Bridelux blog  /  Q&A with Jennifer Zabi...
  
Q&A with Jennifer Zabinski
Brenda Della Casa | a year ago
 
You have a background working at the most luxurious hotels in the world and are known in the industry for your amazing attention to detail which you have always equated with knowing how to service clients. Can you share a few unexpected ways hospitality and planning are linked in luxury events?

Coming from a background in hotel management, and now running a business that plans a growing number of destination events, it has become evident that travel is a deeply personal and vulnerable experience for our clients and their guests. Everyone has different thresholds when they are travelling, that influences their perceptions of service and hospitality. It is one in the same for the event planning process, which is inherently vulnerable. Responding with exceptional service has allowed me to develop trusting relationships with my clients, and those connections inspire loyalty.

You work with some of the most high-profile names in the world, including the Duchess of Sussex for whom you recently planned a gorgeous baby shower. What is your advice for someone looking to move into high-level celebrity planning?

Value discretion, and treat high-profile clients in the same manner you would approach any other client.

People will often look at you and feel "you've made it" and wonder if you still get "down and dirty" on the ground like you did in the beginning of your career. Are you still on the ground late night and carrying boxes?

Yes, it is a team effort, and everyone should contribute to the schlepping and prepping!

What is your advice for new planners and vendors looking to stand out in what has become a saturated market?

In order to provide your clients with direction, you need to have a strong understanding of the elements that compose an event. Educate yourself on what goes into catering, entertainment, lighting, tenting, and all of the necessary pieces of the puzzle.

What are three things you have on you at all times during an event?

Event paperwork, my phone and our emergency kit.

Have you ever turned down a client? Why?

It is equally as important for a client to connect with a planner as it is for a planner to connect with a client. Unfortunately, not every client is the right fit.

What do you look for when hiring your staff?

Work ethic, work ethic, work ethic!

What is the biggest myth you'd like to bust about luxury planning?

It is not as luxurious as it may appear.

Who is someone you really look up to in this industry and why?

Preston Bailey; his resilience is so admirable. He came to this country and created something from the ground up. He is truly a genius, trendsetter, and very humble.

You're a headlining speaker at the Bridelux Symposium in October. Why did you sign on to be a part of this event?

Bridelux has differentiated itself as an industry conference that offers a highly curated experience. It’s very rewarding to give back to fellow event professionals that are eager to pave their own careers in this industry.
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