Cutbacks Include the Liquor, Ice Sculpture and Roulette Table by ProQuest


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									                       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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