The company arranges events on more than 30 yachts, schooners and other boats along the Hudson River; it was ranked No. 5 on the latest NJBIZ list of top event planners in New Jersey, with 225 events last year. Cerria also is seeing Garden Statebased clients "sail from docks closer to their offices" instead of from Manhattan, which saves on ancillary expenses like chartering buses and reserving hotel rooms for employees.
Cutbacks Include the Liquor, Ice Sculpture and Roulette Table Industry COMPANIES, CHARITIES their offices” instead of from Manhattan, Essynce of Events LLC, No. 10 on the list but we’re seeing signs of hurting. Events are and individuals are still which saves on ancillary expenses like with 75 events in 2007, are negotiating a luxury item. You don’t have to have holi- Report holding parties and other chartering buses and reserving hotel harder and more often for better prices, day parties. You don’t have to have that big gatherings, but most now rooms for employees. says Starr Barrett, owner of the Maple- outing.” The company, based in the Whip- are axing costly extras and sticking to the “It’s more exciting for them to do some- wood-based firm. Many are doing without pany section of Hanover, has seen revenues basics, say event planners around the state. thing like that, to sail from the city,” she says. excessive decorations and handouts, such dip year-over-year after years of growth, Smooth Sailing Celebrations’ largely “But now they’re being more practical.” as ice sculptures and packaged candy for Warner says. business clientele are “slightly scaling back,” Revenues haven’t been hurt too much, each table. Cancellations remain the exception, says Camille Cerria, owner of the firm, though, Cerria says, in large part because “People are throwing more ordinary not the rule, but “we definitely see people based in the Oak Ridge section of Jefferson. Smooth Sailing Celebrations’ customer base events, but at least there haven’t been any cutting back on the big stuff. Maybe just “They might be doing beer, wine and soda includes companies of different types and cancellations,” Barrett says. doing a dinner and no entertainment, like instead of premium or top-shelf bars.” The sizes — not just, say, large mortgage lenders. David Warner, owner of Events Plus the casino nights we put together,” he says. company arranges events on more than 30 A direct-and-electronic-mail marketing Entertainment, the list’s No. 1 company One bright spot has been fundraisers, yachts, schooners and other boats along the campaign launched in February — before with 1,000 events last year, can’t say the which “haven’t really been affected by the Hudson River; it was ranked No. 5 on the lat- the financial industry meltdown —brought same. “We’ve lost one small party, a 100- economy,” Warner says. Events Plus Enter- est NJBIZ list of top event planners in New in new business and also has blunted the person company Christmas party,” he tainment’s client makeup is evenly split Jersey, with 225 events last year. effects of the economic slowdown. says, attributing the withdrawal to the bat- between companies, charities and people; Cerria also is seeing Garden State- Those throwing wedding, sweet 16 tered economy. “diversification helps” weather the storm. ◆ based clients “sail from docks closer to and bar mitzvah parties through The Very
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