A transplant from New York City with a background in theater, fashion, and award show production, Shane Terenzi has over 14 years of event experience. Shane likes the heavy lifting that’s inherent in taking a raw space and building it out to match a client’s vision. The more moving parts, the better for this master of logistics. And of course, once all the pieces are in place, Shane tops it all off with high-end finishes to complete the look.
About High Beam:
Founded in 2004, High Beam is an event design, event production, and experiential event planning company based in Austin, Texas. We have produced the most events of any agency for the SXSW festival. From start to finish, client satisfaction and achieving event goals are our top priority. We work together to create an experience that leaves your guests wanting more. When you work with High Beam no idea is too big or small; we can execute your creative dream or design a customized concept based on your brand’s identity, culture, and goals.
– Named Top Producer in BizBash Top 1000 Event Professionals in 2019
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
I had a client that from the initial call, was unhappy and not excited about having their event. So, it was a lesson in trying to understand that they probably would not be satisfied with anything I was going to produce but also, my job to guide them through this process and make sure they were taken care of. It was hard to not take it personally but the reason they came to us was for our professional knowledge.
In the end, after several months of planning, the event went well, and my client’s bosses were happy with the event. So, I write that off as a success even if my immediate client never got on board.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
– Personalization. Events, in general, are moving towards something that is more bespoke and curated and not trying to be a splash for the masses. I think this takes a little extra effort on the producer to really get to know the client and the guests and not just do a turnkey event.
– Corporate events are becoming more comfortable and not as sterile. Conferences have a lot more lounge seating and should be designed for the attendees. Even for a large conference or corporate gathering, you are seeing the effects of florals, menus that speak to a theme and not just a boxed lunch, badges that are interactive, and not just a lanyard. With this, it shows the value of the producer and which company you use.
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
The devil is in the details. As long as everything that is at the event has been thought through and is there for a reason, your guests will notice. So, on a tight budget, make sure that you are not just doing one large décor piece that takes 75% of your budget. Think through personal touches that could be inexpensive but thoughtful.
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
I have been fortunate that I have worked with some of the best clients producing some really ideal events. One event that I would love to produce is a luxury themed dinner in an over the top venue. It would be a really fun exercise in opulence without being gaudy or ostentatious. There is a fine line there and it would be fun to walk it.
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
Your vendors are the reason your event succeeds or fails. You can be the best producer but if on the day of your event, your vendors are failing, you will too.
I think the best way to cultivate these relationships is to know that you are all there for the same goal, to have a successful event. Understanding the limitations and providing them with all the information, will let them be able to work the most effectively. When I have a larger budget and do not have to squeeze every penny, I will let my vendors know that so they can have more liberties in their creativity. And when I am working on a tighter budget, I am upfront that we need to be really mindful of each decision. It is a mutual respect that goes a long way in creating those relationships.
What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?
I began my career in large scale fundraisers in NYC and LA. The first question I always ask myself is what is the goal of this event. Is it to bring the community together? To raise as much money as possible? Bring awareness to a certain charity or issue? With each fundraiser, there is a different end-goal and if you identify it from the beginning it should start you on the path to a successful event.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
It was a music festival in high school. Sort of like a battle of the bands. My friend and I thought it would be a fun way to bring the school together and highlight the talent we had within our school but then also bring in some outside professional acts as the headliners.
I had no idea how to throw an event but kind of “faked it until I made it”. In the end, it was a great day, and everyone seemed to have a great time. No idea how it all came together but I remembered the thrill of it being over and thinking “did we just do that?!”