The world of technology is advancing at a breakneck pace and I love it when we are able to incorporate those developments into events in innovative ways.

Priyan Chandraratna

Creative Director

Location: Los Angeles

Alfred House Productions (AHP) is a full-service event production and design company. Specifically, we produce everything from dazzling weddings to unique corporate and social events. Here at Alfred House Productions, we believe you can make an event out of any occasion. We believe in celebration, whether that celebration is for your marriage, your life, your child, your brand, or anything else! We will handle all logistical and design components for your project from beginning to end in order to create a seamless event so you can actually enjoy the moment!

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

I love the use of technology in events! The world of technology is advancing at a breakneck pace and I love it when we are able to incorporate those developments into events in innovative ways. Just recently I planned a wedding which used augmented reality (or “AR”) components throughout the event. As soon as guests received their invitations, they were instructed to download an app on their smartphone which allowed them to view all the details of the wedding. Then, at the event itself, guests used that app to walk through the venue and access videos, photos, and stories of the couple through their phone! It was an amazing experience.

The other trend I love is the willingness of clients to reject traditional formats of events. Whether it is a birthday, fundraiser, wedding, or corporate event, many people have fallen into the monotony of a pre-ordained event format. I am extremely appreciative of clients who are willing to explore unconventional formats for events. How about a strolling gastronomic experience rather than a sit-down dinner? Let’s do a morning wedding followed by an afternoon picnic? Why not do your cosmetics product launch in your filming studio with food trucks and ice cream carts out back? I’m game for whatever new ideas we can come up with!

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

When it comes to tight budgets the age-old adage is definitely true: less is more! I always instruct clients to engage in a thought exercise where they prioritize the most important aspects of their event and then we focus on really knocking those few aspects out of the park. You can get away with a more cost-effective dining experience if you have some unforgettable entertainment or you can forgo flowers for simple greenery on the table if you spend a little more on nicer rentals. It’s all a question of prioritizing and making sure you are able to deliver a handful of really high-quality, unforgettable elements to the event.

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

The events industry is an extremely stressful profession. We are routinely put in very demanding positions and have to function well under pressure. Cultivating a strong core of vendors (or friend-ors, as I like to say), is integral to any events industry professional. I always make sure to give my vendor team every single piece of information they need. They have minute by minute timelines and instructions well in advance of the event. This way everyone knows exactly where they have to be and when. I am a firm believer that we are all on the same team and the rising tide lifts all boats, so I will always go above and beyond to make sure all my vendors have everything they need to succeed.

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?

As any creative person can attest, if you are not actively creating, you feel an inexplicable feeling of incompleteness. I’m actually a licensed attorney and was a practicing civil rights litigator in Los Angeles when I founded Alfred House Productions as a passion project and the company grew from there.

After practicing law for several years, I felt that many of my natural talents and skills were not being utilized. I felt that my creative energy was not being properly harnessed. Therefore, I searched for a way to combine the skill set developed as a lawyer along with my innate creative abilities. Event production and design proved to be the best of both worlds. I am able to use my skills as a lawyer to negotiate contracts with vendors and suppliers as well as grow my business. Simultaneously, my creative aptitude is harnessed into designing spectacular events by choosing and creating the perfect floral design, lighting, entertainment, etc.

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

I started my event planning career early – when I was 12. I was on my middle school student council and I remember taking on planning our fall dance. I came up with the theme, the budget, design concept, and was involved with selecting vendors. It was such a rush to create this fun event out of the blank canvas of our school gym and then watch my fellow classmates enjoy the fruits of my labor. I was hooked!

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