Just a pro tip and I learned this early on, pipe and drape and lighting is an amazing way to either create elegance or the depth that you want on a limited budget. 

Meredith R. Bond

Founder/ Creative Director

Seven14 Events

Location: Boston

Seven14 Events is a freelance event planning firm that offers a variety of event services. Seven14 Events produces luxury weddings, bar/bat mitzvah, sweet sixteens, anniversaries, quinceaneras, and everything in between. Seven14 Events is a Better Business Bureau accredited business that strives to ensure trust and delivers the highest caliber of service. In this day we understand that every event is different and every event must reflect a client’s personal style and creativity. Within Seven14 Events, we pride ourselves in seeking out unconventional ideas and spaces to make sure every client’s personality is infused.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?

I do not think there is one big challenge for me – every event has its own hiccups. In general, I feel that a lack of communication is the challenge I face most frequently. Any change in the events schedule or flow can prove to be a challenge but what exacerbates this challenge is when everyone involved is not aware. It is incredibly crucial that when a change is made that all entities in the event process are notified and are aware. Failure to communicate results sometimes in a complete and total catastrophe.

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

I feel like there are some great ones right now! Honestly, I really refer to Biz Bash a lot. I joke and say its the events industry Bible.

I am really excited about how clients right now are choosing more sustainable events. Even if it is just a small element of the event clients are more ecologically aware.

There is something monumental to say about event designers. I feel event designers alone define what the trend is. Their creativity and the ability to think way outside the box makes them alone definition of trend. Completely mesmerizing at times.

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

There are a lot of people who think they have to spend tons of money to have a really epic event. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Create a plan – it should have the elements you really want. Then do the research, figure out what business is the highest cost, and then scale down. There are a slew of incredible businesses that do amazing work that actually offer their services at a reasonable price or one that fits your budget.  Just a pro tip and I learned this early on, pipe and drape and lighting is an amazing way to either create elegance or the depth that you want on a limited budget.

I have found that there are some people who want to throw an event just to impress people. Then there are those that are really excited and authentic about really celebrating a life event or an event in general. They really want to make it their own and create a  personal atmosphere that is true to them. I definitely feel every event needs a “Wow” factor, but it certainly should not break the bank. I want to encourage clients that you can really create something memorable on any budget, and that your lack of budget should not hold you back from having an event.

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

Having a client with unlimited resources would definitely be a dream. I think that when you have wide range and access to things the possibilities are limitless. If I had to pick it would absolutely be the biggest Halloween party. I would try to find an Adams Family house type venue in a real cemetery. It would just be totally insane!

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

Vendor relationships are essential! Usually, I will try to connect with prior vendors after events. I think that when you and your vendor become relatable to each other then it becomes really easy to contact them for an upcoming event. You are now calling a friend asking for a favor.

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

I had so much anxiety when I had my very first fundraiser! The reality is if you have a solid framework it becomes really easy to hit all your marks. That is what I have learned. Definitely creating a firm budget is a must as well as deadlines.

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

I am really trying to expand our service area to the West Coast. It truly is a task for sure! Seven14 Events is a national company but I am looking to really have a base on each coast. I will still be doing everything in between but for the past couple of years, I have really been gearing for this transition. I absolutely love what I do! I love the fact that I meet new and different personalities every day. I also love that I am not at a desk pushing paperwork in an office. Producing events has afforded me the opportunity to go somewhere different all the time. I definitely have a keen knowledge of everywhere in Massachusetts and New England.

I really hope to expand the business even more and branch into events that I have not necessarily encountered yet. There is definitely so much more to do and accomplish.

What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea of setting up and starting to attract a client base?

I created Seven14 Events with the hopes of formulating my dream job. I started Seven14 in 2009 after completing an Event and Meeting Management program at Northeastern University. Prior I had done an internship with StyleFixx Girls Night Out. I wanted to really produce one of kind unique events. I feel that the diversity of my events allows me to really develop my creative mind. Each client always brings something different to the table which makes event planning so transformative.

What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?

The first event I did now that I look at it went really well. I know then I was really disappointed with the attendance. I really beat myself up about that. However, thinking now I really accomplished a great deal for my first shindig. What I created was neat. I really got a hands-on experience with sponsorship and pulling in a significant amount of vendors by myself. I know that experience really showed me how well I performed under pressure and pushing myself to the limit. It was an exceptional learning experience.

What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?

I wish I knew how important networking and making connections in the industry was. I had a general idea but I realize how diligent and consistent I really needed to be.

I was also aware of but not fully aware of how much this would take me away from my family. For the most part, I banked on weekends. I did not anticipate that all of the wedding season I would not be around and all of the graduation/reunion season I would not be 100% present. These are things that were hard to come to terms with, but I love what I do and the upside is that there are plenty of times I can bring my kids with me to meetings or fun events like New York Fashion Week.

What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?

I honestly think all the times clients ask me to do extra things for them is always unusual. Sometimes I wonder if I own an event business or a concierge business. I find this happening a lot with clients who are out of town and are really unfamiliar with the area.

Meredith Bond
Author: Meredith Bond

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