corporate shoe launch.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?

Going into a business in the service industry is not for the faint of heart. It can be difficult, detailed & very time-consuming. Who you surround yourself with is who you’ll learn from & grow with. Make sure you build a team you can rely on. But as in any career, if you find your passion doing a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life!


Brett Galley
Author: Brett Galley

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