Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So what happens when the band doesn't show up?

So.....I've been working as the in-house event director for a new venue called Rebel (www.rebelnyc.com - more to come!) and received a call from one of my colleagues from T NY. Her venue was under construction and wouldn't be ready in time for a 40th Disco Birthday Party. She brought the client over who loved the space & we took on the party. With the timeline being only two weeks out, everything was booked for this soiree.

This was a true 70's party and it was all about decor, details and more details.....and this disco band from New York State. Both my colleague and I were in constant contact with each supplier along with the client, implementing all the changes due to venue relocation. All was well until the day of the event.

I was awaken at 10:18 am on Saturday (hey.....a girl has to sleep!) to the band leader informing me that he doesn't have a sound system. Being in the industry, as you all know.....I rattled off 4 sound companies plus our in-house contact to help him solve his problem. But, the tone of his voice was very odd....so I got up & started investigating. What band doesn't have a sound system? That's like a taxi driver not having a car!

A couple of hours go by & I follow up with the band leader & he sounded very confused. My next call was to DJ Chuck Dogg (see previous blogs...) my favorite DJ and savior! I get to the venue for set up with my colleague & come to find out that the band is actually STILL located in Rochester, NY.....a 4 hour drive from good ole' NYC. AND....has not even left despite the fact that this client has contracted him for a 7 pm event AND paid him in full. By three o'clock the drummer called and informed my colleague that this band leader has done this in the past & that he has quit the band. That's great to know.....how does that help us??? I appreciate someone being honest today. Too bad I can't carry a tune!

At that point, Chuck was booked to not only DJ, but DISCO....with little time for preparation. With my colleague threatening legal action, there was nothing we could do but work out Plan B since the band was just not coming. In this case, we were very fortunate that the client was unusually kind and took the bad news in stride. Especially in light of the fact that it was her husband's surprise party and couldn't take the stress calls made to her by the band leader making excuses to avoid suit. Could that be his fear of karma??? Only kidding!

In the end, everything turned out fine, Chuck is not the official Disco DJ & it was seamless. No one missed the band except the client, since the guests were unaware they were booked. But now she has to deal with a $5,000 court date......NOT groovy baby!

Moral of the story:

1. When booking a band, DJ or any type of vendor try and get referrals and ALWAYS check references.

2. Try to find a vendor that is located within the area you are holding your event. They tend to be more familiar with the venues and parties you are working with.

3. Don't ever pay in full - always insist on a deposit and the balance is paid upon arrival to the event.

4. Go with your gut - if you feel as though this vendor might be of a nature that is immoral, find another. There are a ton of great suppliers out there! Don't let the bad apples sour you.

5. Hire an event planner - This one is a no brainer! We've been in the industry and have made our mistakes and dealt with the drama of bad vendors.....and learned from it. Experience is immeasurable!

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