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Don’t judge people who love celebrating

'A part of my life is missing and it really hurts'

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August 27, 2020 14:45

The last time I created an event was on my birthday, Sunday March 15. I woke up on Monday 16th and pretty much overnight my business was completely decimated,along with my fellow events planners, DJs, dancers, table centre companies, photographers and of course the venues. For me it is nine years of really hard work —blood, sweat, tears — gone in the blink of an eye and who knows when it will return?

I’ve tried to stay away from reading newspapers, social media and watching the news in order to try and maintain some sort of sanity. Many of my friends within the industry are depressed, anxious and worried about the future and asking how we are going to recover (if at all) from this dreadful past few months — myself included.

Over the course of this Covid nightmare many friends and clients have reached out to offer support and words of encouragement which has at times been a much needed morale boost however I was shocked and saddened to read a piece in this newspaper by Miriam Shaviv with the headline “It’s time to end extravagant parties” (JC, August 14) This poorly timed article “celebrated” the fact that Covid-19 had brought an end to large scale “glitzy” events. That’s right…celebrated. It made her happy.

Having read this in disbelief I was left struggling to understand how anyone can celebrate the end of these once in a lifetime celebrations. I’m sure some people are guilty of spending more than they should have or couldn’t afford to make a party but ultimately its nobody else’s business but their own how much they spend or where or what they do to celebrate these landmarks.

Furthermore, kicking an industry when it’s already on its knees, when couples are waiting another year to have the magical wedding day and to start their lives together, when some bar/bat mitzvah kids won’t have a party at all feels like, quite simply, poor judgement.

In my 23 years of working in the events industry I have planned and executed both lavish and low key events and both have been just as special to produce. Nothing can be more true than that clichéed saying “it the people that make the party”. These celebrations are so much more than what’s on the surface. They bring families and friends together from all over the globe. Nothing can beat a room bursting at the seams with people dancing and singing, jumping to the beat of the music in unison, happy smiling faces all around. The silver glitzy stage or lighting rigs in the ceiling may not be meaningful, the table décor, the big photo booth or t-shirts given to the kids have nothing whatsoever to do with coming of age but if they set the stage to celebrate these massive moments then who are we to argue?

I miss the buzz of creating wonderful memories for my clients, I miss all the behind the scenes crew, most of whom have had to either close their businesses or find other work. I miss that magical moment when clients walk into the room for the first time and see the plans, drawings, ideas and the months of hard work brought to life. However, most of all I miss working in an industry that I’ve been a part of for over 23 years. It’s all I’ve ever known — a part of my life is missing and it really hurts.

Nothing could be more important in life than to celebrate the good times. Do it within your means, organise something that suits you, if you want to be extravagant, go for it. If you want your event to be intimate, go for it.

It is not the time to “end the era of extravagant parties”, It’s time to end the era of being judgmental towards others.

I feel I can speak for all my peers in the event industry, a collection of hard working, talented, imaginative people who are passionate and live and breathe what they do, and more importantly people who want to give their clients the best night of their lives. We will be back, we are ready to party.

Elliot Spencer is Managing Director of London Rox Events

August 27, 2020 14:45

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